]-[This past week, many schools celebrated Children's Day with gifts and games. We, too, celebrate children, because “children are a heritage from the Lord” (Ps 127:3) and it is our responsibility to protect them and give them our best.
However, what exactly does giving them our “best” entail?
Mark 9:33-37 gives us a thought-provoking account on Jesus’ perspective of serving children. In this story, Jesus takes a child in His arms and declares that “whoever welcomes (or serves) one of these little children in My Name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One who sent Me.” In other words, we are called to welcome and serve children in Jesus’ Name, with the goal of serving and showing our love to Christ. It is easy to serve children because they are adorable, or because we want to invest in the next generation of our church. But Piper points out that “ministering to children in any way but in the name of Jesus, does not fulfil the will of Jesus.”* Why is that so? “Because the most important blessing (we) can give to a child is the all-satisfying centrality of God in life.” When we serve children because we love the God who created them, children can see that, and that inspires them to love God more effectively than if we simply talk about loving God.
How then do we give our best to the children amongst us and point them to God?
Firstly, let them see us integrate our faith into our daily lives, live authentically like a “fish in a fishbowl”, and be ready to have spiritual conversations with them in all seasons. This is also what Moses commanded Israel in Deut. 6:4-9: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” I, myself, am a living testimony of that. Seeing my parents strive to love God in all areas of life and marriage and being constantly challenged by them to see God’s finger in every part of my life has deeply shaped my love for God today.
Secondly, pray for them daily, and not just for our own children. Pray for protection from the influences from this world, pray for their salvation, pray for wisdom on how to train them in the way of the Lord.
Children are a gift from God, but they are also our ministry for God.
Mrs. Grace Gan