THE BLESSING OF CHILDREN
Children too are a gift from Yahveh; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3
Judging from news reports, from around the globe, there are many adults who do not regard children as a gift and a blessing. How sad is this. How despicable that a powerful adult would release her/his frustration, anger, needs upon innocent children. That our innocents should suffer in such ways is unconscionable.
Why is it we fail to recognize the worth of the children we are fortunate to possess? Notice the use of the word ‘possess’? This is another concept the world has, which tends to diminish the worth of those we bring into the world. Are children our possessions? Or, are they our charges – the ones we must safeguard and protect, as they grow towards adulthood?
Notice, in David’s Psalm 127, children are recognized as Yahveh’s gift to us, a reward for accepting His command to be parents. Where is this command found? There are a couple of commandments within Scripture for humankind to bear children. The first mention of bearing children may be found in Genesis 1:28, when Yahveh says to Adom, Adam, and Chadassah, Eve – God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air and every living creature that crawls on the earth. And, then, in Genesis 9:7, in speaking to Noah and his family, Yahveh said – And you people, be fruitful, multiply, swarm on the earth and multiply on it.
All through Scripture we may find helpful and wise commentaries regarding how to raise children. In the Book of Proverbs especially, there are numerous verses which assist us in raising children. For example, Proverbs 29:17 shares with us this bit of wisdom – Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will be your delight.
In earlier centuries, it was customary for parents to discipline their children by whipping them. What was their justification? Their reading of Proverbs 13:24 – spare the rod and spoil the child, led a vast number of parents to believe their children were inherently willful and, as such, they had to be beaten in order to drive this willfulness from them. But, is that what this Proverb really means?
The parents living on the earth, at the time of King Solomon, were the original audience for his wisdom literature. They understood the meaning of the word ‘rod’ to be a type of crook used by shepherds to guide their sheep. The rod was never used to beat sheep; can you imagine the damage that would cause? And so it was, and still is, with the beating of children. Parents, then and now, are urged to guide their children with cautious discipline, which will enable them to understand the right way of behaving, a way that will honour both Yahveh and their parents.
This understanding of correct discipline is found in Proverbs 22:6, where we read – Train a child in the way he [should] go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it. Here, then, we receive the message that the way in which we guide and discipline children will last well into their old age.
Are you able to imagine the behaviour of an adult who, as a child, was taught to hate the harsh discipline received from her/his parents? In the news today we have many examples of those who have diminished self-esteem and harbour great amounts of anger. Some of these release their angers and their fears on others, who are vulnerable and unprotected. Is it possible that the vast number of school shootings in the United States display the results of children who were not raised to follow the teachings of Yahveh and Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus?
Beloved, if we wish to leave a legacy on this earth, the most profitable one will be children who love Yahveh and follow His teachings, as outlined in Torah and elsewhere in Scripture. This will be the only legacy which will be lasting and will bear the stamp of our years as parents. What will be your choice?
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.
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