A Child by Charles Dickinson
They are idols of hearts and of households;
They are angels of God in disguise;
His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses,
His glory still gleams in their eyes;
Those truants from home and from Heaven,
They have made me more manly and mild;
And I know now how Jesus could liken
The kingdom of God to a child.
I've been pondering this morning again. I saw something yesterday that disturbed me a bit, and I've been thinking about that. I was thinking about how Jesus said in Matthew 18:4 "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
And then he warns us: "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."
I've been thinking about that, and I think what Jesus is talking about is the purity of children, the sweet way they have of totally trusting their parents. If mommy or daddy says it true, it must be true. If mommy or daddy says this is how to dress, eat, talk, play, act, then for the most part, they will do that. Now I have ten children, and I wasn't born yesterday, I know that children don't always do that. But mostly, before they are drawn by sin, they just completely think what mommy and daddy says is the way to go. And if they do wrong, it's pretty easy to bring them to repentance, if you have their hearts.
As I thought about this, I thought how important it is for us to guide them the right way, to guard those little hearts and do all that is within us to keep them pure. From what I read in the Bible, being pure - or holy - is the way to salvation. And it's not that terribly hard to keep our children pure, for a while, anyway. But it does take a little work on our part.
God is trying so hard to help us to do this. Matthew 18:10 says that "I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
So why do people want to mess this up? Why would they teach their little boys to imitate unholy rappers, or dress their little girls like prostitutes? Why would parents buy clothes for their little girls with words on the fanny, thus drawing attention to that part of their anatomy? Why would they buy Bratz dolls for them to play with? Why buy their sons the pants that are supposed to be falling down, imitating gangsters?
I just don't understand. And I really don't want to be clued in...
I want to see innocence, and children doing innocent things...
I want to see brothers and sisters that love each other...
I want to see them doing good things...
I want to see texts with pictures when they are out of town that say "Look, Mom, we are going to church."
Again, I want to see innocence:
Being a mother is such an enormous job. We are guiding the next generation into Heaven, or we are guiding it to Hell. Yes, God does not have grandchildren, and they will have to make their own choices eventually. But we have such an influence...
Jesus says in Matthew 18;5 "Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." That's a profound statement. Let's welcome them into our lives. Let's make our own lives pure and holy, so we can teach them to be pure and holy. Who wants to be worthy of having a millstone tied around our necks and be drowned in the sea? Don't let anyone convince you your little child has to "blend in with the world." Jesus says we are to come out from among them and be separate. (2 Corinthians 6:17)
Don't let anyone convince you that dressing up your child like a sinful celebrity or a burlesque dancer is "cute". Don't believe that you can't find decent clothes to dress them in, because you can.
Proverbs 22:6 says to "train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Someone told me once that a more accurate translation of that is "when he is old, it will not depart from him." In other words, the child, once grown, won't be able to forget what you have taught him. So teach him right. Don't let the world sway you into thinking like them. And no, you won't be perfect, and you will make mistakes, but the Bible also says in 1 Peter 4:8 that "love covers over a multitude of sins." If your children know you are sincere, they will over look a lot, and see what you are really trying to teach them.
As the Bible says in several places, "Be strong and very courageous." Don't be afraid to go against the flow in training your children. Gather them under your wings and teach them purity. God is with you!