A child’s expectations
What is our responsibility with regards to children, who have their whole lives ahead of them?
When a child is born into the world, we take the opportunity as a congregation to bless it. When we stand there with the child in our arms, we know that many experiences await the child during the course of its life.
Children have many hopes and expectations. We know that in this world children will also encounter disappointment, pain and sorrow. But should those of us who participate in blessing these little ones also be among those who bring them pain and disappointment? Let us answer a resounding “No! Never!”
In Job 6:15 it is written: “My brothers have dealt deceitfully like a brook.” And further: “The paths of their way turn aside, they go nowhere and perish. The caravans of Temalook, the travelers of Sheba hope for them. They are disappointed because they were confident; they come there and are confused.” Job 6:18-20.
Just consider all those “caravans” and the many “travelers”—they were disappointed. Indeed, they perished because they went looking for water and found none. The brook had dried up.
Longing for care
It is easy to imagine whole “caravans” of children, full of hopes and expectations, who long for love, care, and understanding, and who are searching for examples to follow. Where will they find such examples if they don’t find them in us, who strive to be Jesus’s and live faithfully as He did here on earth? We all have a great responsibility in this area. Let us love and serve God, so that our brooks are filled with water at all times—streams of blessing. Let us not fail. Let us not disappoint. Let the love between marriage partners, between father and mother, create an oasis in the home. No one who seeks protection and shelter there should be disappointed and put to shame. The same goes for the church.
Help your child
Someone once wrote an exhortation to parents: “In giving you children, God gives Himself to you, so that you can give yourself to Him. The way you treat your children is the way you treat your God.…Help your child in the struggle for life. Years of suffering and striving can seldom repair the damage caused by initial neglect.” (Wetterlund, N.P., “Ditt Barn”, Skjulte Skatter, January 1931)
Consider the confusion you create in a child’s heart when he has perhaps been instructed in the theory of Christian life and conduct, only to realize that the environment and real life he experiences does not agree with what he learned. Dear friend, may our brooks always be full of living waters!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.