CHILDREN AND GOD
To love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind is the first and greatest commandment (Matt 22:37,38) and for children to obey, they must learn of God's precepts.
Children ask meaningful and significant questions. Under the instruction of the Lord, Moses ordered the parents of Israel to teach their children biblical truth relating to God's miraculous power (Exod 10:1-2), His saving grace (Exod 12:21-27), His merciful deliverance and His stipulations and decrees (Deut 6:20-25).
Children are unable to confidently decide what to believe, without being influenced by their parents or their environment.
Children's literature and media entertainment not only varies but appears to be unrestrained in content. How children respond to what they read and see will determine their attitude and outlook on life. The focus on the wickedness of humanity promotes hatred which is directed towards the family unit, it provokes children to break the Fifth Commandment.
Jesus came to preach good news to the poor, to give sight to the blind and set the captives free (Luke 4:18-21). He died, so that all believers including children may live to praise the Lord and earthly parents have the responsibility to teach their children about God's faithfulness (Isaiah 38:19, Eph 6:4). Parents are to dedicate their children to God for the purpose of having God, their Creator direct the spiritual growth and development of their children (Isaiah 54:13). God accepts the children who are dedicated to Him, and His Word does promise that they will be blessed with peace and spiritual guidance.
Today's society is in direct opposition to God and is therefore subject to God's anger. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord (Ps 111:10) and children need to be encouraged to ask God for understanding. God's law is given to address the injustice and sin in people's lives. Children have the right to be given an opportunity to be a joy to their parents and to God, they have a right to a Christian education.
Children are to be protected and are not to be left on their own to wander aimlessly in life in search of spiritual significance and meaning. There are many teachings that lead children down a path of destruction, but there is only one road that leads to life (Matt 19:14a).
Children who are troubled and struggling in school should be encouraged to persevere and ask God for wisdom, for He is a merciful and generous giver (Jas :2-5). They need to hear that Jesus is gentle and He calls them to Himself, so that relief and rest can be found (Matt 11:28-30).
Children are to be taught not only to honour and obey God and their parents but all in authority over them, including governmental officials, teachers, employers and the elderly.
Children need spiritual growth to live a life of obedience to those in authority over them, discern good and evil, and have a readiness to pray for wisdom and spiritual insight. If a child who has been dedicated to God, dies before he/she is old enough to repent and be baptized, he/she is guaranteed entrance into The Kingdom of God.
Children are a blessing from God and a parent's love reflects God's love. Scripture indicates that children are a gift from God and are to be loved, disciplined and cared for.
There are promises of God specifically for children.
There are also warnings from God relating to those who cause children to stumble in their walk with God. Matt. 18:6, Mk. 9:42, and Scripture gives notice to, as well as strong cautioning that addresses the disobedient child. Wilful defiance is a deliberate act of disobedience that a child chooses to do.
Children have a responsibility to God by honouring Him and obeying Him in reverent fear. Children are to seek wisdom, they are to listen and learn from adults. Children are to join in worship of God.
Children belong in The Body of Christ and should not be hindered by parent's complacency. Parental biblical teaching does not guarantee the outcome of a child's salvation. (Deut 11: 18-20) The child has to be sincere in repentance before God and have their own belief and trust in God to obtain salvation.
Children owe their parents certain responsibilities which are biblical. Not only are they expected to honour and obey, but they are to be a source of joy to their parents.
The Fifth Commandment expresses what God expects of children towards their parents. "Honour your father and your mother". This command is followed with a promise that all will be well with the person who does, no matter what their age.
Children should respect, obey and give attention to their parents with their hearts and not just their lips.
Children are to take advantage of every opportunity to honour their parents. Children should be committed to elderly parents according to The Bible. Jesus also touched on this issue in His teachings as did Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Children are obligated to provide materially for ageing parents.
Young adolescents are required to grow and mature in their thinking, and not increase their knowledge in evil, but also not to be ignorant of it. (I Cor 14:20). Children become responsible for their own salvation once they reach teenage years. Until this time they are under the protection of the agreement their parents made with God. Adolescents must now study God's word and Principles for themselves and rededicate their lives anew to God, being a disciple of Christ.
The evangelism of children must be a priority in the home, in The Body of Christ and throughout the world.
Jesus used children as an example of how adults shuld receive the Kingdom of God. God's Truth is revealed to those who are 'childlike'. Adult Christians are to be 'childlike' in obedience, humility and innocence. They are to have trust as children trust. Christians are to welcome children as Jesus did.
|SCIPTURES Exodus 20:12, Psalms 111:10,
Proverbs 2:56, 30:17, Matthew 18:10.
QUESTIONS 1] What is the beginning of wisdom? 2] Does God set apart blessings and care for children who have been dedicated to Him? 3] What does God promise to all who honour and obey their parents? 4] What does God forbid?
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