Read: Mk 10:14; Ps 127:3; Prov 22:3; Eph 6:4; Mt 18:3-5
Living with Lambs:
There is a growing conviction in many circles that the purpose of marriage is to provide a solid and secure platform from which children are able to mature and launch their independent lives. Therefore it is believed that marriage is not a matter of personal convenience, enjoyment or satisfaction. That means that parents place the well being of their children before their own personal interests. Of course we are well aware that children are the greatest casualties in the disintegration of a home in which the emotional, physical, and spiritual welfare of its members is compromised.
- EGW, The Adventist Home, p. 159 – Children are the heritage of the Lord, and we are answerable to Him for our management of His property.
- Mark 10:14 – Let the children come to me and do not stop them.
- Psalms 127:3 – Children are a gift from the Lord.
- Proverbs 22:3 – Teach a child how he shall live, and he will remember it all his life.
- Ephesians 6:4 – Raise your children with Christian discipline and instruction.
- Matthew 18:3-5 – The importance of childlike faith, of welcoming children, and the dire consequences of causing a child to lose his or her faith.
Questions for Discussion:
- What do you see as the purpose and role of the institution of marriage as it relates to the presence of and rearing of children in the family?
- The Psalmist calls children a gift from God. Unfortunately not all children are accepted and treated that way, but for those of us who understand and have accepted our own status as children of our heavenly Father, the gift qualities of our children are rich beyond measure. In what ways have you felt gifted by your children? These are often experienced as life lessons, sometimes profound spiritual truths that have come to us in our encounters with children.
- There are many who for many varied reasons choose not to have children. Does our discussion of the blessings brought to us by our children then suggest that they are in some way lacking or disadvantaged in learning and knowing about God?
- What does our theology teach us about meeting the needs of children in such areas as using fear as a motivation for obedience, the role of love as well as all of the fruits of the Spirit in our words and actions, the recognition of and relationship to the will of the child in matters of training and obedience, and the nurture of faith?
- EGW in Child Guidance, p. 50 is quoted as stating, “Whipping may be necessary when other resorts fail, yet she (the parent) should not use the rod if it is possible to avoid doing so.” What has been your experience both as a child and as a parent with corporal punishment? What is the stance that you have come to now in your mature adult years?