While reading my bible today, I was fixated on the passage where Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me’ in Matthew19:14. Undoubtedly, we have heard this bible passage countless times but today, it had a new meaning for me.
It dawned on me that Jesus was not referring to just that moment when the disciples tried to stop the children from meeting him, He was speaking generally. And it applies till date, Jesus wants the little children, our children to come to him, to know him, to be familiar with Him.
Children are very important to God and at different times in the bible, Jesus used children as examples of how we ought to be if we are to make heaven. Children have many admirable qualities, their innocence, their spirit of forgiveness, their childlike faith in God, their humility and so on.
As parents, we are temporary stewards of the children gifted to us and as such, a sacred trust has been placed in us to teach these children about God and help them draw close to Him. What we teach them in their childhood determines to a large extent who they grow up to be. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Are you letting your little children move closer to God or are you hindering them?
You might very easily say, I take them to church, I read them the Bible so yes, I encourage them to be close to God.
I need to ask however, what behaviors do you model for this children as a parent and also very importantly, through your marriage?
These days, children are often the victims of abuse of all sorts. They are exploited in so many ways, their innocence snatched away unceremoniously from them at very tender ages. Children are exposed to viewing of inappropriate programmes that teach them the wrong things under supervision of parents. Children are sexually abused these days by trusted relatives and friends even under the noses of their parents. Children these days are being trafficked for sex and are used in pornographic films.
Children are taught by watching their parents’ marriages that it is okay to physically, verbally and emotionally abuse one’s spouse. Some children are even victims of the abuse themselves!
They are made to see firsthand the abuse and loss of faith in the institution of marriage and they grow up scarred and abused, believing lies to be the truth.
Are you an aggressive parent?
Are you verbally abusive towards others?
Do you allow your children view inappropriate television programmes or movies?
Are you a perpetrator of domestic violence in your home?
Are you a verbal or emotional abuser of your spouse?
Is your marriage the kind of marriage you would like your children to emulate?
Does the environment you create for them bring them closer to God or take them farther away from Him?
Children are quite impressionable and many of what they learn comes from their environment. The ‘Do As I Say Approach’ rarely works for children because they learn by watching you. They Do As You Do.
Ask yourself today, ‘What am I modelling for my children to learn?’
Raising of children is not a matter to be taken lightly at all. Remember that as stewards, we will give account to God for whatever it is we teach these children.
The bible also says that it would be better for one to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea than to cause any of the little ones who believe in God to sin,” Matthew 18:6
Our children should be given the right to be taught about God and His love for them. This can be a firm foundation upon which a child can build his/her life.
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