One day I received a phone call from a dad who was clearly upset with his 8-year-old son. I listened as he shared his frustrations, which were mostly normal things that little boys do. As a father of three sons, I could relate. When I asked what sparked his call to vent (because that is what he was really doing!), the dad replied, “…my son referred to his mom and I as, ‘you guys’!” While this won’t make my list of parental frustrations, I understand that each parent has the right to certain expectations from their children.
Children are a vital part of the family and society. In fact, you can gauge how well a nation is doing by how well they care for their children. There is a direct relationship between the quality of care for children and the level of growth and development within a nation. Here are four things about children that everyone should know.
- Children can bring challenges and put you through changes. Your life my be your own until a child arrives; then everything changes. You learn quickly that now you have to share everything: Your time, your energy, your attention, your resources, your love, and many other things! Yet, the challenges and changes are all worth it!
- Children are our great inheritance. “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3) We have this great inheritance from God himself, and we must see all of our children as invaluable assets, regardless of their background, race, color, creed, or circumstances. Jesus expressed his feelings about children: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
- Children are our biggest investment; at least they should be. Monetary investments can be measured: You put in $100 and get out $150. Investment in children cannot be measured. Shirley Caesar captured this best in her song: “For the 9 months I carried you…for the nights I sat up with you doctored you and prayed for you…for the time and tears and the costs through the years…for the nights filled with dread and the worries ahead…for the advice and the knowledge and the costs of your college…for the toys, food, and clothes and for wiping your nose, there's no charge…When you add it all the real cost of my love is no charge.”
- Children are the soil in which we should sow our best seeds. A young life is impressionable and ripe for mentoring and molding. Whether you are a biological, surrogate, adoptive, or foster parent, you have the opportunity to sow a seed into the life of a child. Teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors, leaders, and every adult in society should purpose to give children their best. We should train them (Proverbs 22:26); try not to provoke them (Ephesians 6:4); don’t despise them, even when they get on your nerves! (Matthew 18:10); teach them and impart God’s peace upon them (Isaiah 54:13). Children also have responsibilities: “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).
Let us all cherish our children, for they are our greatest inheritance.
Wisdom for Your Week
When children live with praise, they learn confidence.
When children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.