By Mike West
There could be no greater job for a parent than to teach the child about Christ and what a person must do to follow the Lord as the proverb says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
As we strive daily to teach our children (an all-consuming task), there are so many things in our world that we as parents must look out for such as TV, school, friends. I’m afraid that in our effort to teach sometimes we forget to learn from them. We must remember that in order to go to heaven we must be child-like.
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3).
What could we possibly with all our knowledge learn from such a small child? Have you ever topped to watch a group of small children play? They don’t care if you are white, black, Hispanic, or Asian. They do not have the prejudice we do sometimes as adults. It does not matter if you are rich, poor, popular, cool or not. Can we say as Christians that daily in our effort to serve the Lord that we are child-like in these areas? Are we learning from our children (Jas. 2:8-9)?
Have you ever been around a child when the child starts to learn to read? Kaylee sometimes drives me crazy. She wants to read all the time! It never stops. Twenty-four hours a day she is bugging me to read more and more. She always wants me to write down math problems — always wanting to learn, like it is a game. Her hunger to learn is like yearning for a type of food she can’t do without. As I strive to serve the Lord, do I have this type of an appetite for the knowledge it requires to follow God’s word? “As newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation” (1 Pet. 2:2; Tit. 3:14).
And let our people also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful (Tit. 3:14). As adults we often have problems with others, and we might have a brother sin against us. How do we then treat that brother? Do we hold that grudge for a long time or is it forgotten immediately? How long will you be mad at someone before things are back to normal? Kaylee and Stewart will have a knock-down, drag-out fight; I will settle them down, and when I’m finished correcting them five minutes later they are best friends again. Do we forgive and love again as fast as a child? Do we forgive at all? “Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he sin against thee seven times in the day, and seven times turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4).
Children love to please their parents. They are so proud when I tell them that they have done a good job. Kaylee and Stewart always love to stand before us proud of the way they have cleaned their room or done something that they know we wanted. Do we each day want the Lord to see the way we live our lives, or do we need to act as a misbehaving child and hide in shame? “Whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ. For he that doeth wrong shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done: and there is no respect of persons” (Col. 3:23-25).
It is not a small task to raise a child that will follow God’s word, and the parents who have done so should be commended and respected. They should be good examples for us all to follow, but let us all try to remember that to serve God we must learn from our children.
25 Morning Dove Ct., Newnan, Georgia 30265 Mastiff@bellsouth.net