Children, Our Inheritance
by Elizabeth Brandt
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When you hear the word “kids” – what thoughts come to mind? Another mouth to feed? The end to life as you’ve known it? A disruption to your peace and quiet? The cause of your gray hair? Unfortunately, this is a tragic attitude of many.
The Bible tells us that children are an inheritance from the Lord; a reward from HIM! They are a gift to be handled far more delicately than silver or gold. An inheritance that will not perish; a living, breathing soul to be nurtured and directed back to the One who entrusted them to our care. Children are to be accounted as blessings, not burdens. (Psalm 127:3, James 1:17)
“Jesus Loves the Little Children,” we have all heard sung at some point in our life. It’s not just a cutesy song to fill a time slot in Sunday school class. Jesus DOES love the children. He once rebuked the disciples when they forbade the children to “take up His time.” The Bible actually states that Jesus was greatly DISPLEASED! And in another text He strictly warns those who cause a little one to stumble. (Mark 10:13-14, Mark 9:42)
There are many ways to cause these precious ones to stumble. I won’t touch on the more obvious things, but how about when we withhold kindness from them “to show them who's boss?” What about when we rudely say things like, “Get out. I’m tired of hearing you?” Or when they get hurt “Just shake it off and get over it?” As a mature adult, we would never speak like that to our spouses, close friends, or a complete stranger for that matter. Why do we think children deserve any less?
The Bible says that true love does not behave rudely (1 Cor. 13). Children need unconditional love and nurturing in order to become healthy adults. Without it, they will struggle in their relationships and it will be much harder for them to understand and accept the perfect love of God for themselves. If they can’t trust the ones who are supposed to protect them, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually, accepting that an “unseen” God truly loves them is much harder to grasp. May we never cause such a stumbling.
What an honor and yet, what a responsibility to take very seriously. The Maker of Heaven and Earth depends on us to raise our children in such a way that they will serve Him and one day be reunited with Him for eternity. For anyone who has lost a child to death, to substance abuse, to a communication breakdown ~ you know, how devastating that loss feels. The pain of that broken union. God loves our children on a much deeper level than we ever could. What a tragedy to not raise them to return to Him.
"And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:5-9)
Father, help us to be ever mindful of the way we treat our children. We make the decision now to not be controlled by our fleshly desires to lash out in moments of frustration. May we never carry the responsibility for scarring them emotionally through silent treatment, rudeness, unattentiveness, or belittling. Help us to love them like you do: keeping 1 Corinthians 13 before our eyes as the model of how love is to behave. We want our children to experience Your love through us.
Thank you for the gift of our children. We commit to seeing them as an investment to the world, a seed for Your Kingdom. We accept the responsibility to create an environment for them in which they can blossom into who You created them to be. We ask for your forgiveness where we have stunted their growth through our selfish or lazy actions. From this day forward, Father, use us to properly tend these beautiful seeds you've given to us.
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Elizabeth, Your loving, Christ-like relationship with the children is a beautiful and most wonderful thing in the world to witness. It may not always come easily because children express love in their own unique way. You love them very much, & it's important to learn each child's unique and preferred ways of communicating love-- you speak each of their "love languages" so well! You make them feel SAFE and LOVED and you bring it all together so beautifully by having God at the center. As always, well done! :)