Making Sense of Children - D
This world appears to be hell-bent on fast-tracking childhood.
As this series concludes it cannot be re-stated too strongly the esteem children are to be held in, which is first found from God. Too many children have been raised under the distant love enshrined by the old axiomatic lie - children should be seen and not heard.
In a world that has devalued children, dishonored stay-at-home moms and where the womb has become a tomb contemporary values are not correct nor do they reflect the ways of heaven.
Faith is seeded in all children within the womb; this is to be honored and supported through the child rearing process.
The Role of the Adult
Adults/parents/caregivers are in the faith preservation business. Each individual child needs to be seen as an originally perfect repository of faith. With this in mind children are then imagined beyond the present to what they can become as carriers of faith to the next generation. It is adults who bring children to Jesus and who are not to impede them. (Sadly many of the adult disciples of Jesus have a long history of preventing children from approaching Jesus see Lk 18:15.)
Each individual child needs to be seen as an originally perfect repository of faith.
God wants to keep pure that which is pure. Children begin life pure. This is so clear when He shouts to adults -- avoid doing anything that introduces a child to sin. God is not restrained in explaining that there is dire punishment for those who educate children to sin (fast-tracking adulthood). Adults must refuse to be part of any context and content that dismantles the prior implanted knowledge of God or promotes distrust and confusion of God within children. Adults are to rigorously avoid exchanging a child’s pure present for his future. Don’t rob a child of their innocence and faith prematurely - the world (satan) will see to that in due time anyway.
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)
In the spiritual development of a child what isn’t taught is as important as what is taught. Adults permit children to ‘catch faith’ and not just catch their ability with knowledge. Become a facilitator to fatten up, nurture or water what God has previously implanted. Confirm and encourage the correctness of their naive faith responses as these are expressions of God’s pre-birth deposits. This then affirms and it promotes faith confidence – talk a child's faith up. Give occasion, enquire of children that they may discuss and share their faith. Seek anecdotal opportunities, as an adult be alert as such times arise - these times may be very brief and adults may be very busy but grasp them while the season is available.
In the spiritual development of a child what isn’t taught is as important as what is taught.
Spiritual development is not to be spiritual descent but spiritual ascent. Children have it pure from day one. When Jesus held children in His arms He was making and nurturing faith deposits. Adults too can do likewise.
13 tips to water a child's faith
- Read the Bible with your child each day until they are able to read themselves. Teach them from it
- When the child is self-reader gradually wean yourself away from them - e.g. read with them every second night, then every fourth night, then once per week etc. until the child has this habit of devotion.
- Allow children to see you at devotions.
- Discuss with children what God is teaching you as well - enhance their spiritual expectancy.
- Point children to the Bible as the counsel/source for guidance and correct behaviour. This will elevate their value of God's word and seed in them its value as a life-reference.
- Don't shout in anger at children because adults model God the father to them and He does not shout at us.
- Recall all the good things you know about the loving fatherhood of God and then reciprocate to the children in you care.
- Examine you own upbringing, repeat that which was spiritually healthy and delete that which wasn't.
- Audit a child's responses to you and their responses in life and you will learn too how you respond, for children simply repeat what they see - this is a significant spiritual tool.
- NOTE: a child will not remember what you gave them, but they surely recall how you made them feel; permit faith nurture to be a good feeling.
- Be regular and disciplined in both family and personal devotions and pray through significant family decisions with the children. When the prayers are answered make sure you tell them the answers too and thank God with them..
- Do not permit siblings to treat each other in an ungodly manner any more than you would treat your spouse in an ungodly manner. Sibling relationships can also mirror the parent's relationship, audit these too.
- Sit young children on your lap as Jesus did. I feel sure Jesus just didn't chat about toys or the weather with them, neither should you. Also chat with such young children about the things of the Lord.
Parents/adults/caregivers are carriers of faith to the next generation. Families are God's chosen instrument for the transmission of generational righteousness (see Malachi 2:15). Adults are always to be walking with the next generation in mind that it may be secured well.
Adults are first the curators of faith for children before they become the merchants of knowledge.