Children are the heritage of the Lord; they are God’s personal property and His peculiar treasure. God has entrusted them to the parents and especially to the mother. God loves the children and asks the mothers and fathers to treat them gently and to co-operate with Him in teaching them to live a pure and noble life. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
“Christ placed such a high estimate upon your children that He gave His life for them. Treat them as the purchase of His blood. Patiently and firmly train them for Him. Discipline with love and forbearance. As you do this, they will become a crown of rejoicing to you and will shine as lights in the world.
“The youngest child that loves and fears God is greater in Hs sight than the most talented and learned man who neglects the great salvation. . . .
“The soul of the little child that believes in Christ is as precious in His sight as are the angels about His throne.” –The Adventist Home, p. 279
If we would learn the wonderful lessons about little children that Jesus tried to teach to His disciples, many things which now seem too difficult to overcome would disappear. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to them, and said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:1, 3
Jesus knows all our weaknesses; He has experienced all that we may have to face in our lifetime, but He walked without sin. He knows our children and us and has prepared a way suitable for us to walk on together. He does not want us to leave our children behind.
Both children and parents have many important duties in the home. The parents, who love their children, will care for them. They will clothe, feed, and educate them. It is good to teach the young children to help themselves, of course taking their age into consideration; and the older children to help care for the younger ones to lighten the mother’s workload. The children will make their parents happy by helping with errands suitable for their age. Mom and dad can explain to their children that if they pitch in, the work will be done sooner and afterwards they will get time to play. We must have a balance between physical labour, recreation, and study.
“Active hands and minds do not find time to heed every temptation which the enemy suggests, but idle hands and brains are all ready for Satan to control.” –Ibid., p. 284
Our children and youth should be taught that the home duties are part of their work assigned for them by the Lord, and they are to be faithfully done as unto the Lord. If they understand this, their work will appear to them more pleasant. Children who gladly share in the responsibilities of the duties in the home will be happier and experience better physical and mental health and their father and mother will
also have some time for healthful recreation for themselves.
“Children trained to the practical duties of life will go out from the home to be useful members of society.” –Ibid., p. 288
We, as parents must not look at our children as being a “bother” when they are helping us, especially when they are quite young. Yes, it is often difficult to get much done when having small children helping, but do not let them know that they are slowing you down; instead, praise them for their willingness to help. If parents allow the older children to enter into their plans, of sharing in their responsibilities, they show their children that they value their help. It will not only lighten the parents’ burdens, but the children will feel more appreciated because they contribute to the care of the family as a whole, which will result in a strengthening of the home ties. In addition, they will receive practical training of great value.
It is of utmost importance that we impress upon the hearts of our children and youth that their abilities are not their own, but belong to God. These are gifts lent to them to be put to the best use. “Strength, time, intellect, are but lent treasures. They belong to God, and it should be the resolve of every youth to put them to the highest use.” –Ibid., p. 280
“The youth. . . . is a branch, from which God expects fruit; a steward, whose capital must yield increase; a light, to illuminate the world’s darkness. Every youth, every child, has a work to do for the honor of God and the uplifting of humanity.” –Ibid., p. 280
When living on this earth, Jesus Christ, our Greatest example, was for a time only a baby and as He grew, He was only able to do things suitable for a child His age and then as a young man. We read of Him, “‘And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.’ ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and man.’ . . . .
“He was His mother’s helper in the home; and He was just as verily fulfilling His commission when performing the duties of the home and working at the carpenter’s bench as when He engaged in His public work of ministry.” –Ibid., p. 290
All heaven is at work, “‘My Father worketh hitherto,’ said Christ, ‘and I work.’ We cannot suppose that when the final triumph shall come, and we have the mansions prepared for us, that idleness will be our portion, that we shall rest in a blissful, do-nothing state.” –Ibid., p. 287
Children should feel that they are indebted to their parents, who, from their infancy, have taken care of them. They have nursed them when sick, fed and clothed them, and made sure that they had all they needed throughout their childhood and youth. God-fearing parents have especially worked hard and prayed much while trying to lead their children in the right path.
Children and youth who are truly converted and belong to Jesus will not only do what their parents ask of them, but will look for opportunities to help. Jesus considers these deeds as if done for Him.
“Children, when they become of age, will prize the parent who labored faithfully, and would not permit them to cherish wrong feelings or indulge in evil habits.” –Ibid., p. 292
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12
This commandment comes with a promise, binding for every age, from childhood to the aged. There comes no time in life when the children are excused from honouring their parents. This is one of the conditions given to the faithful for a long life in the land that the Lord gives them. This promise is given on the condition of obedience. “If you obey, you shall live long in the land which the Lord your God gives you. If you disobey, you shall not prolong your life in that land.” –Ibid., p. 293
In these last days there is much disobedience and disrespect. This is a sign that the end is near. Satan is trying to gain control of many of the young minds. Many do not respect age any longer. Let us heed the words of the Apostle Paul and God’s Messenger, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1. “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Colossians 3:20
“Parents are entitled to a degree of love and respect which is due to no other person. . . . The fifth commandment requires children not only to yield respect, submission, and obedience to their parents, but also to give them love and tenderness, to lighten their cares, to guard their reputation, and to succor and comfort them in old age. . . .
“When children have unbelieving parents, and their commands contradict the requirements of Christ, then, painful though it may be, they must obey God and trust the consequences with Him.” –Ibid., p. 293
“The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven.” –Ibid., p. 294
Dear Children and Youth, early habits will exert a powerful influence upon your life and character. There is need in the world today of young men and women who, like Samuel, John, and Daniel, will do and dare, with a pure heart, strong and fearless, constantly working towards excellence. If you want to be like these examples and especially like Jesus, you must be faithful in small things. If you are faithful in small things, then God will give you larger work and responsibilities to do. Please do not follow those who go down the wrong path whose feet “hurry to do evil”, thinking that life on this earth is just for pleasure and selfish indulgence. Watch the little sins and be thankful for small blessings.
“Our hope of happiness in two worlds depends upon our improvement in one.” –Ibid., p. 301
“My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways.” Proverbs 23:26
Parents will teach and guide their children, but it is impossible for them to change the heart of their children. Their children must give their heart to Jesus and walk in the precious truth He has given them. The fact that the parents obey the truth will not guarantee the children’s salvation. Children and youth, you must do what you know to be right. Honour your God-fearing parents by following their instructions and submitting to their wiser judgments. Listen to the words of your Heavenly Father, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.” Proverbs 1:8. “Fight the battle, children; remember every victory places you above the enemy.” –Ibid., p. 299
May we as parents, and our children give our hearts to our Heavenly Father and let Him lead us in the path that He has prepared for us, is my prayer. Amen.