Sunday, April 5, 2009

Children Matter To God

The Bible makes it quite clear that children are uniquely special to God. If you examine what the Scriptures say about children, you will discover how precious they are to Him. In His eyes, they represent a multitiude of attributes and possibilities:

- Children are a gift from God. He grants children to adults as a special sign of His love to us and as a means of personaly fulfillment (Duet 7:13, Ps 127:3)

- Adults receive special blessings through their children. God provides supernatural benefits of many types to family and friends through children, and He matures us through the challenges of parenting (Num 5:28, Duet 28:4,11; Lam 4:2)

- Children are desirable. From the beginning of human history, God has instructed us to have children. (Gen 9:7, Deut 6:3, Luke 1:24-25)

- Children need to be taught how to think and act in relation to God and His ways. One of the greatest adult challenges is passing on appropriate knowledge and behaviours to their progeny. We were created to be in relationship with Him, so our understanding of His nature and expecations is a significant undertaking (Ex 12:26, 37, Deut 4:9-10, Ps 78:4-6, Prov 22:6)

- To have a fruitful relationship with God, children must be taught to obey Him. Obedience is one of the central duties of humankind. Throughout Scripture, God exhorts His people to be raised to follow His commands and reap the benefits of such obedience (Prov 8:32, Jer 2:30, Eph 6:1, Col 3:20)

- Children are so valuable to God that He commands us to protect them. Parents are supposed to ensure the spiritual and physical security of their children (1 Sam 20:42, Ezra 8:21)

- God wants to have a genuine relationship with His children. Accordingly, He describes how children may enter His presence and enjoy His company (Ps 8:2, Mal 2:15, Matt 21:15, Mark 10:13-16)

- God loves children enough to ensure that they receive discipline. Regardless of the manner in which that shaping is provided, it is a reflection of His passion for a child's well-being (Prov 3:11-12, Eph 6:4)

- God enjoys the nature and personality of children. The scriptures specifically identify attributes such as sincerity, humility, naivete, vulnerability and simplicity as qualities found in children, and He treasures these characteristics (Matt 18:3, Phil 2:15)

~ Taken from 'Transforming Children Into Spiritual Champions' by George Barna

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