Why do we have children? The answer(s) may seem obvious, but have we ever really sat down and thought about the reasons we have children? Our answers reveal that we dont generally see how important or valuable children are to us as individuals and families or, more importantly, to God who creates every child for a purpose. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1: 5)
For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, [And] skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When [as yet there were] none of them. (Psalm 139: 1316).
Our perception of children determines how we treat our children. World wide, stories abound of child trafficking, child abuse in various forms, children in areas of armed conflict, child labour, and so on, but what about children closer to homeour own children, our nieces and nephews, children of our friends and neighbours? Where ever or whoever we are, we interact with children so whilst this book is primarily for parents, it is for every adult who comes in to contact with children whether at home, work, school, or place of worship.
As a mother, I see parenting or looking after children as an honour and privilege and, whilst not easy, being a parent is one of the greatest blessings God has given us. If we look at parenthood through Gods eyes, we will see that we have the greatest opportunity to serve Him and establish His will and purposes on this earth. The lives of our children are more precious in Gods sight than we can ever imagine.
Throughout this book, I want to challenge us all to re-examine our views, attitudes and behaviour towards our children. We may give ourselves a pass mark but does what we see today in the lives of our children reflect Gods heart or are we ourselves truly happy with what we see in the lives of our children?