Summary: “All things are possible for one who believes” Mark 9:23.

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Mark 9:14-27 Theme: Parenting children with special needs

Text: 1 Sam. 2:12-17; 1 Cor. 10:9-13; Mk. 9:14-27

Normal parents always want the best for their children and desire to see them grow up to be successful and responsible adults. They see the opportunity in formal education and make the necessary sacrifice to pay their fees beginning with kindergarten. Here they are taught the basics in education and acceptable behaviour. Kindergarten is German and is made up of two words, kinder and garten. Kinder means children and garten garden. The implication is that kindergarten is a garden made up of children. A garden is only a garden when care is taken of what has been planted in it. In kindergarten care is taken of the children as they are taught to count, draw, read, write, and behave. When a garden is neglected and left on its own, it ceases to be a garden. It becomes a place overgrown with weeds. In many kindergartens today there is an area that is very often neglected. It is the spiritual upbringing of the child. This is not the responsibility of the teachers but of parents. Parents are responsible for the spiritual upbringing of their children so that they grow up knowing God and their identity and value as children of God. Many of the problems families face today can be traced to parenting, especially the parenting of children with special needs.

Good parenting is blessing your children by teaching them the Word of God. It leads to a relationship between God and the child, improves the relationship between the child and the parents, and ensures the cultivation of good relationship between the child and other people. A relationship with the Lord transforms character and leads to good behaviour. The fear of the Lord or reverence for God results in the desire to please Him and prevents ungodly desires and actions. A relationship with the Lord leads to trust and dependence. A dependence on the Lord leads to a renewed mind that believes God and acts in accordance with His Word.

The sons of Eli were not brought up in the fear of the Lord. Eli failed as a parent and his children were worthless because they had no reverence for God. Eli neglected and failed to discipline his children and allowed his garden to grow weeds. In the Tabernacle, in the very presence of God, the sons of Eli took what belonged to God and the worshippers although they had already received their share. Eli failed in his role as a parent and this, unfortunately, is the case in many families today. A recent news release was about a gang of armed robbers, all teenagers, under the leadership of a teenage girl. There are increasing cases of family conflicts, drug addiction, pornography, sexual immorality and child delinquency. Instead of love and protection at home the most vulnerable people are experiencing physical and emotional abuse by members of the family. In many parts of the world today, human beings, mainly women and children are beaten, raped, and sold into slavery. The reason can be traced to bad parenting that neglects or ignores the spiritual upbringing of our children. Every parent is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of their children. We cannot leave this responsibility to teachers in their schools or even to the teachers in the Church. It is the responsibility of parents as children spend most of their time in their homes. Are you fulfilling your role as a parent?

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