Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Responsibility to Nurture Kids According to God's Word

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 — “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”

God instructs us to get to know His commands on a personal level. Parents are to teach God’s Word to their children; we are to talk about God’s Word in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our communities. As a church, we have a responsibility to help parents learn God’s Word so they can teach it to their children. We also have a responsibility to teach God’s Word to all who enter our doors, children included. Part of our responsibility is to share God’s Word with the surrounding community of adults and children alike.

Proverbs 22:6 —“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

God commands us to train up a child in the way he should go so God’s Word will stick with him as he grows older, and he will continue to follow God’s way. Children who are grounded in God’s Word and who have Christian examples to follow are much less likely to stray from it.

Matthew 18:5 — “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

Jesus compared our attitude toward children with our attitude toward Him when He said, “Whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me.”

Matthew 18:10-14 — “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.”

Jesus instructs us not to look down on children, for God does not want any of them to be lost. As the church, we have a responsibility to train up children in God’s way so they can come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Matthew 19:13-15 — “Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”

Jesus gathered the children to Him and blessed them. He let the children know how much He loved and valued them. Jesus reminds us that children (even preschoolers) are an important part of the church right now. He did not say, “Let the children come to me when they are old enough to read” or “when they reach the age of accountability.” There were no conditions on His acceptance of children. Rather, Jesus welcomes all children
just as they are. All children are stars in Jesus' eyes!

For a PDF version of this post, download the full article: Our Responsibility to Nurture Children.

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