Bless the Children


Matthew 19:13-15 & Ephesians 6:1-4 

The nurture, care, correction, and encouragement of children is one of our highest callings in life.  Whether you are a parent, grandparent, relative, church friend, coach, or have any interaction with children of any age this responsibility should be treated with utmost respect, care, and concern.  There are too many stories in the news lately where this is not the case.

There are not many verses in the Gospels where Jesus interacts with children, but he most surely did on many occasions.  In Matthew 19 we see the care and concern that Jesus has for them.  In verse 13 people were bringing the children to Jesus so that he could bless them, and some of the adults rebuked them for distracting Jesus in that way.  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:13-15 NIV)

Caring for children is just as important as caring for all people in need.  Mother Theresa once said, “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless.  The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty.  We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”  And I would add churches and communities as well.

In a recent Golf Digest article several successful professional golfers shared how their parents’ encouragement, support, and uplifting words during their childhood helped them to succeed in both golf and life.  Encouragement is always a valuable asset in the life of a child.  Too often we are quick to point out their wrongs and slow to commend the things they get right.

We should be reminded that in Ephesians 6 along with children being encouraged to obey their parents verse 4 also speaks to parents.  It says, “Parents, don’t be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4 CEV)  In a world with way too many news stories of abuse, neglect, and child endangerment, we must show the care, compassion, and encouragement of Jesus who desires to bless the children.

Make it personal:  What interaction do you have with children through the week?  Whether it is in your family, church, or other places be sure to fulfill this calling well.  Be an encouragement to them, guide and direct them in loving ways, and tell them they are loved by Jesus.  And oh yes, be sure to give them a good Godly example to follow.

Have a great week everyone,
Pastor Glen Rhodes

Arthur Mennonite Church, 710 E. Park St.