Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Initiation of Children to the Faith and Practices

Elizabeth Chacko (Jessie)
Long Island MTC, NY

3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.

"Children are a blessing from God." It's a phrase we often say to one another  when sharing in the happiness of a newborn baby. It is uplifting to know that these are not empty words, but a sentiment that is reflected throughout the Bible. 

We see in Psalm 127, children are described as a "reward" from God, an inheritance, something to be adored. If we look to the New Testament, we see how Jesus cherished the time he spent with them.  The disciples tried to discourage the people from bringing their children to Him, but Jesus becomes upset with his disciples and tells them to allow the children to come to Him because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these (Mark 10: 13-14). Can we say that we are continually bringing our children into the presence of God or do we let the activities and chaos of everyday life get in the way? 

When we allow worldly influences to take hold of shaping our children’s hearts and personalities we are putting a barrier between them and God.  The Lord has a strong response to this. Mathew 18:6 says, "but 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.”  

The Bible shows us that it is never too early to teach our children about God’s abundant love and mercy for us.  We learn about Timothy, one of the youngest leaders of the early church. His faith in Christ was instilled by the sincere faith of his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice (2 Timothy 1:5). 
In Paul's letter to Timothy, he encourages him by reminding him of how from infancy he learned the holy scriptures which was able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15). Although it is important to bring our children to church on Sundays, and have them participate in Sunday School, it is our primary role as parents and grandparents to expose them and teach them the Word of God throughout the remaining six days of the week.  It also requires that we examine our own hearts and spiritual walk to make sure that we do not cause our children to stumble. It sometimes takes tremendous patience and loving discipline, but we can take comfort in knowing that it will bring  joy to our Heavenly Father.  

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the precious blessings you've entrusted to us. Give us the strength, patience, and wisdom to encourage and bring up our children according to your will so that they may be a light unto others and take part in furthering Your Kingdom. Amen

Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6

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