By Joyce C. Lock
Previous generations where raised under the premise that children are to be seen and not heard. If they altered in teaching, the next generation was heard. But, their words weren't taken seriously; as adults always think they know more than children do.
Following generations often have few to no guidelines, wherein children's behavior screams for someone to care enough to say, "No."
Though, what if God did that to us? When we call out to Him, can you imagine God responding with, "I can't hear you"? When we cry, what if He mocked our words, "Cry my hands full. You're nothing but a big baby"? Or, we could be given blame for all that ails us, "All he does is wine", or even worse, "Come here and I'll give you something to cry about!"
What if God didn't care more about you than the comfort of the moment, "Sure, do whatever you want. I just want you to like me." Try some of that on church visitation and see how effective you are. But, instead, God takes great care in parenting, to do it right. He looks deeper, to meet the need of the heart.
Why should God listen to our prayers when we don't listen to our children?
Doesn't God love us enough to say, "No", when it will hurt us or someone else?
Still worse were the teachings of 'spare the rod, spoil the child'. During the days of preaching 'hell, fire, and brimstone', parents showed children what they thought God was like; drawing blood, in the name of the Lord. What happened to "thy rod and thy staff they comfort me"?
Is it any wonder adults think they can't come to God?
Once children "know" they have a consistent place of refuge they can depend upon, in time of need, many annoying traits of childhood disappear.
Few come to realize children are living souls first and children second. Taking God as a perfect example, we're to be spiritual parents. Only when children become willfully defiant, for non-need reasons, do we have the right to act in disciplinary fashions and, still then, with God's guidance.
If God offered us grace, then, why do we hold children accountable under our law (or His), without consideration of extenuating circumstances? When we accuse and punish children, without considering their heart or getting facts straight, we could be shedding innocent blood.
"Children are an heritage of the LORD. (They're not possessions, but a gift to raise for Him.) The fruit of the womb is HIS reward," Ps. 27:3.
"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit," Mt. 12:33. The relationship children have with parents will affect their relationship with God. For, however we perceive earthly parents is how we perceive God.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity," Mt. 7: 21-23.
As is with everything, the only way to parent perfectly is to ask God every time (letting Him be our parent). "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock," Mt. 7:21, 24.
"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus," Ph. 2:1-5.
In every way God loves us, we're to love others in return and that includes our children; grace for grace, Jn. 1:16. It's our opportunity to give thanks.
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