Submitted by Pastor Richard Boettner, Rock Port Baptist Church

I am writing this week during a time that was originally scheduled for Vacation Bible School in Rock Port. We are also about three weeks past Mother’s Day and about three weeks to go until Father’s Day. I sure have missed getting to see our kiddos on a regular basis! But I am grateful that our community VBS has not been canceled but postponed for July. Mother’s Day was not only a time to honor our mothers and the memories we hold before God of those who have gone before us, but also cared for us in years past.

All of this has caused me to meditate on God’s Word and consider Scripture passages that teach us about children. Please join me in this study with the following points:

(1) Children are a gift of God and remind us that God is still creating in His world. Psalm 127:3 gives us the foundation: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” I have been blessed by so many couples who are becoming parents for the first time in this year 2020, and some still expecting soon. We congratulate and encourage new parents because this new child is a gift from God. Welcome him/her with joy and thanksgiving!

(2) Children set a pattern for all of us to learn, to grow, and to enjoy life. We experience God and His kingdom best in our lives when we approach Him as children. Mark 10:14,15 explains this from the words of Jesus: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” If you want to contrast this idea, don’t be an old, proud, grumpy know-everything adult, and you will quickly see your need for humility before God.

(3) Children need structure and protection to be safe from evil. Matthew 18:6: “If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Here we see a little bit of the righteous indignation of Jesus and the warning to avoid anything that could harm one who believes in Him or hinders one (such as a child) from coming to Him.

(4) Children need teaching, challenge, and opportunity to achieve and accomplish their best. The point here is that children need to grow and not stay young forever. It is up to us to provide good places and situations for this to happen. The Apostle Paul reflects on his own spiritual journey in 1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” We hold on to the child-like qualities that enhance God’s kingdom in our spirit (e.g. humility, trust, innocence, excitement about the future) and put aside childish or immature qualities (e.g. disobedience, impulsive decisions, unreasonable risk-taking, selfishness) just to remind us of what maturity can and should look like.

Sometimes corrective discipline may be needed as Proverbs 22:15 states: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.” Children will learn healthy fear and respect from protective boundaries and standards, and cherish the best life they can have as a result. Hang in there and keep praying if you have a problem child in your life at present. Things can change and get better in the future.

Thanks for reading with me and joining in my study and meditation on children. Have a good summer with those kids and grandkids! And keep coming to God as a child in the days ahead. As always, I welcome your comments and questions with the e-mail tab at God bless!