Cherishing Our Children
According to Carole Adams of the Foundation for American Christian Education, in her article, The Christian Idea of the Child, the first spiritual need of the child is significance.

Significance: Children need to have a deep sense of safety, of feeling loved, cherished, and significant.

Christ gave great significance to the postion of the child. While He was teaching, several parents brought their children to Him, so that He might put His hands on them and bless them. The disciples rebuked them. Their teacher did not have time to deal with children, they thought. But Christ thought otherwise:

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
--Matthew 19:4

The very kingdom of heaven is made up of believers with the humility and faith of a child. The word "children" is used over 1500 times in the bible, often in reference to the faithful. The Jews are the "children of Israel," and we are the "children of God."

In order to teach our children they are significant, we must learn to love them. Even the pagan loves his child, but not always as the Lord loves us. Oftentimes, we love our children as the world. We concern ourselves with their happiness, worldly opportunities and future success. We try to give them everything the world has to offer and shelter them from hardship and suffering. We teach them what is truly important to us through the choices we make for them from birth.

For the Christian, however, love begins with the love of the Lord and being in a right relationship with Him. Titus chapter two instructs older women to come alongside the younger women, teaching them diligently " to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children." (Titus 2:4)

Deuteronomy chapter 11 tells us to, " love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul," (vs 13) and lists several promises for those who do this. We are told to "lay up these my words in [our] heart and in [our] soul" (vs 18) and teach them to our children (vs 19).

Seek first the Lord. Then lead your children to Him. This is significant. If we do not lead by example, we are not leaders. We are dictators. Leaders make decisions based on the best interests of those in their charge and they walk the path they have laid out for those who follow them. Consider the leadership of Moses and of Christ in these regards. The more I consider my walk with Christ and the more I consider the double standards I hold in regards to my children's behavior, the more I realize just how significant this concept of leadership is. I often am a dictator. That does not teach my children their worth and value as children in God's kingdom.

As we increasingly show Christ in us, our children will increasingly see their worth as children of God, created in His image (Genesis 1:26), conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29) , prepared unto every good work (2Timothy 2:21) and prepared unto glory (Romans 9:23). What greater sense of love, safety and significance could we offer our children?

For more in this series, check the link in my sidebar under "Motivation."

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