Friday, June 17, 2022

For The Children


If anyone asked you if you love your child, almost certainly you would say, "Yes. Of course I love my child." And we do. Yet, we sometimes we let them down. 

We can't be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. It's an impossibility. So I want to say right up front please do not beat yourself up for what you may see as failures. Failure is part of life. It helps us to learn and to grow. However, I encourage you to listen to the Lord. He can change your life and that of a child.

What can we do as parents to nurture and teach our children in the ways of the Lord? How can we fail less?

Children need so much. There is a long list that begins with love and not enough space or time here to cover it all. It would take a book or two or three. And I'm not qualified to write those books. But here is what's on my mind today.

 All this week, our church has been putting on a VBS program for local kids ages 4 - 12. There was a good turnout of children eager for fun, goodies and news about Jesus. There was singing, stories and games. Experiences laid down in a child's memories.

Of course, many weren't there.  I understand extra activities can't always be fit into a parent's schedule, but we need to try ... for the kids. Some children were ill and others had conflicts or were out of town on vacation. There were multiple reasons. But some were not there because they had no one who cared enough to get them there.

Even as I write those words I cringe. It sounds harsh. And maybe it is. I apologize if I'm being unfair. All of that must be between you and God.

 I have a soft spot for VBS. It was part of what motivated me to seek Christ. It planted seeds in my little girl heart. Those seeds remained hidden until I was an adult and sent me in search of my Savior. He was waiting for me and knew I was coming to Him. Just the idea makes me teary and so very thankful for the neighbors who invited me to VBS and who made sure I got there. 

I grew up in a good solid family. So much of who I am is because of the honorable and upright lives of my mother and father. But Jesus wasn't part of our life.

We went to church on an occasional Easter or Christmas, but that was pretty much it. My mother in later years used to tell me of an incident that was wedged in her heart like a thorn. I was about ten years old and had a terrible, tragic kind of day at school. When I came home I was distraught and I asked her if she could tell me how to pray. I needed Jesus. As my mother told the story tears would well up in her eyes. All those years ago, she didn't know how to answer my question. And felt that she had failed me. 

I didn't meet my Lord until I was twenty-three. A long and painful journey led me to Him. Even if my parents had introduced me to Christ as a child I still might have taken that same terrible journey. Only God knows. But I know Him now and I'm thankful for that.

I wouldn't undo my life. It has so much to do with the person I am today. I am imperfect in many ways, but I know my Savior and we're walking the path of life together. Sometimes I think about how wonderful it would have been to grow up in a family that placed God and His Son Jesus at the center of our lives. That would have been a beautiful gift, but that's not how it happened. Yet, God had a plan.

Children don't know that the world is a dangerous place where evil does its best to bring them down. They don't know that satan hates them and longs for their eternal damnation. We want to protect them from the ugliness. We want them to have a beautiful and joyous childhood. We, the parents, grandparents and friends have the opportunity to protect them and teach them of God and His love and of the beautiful world that He created for us. In fact, kids are counting on us to do that.

Are we letting them down?

How many Sundays have we decided that getting ready for church is too much trouble? Or that a special program for the children is too much work? Or we're just too weary to spend time sharing the love of God with the little ones and helping them discover who God is? It is pure joy to experience the happiness of a child who giggles at a frog in their palm or a butterfly on their fingertip. And Bible stories shared and discussed can be riveting, especially when the questions a child asks cut straight to our heart.

What if this is the time, the only time for that child - the one who is counting on you? Will you take a few moments to pray with them, hold them close, or discover God's beauty together, maybe travel to a VBS meeting or children's church while your little one chatters on about the wonders they see in the world?

We can be the difference. There is no greater blessing than to partner with The Father as He draws children close and tells them how much He loves them.

Experience the wonder with them. You will not regret it.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon

No comments:

Post a Comment