“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” - Mark 9:42.
I recently listened to a few podcasts that delve into the practices and beliefs of current cults and one of the major factors that stuck out is that many do not value children and some even seek to destroy any children that are conceived within their confines because in general “it slows them down”. This blew my mind because the ONLY way their organizations and beliefs will propagate out through the generations is to actually have generations! Even groups that claim Christian values have forgotten how much Christ emphasized his love for the innocence of children and their openness to faith! We also see this same disregard on the secular side of society, where instead of children being a source of joy and new experiences, they are seen frequently as a burden, one that takes away from the parents’ life, instead of adding to it. They are also viewed as the property of the parents and increasingly seen as the property of the state, to be directed and manipulated in any way society seems fit.
In contrast to these attitudes, I have never had these thoughts of inconvenience or loss when I look at my children. I relish the opportunities to play and laugh with them and to ignite and fan the flames of their potential, hoping that one day they will surpass me in both intellect and faith. It is not easy and often requires a melding of PhD level child psychology and hostage negotiation tactics but it is a beautiful, challenging and rewarding journey. I am continuously in awe of their observations and skills and I am so glad that God has blessed me with this responsibility, even if 80% of some days is just preparing food for their bottomless appetites. There are so many moments of sharing and joy that I do not mind the struggles. I know that God has a unique plan for each of them, that I am a part of that plan and that they will grow into strong adults due to the foundations that my wife and I have laid. I know I value all children, especially my own. Do you?
Daily Battle Order:
Today, whether you have children or not, make a pledge to God that you will protect and guide any young people who are in your life to the best of your ability. That you will be Christ visibly and openly in their lives, not forcefully, but actively present with your joy and faith. Recognize God in them and work together with God to build them into a rock solid next generation.