By Pastor David Shadday
FROM THE WORD:
“Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1–2
Children are a major topic of discussion these days. If politicians want support for their pet projects they simply begin the discussion with the words, “it’s for the children,” whether it actually is or not. Focus on the needs of our children is a vital topic, one which we are working to help parents with by the teaching and materials we provide for the children of our parish. Jesus repeatedly taught the importance of children, and used child-like faith as the model for us all.
Parenting is a great challenge. That challenge is met with the provision of body and soul shown to us by our heavenly Father, and lived out in our parenting. The love He shows us as His children is the example we are called to follow in parenting our children. Parenting can be, and is, a consuming vocation. The needs of our children change as they grow, but the time and energy needed to be parents does not change until they leave home. Even then, we cannot simply turn off our love and concern for them.
What is helpful in this challenge is the constant reminder we receive from God’s Word that we are children of God. God has paid the adoption price for us on the cross. We truly are precious to Him. As we walk our children through the challenges of life, we can tell them that we understand the challenges they face, not just because we once were children like them, but also because we presently are children with them of our loving Father in heaven.
We seek, by the Spirit’s grace, to imitate our Father in heaven by the love we show, hopeful that the Spirit will lead our children in showing that same love. We apply the Law to our children in the love with which our Father applies it to us. We forgive in the grace of the Gospel as our Father has forgiven us for the sake of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We children of God love our, and God’s, children as we have been loved.