Top 10 ways life would be different if adults were as honest as kids

The extra banana cake I made was going to make a special gift for a neighbor. At least, that was the plan. My children and I knocked on the doors of the houses of neighbors #1, #2, and #3, but they didn’t answer. Number 4’s car was not in the driveway. Sweating in the suffocating humidity of the deep south, we marched up the driveway of neighbor #5 and rang the doorbell. I was relieved to see that she was home. As soon as I told her we had a banana cake for her, my honest child piped up and said, “We’ve walked all up and down this street looking for someone who was home to take our cake!” And with that, my hopes that neighbor #5 would feel special went up in smoke.

The episode made me reflect on the question: in what ways would our lives be different if we, as adults, were as honest as children? Here is the top 10 list, for better and for worse:

10. GIFTS. You would announce to the person giving you a present that you already have one of those. Or, if you weren’t too crazy about it, you would just set it aside and move on to the next gift.
9. HYGIENE. You would not hesitate to tell a room full of people that you need to go poo-poo.
8. MEALS. All food served to you by a host or hostess would be subject to either of the following two declarations: “This looks yucky,” or, “But we had that yesterday.”
7. POSSESSIONS. If someone was holding something that you wanted, like an iPad, you would just take it from them. And then it would be yours.
6. LEARNING. Unafraid to hide your curiosity, you would ask unanswerable questions. Lots of them. To your hubby: “Honey, why are you using that screwdriver? Who invented it? What did they do before they had screwdrivers? Can I do that? Would this hurt me if I poked myself with it?”
5. OBSERVATIONS. "Look, that person is _______." (Fill in the blank with all sorts of descriptive, colorful, embarrassing adjectives.)
4. HUNGER. If you got hungry enough, you would cry. People would be lined up on their lunch break at Chick-Fil-A…bawling.
3. ASSERTIVENESS. You would let it be widely known how you feel about people, circumstances, changes, and responsibilities. To your boss: “But I don’t WANT to do that report!”
2. NEEDS. You would not hide your own needs from others, out of pride or embarrassment.
1. LOVE. You would never shrink back from showing it.
With maturity comes the ability to stifle our childlike inclinations that are more forthright than they probably should be. But it also brings the tendencies to close ourselves up. In some ways, we can be thankful that we don’t say everything we’re thinking like they do. They have no guile at all, and even less coordination. (What if adults fell down as much as they did?)
But we are not too old to learn a few things from them, certainly not in the areas of possessions or hygiene, but definitely in giving and receiving love. They have no difficulty giving hugs, snuggling up to their loved ones, or stating their affection in simple terms: “You’re the best momma I’ve ever had.”

Perhaps the clearest demonstration of this is the way they receive the kingdom. Jesus said in Mark 10:15, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." They receive it in faith, not hiding anything because they don’t even know how to do that. They are unashamed. They simply and honestly respond to God’s gracious love extended to them. No wonder Jesus named children, rather than adults (who know so much more by all appearances) as the standard for faith.
We all wore little shoes once. Becoming like a little child makes it possible to squeeze back into them again.


  1. i totally agree with your top ten list! and thank you for the verse you cited... a good reminder!

    Have a fabulous Month August!!
    Underneath His Wrapping

  2. Another way we can become more child-like is to appreciate the little things in life, laugh more often, and learn how to play again. In regards to child-like faith, children are not afraid to admit they can't do something alone. Even as adults, we NEED God to DO for us, to give us His salvation, to help us live Christ-like lives and to be Filled with His Spirit. Lovely post, Jennifer. Rosemary

  3. This was a fun post to read! Thought provoking, too. I've often pondered the state of becoming "like a little child". I especially appreciate a child's higher level of honesty; a standard that is to be appreciated and emulated.

  4. Great reflections on a Sunday afternoon, it rivals the sermon I heard today in church. Nicely said!

  5. What a wonderful list... so true!
    Thanks for the smiles!

  6. I kind of wish I could do #7 sometimes....
    And #6 made me laugh! That would drive my husband nuts!
    But I appreciated the point of this post. Especially now that my oldest is almost a teenager and is outgrowing his childlike faith - starting to have questions and doubts. There is definitely something pure and peaceful about a child's faith.

  7. That is hilarious about your 'honest child' and the cake. :-)

    I love seeing the total child trust my grandchildren have for their father who loves them. It is a beautiful thing, and helps them later understand the love of God.

  8. I LOVE THIS!!!! My favs were 1)taking the iPad & 2) seeing adults crying at Chick-fil-A!!!

    Thanks for making me smile & laugh out loud - in the middle of a Monday afternoon!

  9. Found you on Tuesday Follow. I'm your newest follower on your super awesome blog! I love this!



  10. Awesome! I have three little boys all under the age of 5, so this hits home - and is SO funny. :-) Here visiting from Seeds of Faith.
    -The Lean Green Mommy Machine

  11. Yes, kids are brutally honest. I enjoyed your post. Happy iFellowship Day!

  12. This is so true! I love your Top Ten list.
    Visiting from iFellowship! Have a great afternoon!

  13. Thank you so much for visiting me and for leaving such a sweet comment; I am happy to be a member of your blog!! I look forward to reading many more posts!! I love inspiring blogs!! :o)

    And in regards to this post, oh to be a kid all the time...How great that would be, at times!! ;o)

  14. Dear Jennifer, thanks so much for your comforting words and prayers!

  15. Hi..I’m Barb….I am from TTA. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @ santasgiftshoppe.blogspot.com & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well. I also would love for you to be a new Fan of my Facebook page too & click “LIKE” in the upper right hand corner of my blog & you’ve done it..Thanks so much! I am just starting at Facebook. Nice to meet ya new friend!!!

  16. Your posts never disappoint, Jennifer. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for the laugh. Thank you for sharing.


  17. Wonderful top ten list, of course you had to put in that zinger at the end. Went from laughter to deep thoughts in 2 seconds.

  18. A child's honesty is truly priceless. I loved this post.

    P.S. I clicked over from Tuesday Tag Along (I know I'm days late, but I'm a new follower now!)

  19. wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading this! I'm a new follower from some Friday follow, and I'm super glad to be here!


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