In Mark chapter 10, we see people bringing little children to Jesus in order that He might bless them. The disciples spoke sternly to them and told them to go away and leave Jesus alone.
But when Jesus saw this, He rebuked His disciples:
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
Then He took them up into His arms, put His hands on them and blessed them.
The disciples were probably thinking they were doing the right thing. After all, Jesus was a busy man…there were sermons to preach, people to heal, and demons to cast out! They reasoned that Jesus had better things to do than spend time with children.
But Jesus had different ideas…He recognized the potential of children and realized they were important, too.
In our society today, so many do not recognize the value of a child. Abortion is at an all time high, because adults do want the hassle of a child to raise. That would ruin their career, their lifestyle, and they might have to give something up. We often hear of babies and small children being abused and even murdered by uncaring adults and even teenagers. We read and hear of horrifying atrocities happening far too often.
Parents hand their kids off to daycares and private schools and buy them everything they want to make them happy, just to keep them out of their way… “I have my life to live.”
God’s Word puts a totally different picture on the value of a child. Consider these verses from Psalm 127 –
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
So often, even in the Christian home, we see children treated as the world treats them – with no value! We are happy when we can send them off to school all day.
Just get them out of the way… I have shopping to do! No I can’t read to you; I must mop the floor. No I can’t play with you; I must iron these clothes. Get out of the house…go find something to do! etc, etc…
There are times we must say no, but I fear that all too often we view our children as a bother, as a great disruption of our organized schedule. We have places to go, people to see, and things to do, and children just get in our way!
Consider these God-given responsibilities to parents found in the Word of God:
:::TEACH our Children:::
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. [Deuteronomy 6:6-7]
:::TRAIN our Children:::
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. [Proverbs 22:6]
:::NURTURE our Children:::
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. [Ephesians 6:4]
:::DISCIPLINE our Children:::
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. [Proverbs 13:24; 22:15]
:::LOVE your Children:::
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children… [Titus 2:4]
Notice these are parental responsibilities, NOT for the school, NOT for the babysitter, NOT for the church, but for the PARENTS.
To accomplish all of these, we must take time with our children. God has given us a great treasure in a little child, but we must take time to mold and shape them into a Godly person. Jesus recognized the worth of a child and He valued them. We tend to think of children as a FUTURE value, when they grow up, but they can teach us many things right now if we will open our hearts to them.
:::FROM THE ARCHIVES::: This article was written for the Apron & Sword (the previous name of Grace & Honor) in October 1993. Beverly, during the time of writing this article, was parenting children ranging from 3 years old to college age! All four of her children continue to faithfully serve the Lord in their church and on the mission field.
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.