Sunday, January 24, 2016

Children Need You

January 24 (Proverbs 22:6)

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  (ESV)

He was not sure where to sleep because the previous night his home had been attacked with an automatic weapon using hollow-tip bullets.  She could not participate in class for grief over her grandmother and aunt who had been strangled to death over the weekend.    And when a teenaged boy comes to you in tears, you know something is wrong, so you listen patiently as he tells you about going to a local stress center and the myriad battles he faces both at school and at home.

Friends, these are real children.  They are students with whom I have interacted over a period of one week.  In many ways, childhood has always been a dangerous time.  Child labor, child soldiers, child prostitution…adults have preyed upon and used children since the world began.  We have a vision of what childhood should be, one of innocent exploration of a mysterious and wonderful creation.  It is a good vision, but make no mistake.  It is a vision of what can be and not necessarily of what is.

We all have children to rear.  They may be our own, they may be our students, they may be our grandchildren, the children in our youth group, or the players on the teams we coach.  They may be nieces and nephews or the kids down the street.  They may be the ones who go every day to the library or that we see sacking our groceries.  No matter your age or station in life, there are children in your orbit.  How will you help them in the way they should go so that when they are older they will walk with Jesus?

Father, it is so easy for me to become consumed with the issues that directly affect me and nothing else.  Open my eyes to all those around me.  Help me to be intentional in my interactions with them, whether in offering an act of love or a word of truth.  May everyone I encounter walk more closely with You because of the work of Jesus in my life.  In His holy name, I pray.  Amen.

Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins

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