- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about children?
Psalm 127:3-4 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” God gives us children as part of His plan to create an eternal family, Gen 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” God has plans for all of us who willingly accept His offer to become part of His eternal family, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
God knows us before He even creates us in the womb, Jer 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” The birthing process is a metaphor to help us understand the pain and suffering in this life, which are the side effects of our battle with sin, as we watch God creating His eternal family, Jn 16:21, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” Once we are in heaven with God and His eternal family, we will no longer think about the pain and suffering of this life, Rev 21:4, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” We will live for all eternity with people who have willingly chosen to be God’s children and to live by His commandments, Jn 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Law books in the United States have grown to over 17,000 pages because we could not keep the simple Ten Commandments God has given us. We humans continually try to do things our own way, to put our own stamp on everything around us. Thus, we have taken God’s simple Ten Commandments and made a complicated maze of laws to replace them. Those who love God know that His commandments are not burdensome to those who love Him, Matt 11:28-30, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” This is why He tells us that we will need no laws when we learn to love as He does, for His kind of love produces the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” The selfish among us are following Lucifer’s path and cannot understand the humility of God, for if they had His power they would use it to their own benefit, which leads to the creation of a book evermore fully packed with laws, Phil 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” God chose to humble Himself unto the cross, for our benefit. He wants us to understand He is willing to do anything to protect our freedom to choose or reject His offer of eternal life. Once children decide they love something or someone, they no longer waste time trying to rewrite laws, God’s laws or any others. Instead, they sink their heads into the warmth and comfort of the one they love. This is why He tells us that we must be like children to enter heaven, Matt 18:2-4, “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” I still remember my children sleeping on my chest as I rocked them to sleep. Can there be a better feeling? Could I love them any more?
Children are gifts from God, Is 8:18, Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” The miracle of our complex bodies point to our creator and the birthing process to our responsibilities in the creating of His eternal family, Ps 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” and 1 Cor 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
When God does give us a child, He also gives us the great responsibility of raising that child in the way of the Lord and it is humbling, Matt 18:3-5, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” When we accept God’s gift of a child, we must also accept His calling for us to provide for that child, 1 Tim 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” He calls us to teach our children God’s Word and His Way, Prov 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” God knows which of us will honor the responsibility He has given us, Gen 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”
Since children are ‘an heritage of the Lord,’ we do not own them; God is the eventual heir of our children, their eternal Father. So, the time we have with them should be focused on preparing them for Him and His Kingdom, Mk 9:37, “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” This means we must show our children God’s love for all of us, teach them how to love God and their neighbor, teach them His commandments and, finally, we must live those commandments as an example for them to follow, Deut 6:6-7, “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.” God has no greater joy, 3 Jn 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”
Yes, God’s plan asks us to teach our children, however, part of His plan includes giving us children to help prepare us for heaven, Matt 19:14, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” God gives us children to help us grow out of our selfish nature, as we learn to sacrifice for them. Our sacrifices include our sleep, our time, and our old life; which means some of those enticing adventures we might have had with our friends. Following God’s calling requires us to put the needs of our children ahead or our own needs, Eph 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
God directs us to honor Him by sticking to the truth, without mixing it with fleshy wisdom, 2 Cor 1:12, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” When we honor God this way, He will direct our paths and our children’s paths, Prov 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” He knows there will be people who will try to lead us away from Him with lies and half-truths, Matt 24:4-5, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
God gives us grandchildren to help us learn to love unconditionally; we are not responsible for the rules they live by, only the love we can share with them. As grandparents, we learn to better understand our Father in heaven and His will for our lives, because He has given us the freedom to choose His love.
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