Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Wisdom Wednesday: Love Your Children on This Earth Day
Thought I would come up with something clever this morning for Earth Day. However, it just wasn’t coming together. If you’re a parent, you know those mornings when all your kids want is the love that only you can give. I love those mornings, even when I have to write. In the back of my mind, I think about what I am supposed to do for the page and then I remember that first and foremost, these three are the number one ministry I’ve been given. If I fail them, I ultimately fail you, fail the human race and fail God.
The Bible says many things about these blessings we call children and I’d like to share some of that wisdom with you here today.
Solomon shares his feeling that children are a blessing in Psalm 127 starting in verse three. “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
He continues by giving us instruction in Proverbs 22:6. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” If we give proper parenting, they will keep those actions in their heart. I’ve worked in teen ministry and I know some will tell you that there are those years of being a teenager that they try to forge their own way and do their own ideas. But Solomon is telling us that they won’t depart from those ways. He means it as long term. As young adults, children will often reflect on what they have learned and will return to it if they find themselves in error. My advice for parents struggling through those times. Keep the faith, keep praying, your work in your child will prevail, eventually.
Solomon tells us that we have a duty to take care of their error when they are young in Proverbs 22:15. “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” The experts that will tell you not to spank and give time outs are wrong. I’m not saying beat a child, but I am saying that there are times that children still need to be disciplined and spanking a child’s butt will show that they’ve done something wrong and the momentary pain there will remind them that they don’t want to do that again. He even follows that up in Proverbs 23:13 with this, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death, “ and again in 29:15 & 17, “The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother…Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.”
Frank, those verses were about discipline, not love. Where is the love? Part of being a parent of love is disciplining your child as needed. Let me reiterate, AS NEEDED. But enough about discipline, here are some other verses about loving your children.
Paul talked about loving children by emphasizing to the older women to pass the flame to their younger women in Titus 2:4, “Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children.” Solomon tells us the result of this in Proverbs 31:28, “Her children will arise and call her blessed; her husband also as he praises her.”
Finally, we know to love our children as they are part of us. However, the ultimate reason to love is because we are all a part of God’s kingdom. John 3:16 tells us that he gave up his only begotten son because he loved us. Now that ladies and gentlemen, is a love for us, the children of God.
I love you guys!