Summary: Children play a major part in the future of our church and churches around the world. They our future! Because children are important we have a responsibility to Love, Teach, Protect, and Win them.
Deuteronomy 4:7 – 10 “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the Lord your God in Horeb, when the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’
Introduction: Children are important. They are important to God and to the church; and should be important to you. The disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" Calling to His side a child, Jesus put the child in the midst of them..."(Matthew 18:1-2). Children play a major part in the future of our church and churches around the world. They our future! Because children are important we have a responsibility to Love, Teach, Protect, and Win them.
I. Love the Children
A. Psalms 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (NASB) Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
B. Children are a “reward” from the Lord. That means that they are to be cherished and valued.
C. Mark 10:13 - 16 (NKJV) Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
D. Every child needs to know he’s loved.
E. Psalm 104:13-14 "As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who honor him, for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust."
F. Children need to be loved unconditionally. Unconditional love is love with no strings attached. No matter what the child does, the love remains. It is something a child can always count on. Conditional love is love that depends on performance. Conditional love is commercial, used as a reward or as part of a trade of affections. With conditional love, children have to be successful to gain their parent’s love. Unconditional love does not lend itself to measurement. Children who experience unconditional love feel safe and secure. Sadly, children who experience conditional love feel insecure and afraid.
Unconditional Love’s Effects on Children Conditional Love’s Effects on Children
• Feel secure, safe and validated in the relationship
• Focuses on responsibilities
• Willing to take risks to grow
• Experiences a safe haven to face a judgmental and performance-oriented world
• Feels inner peace, cooperative and confident in relating to others
• Focuses on strengths • Fears loss of relationship or is indifferent
• Focuses on loss and fear
• Focuses on being cautious
• Experiences an insecure world where there is no place to rest and refuel
• Feels competitive towards others
• Focuses on deficits
II. Teach the Children
A. Deuteronomy 6:5 - 9 (NKJV) You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
B. A Father and his small son were out walking one day when the lad asked how electricity could go through the wires stretched between the telephone poles. “I don’t know,” said his father. “I never knew much about electricity.” A few blocks farther on, the boy asked what caused lightning and thunder. “That too has puzzled me,” came the reply. The youngster continued to inquire about many things, none of which the father could explain. Finally, as they were nearing home, the boy said, "Pop, I hope you didn’t mind all those questions." "Not at all," replied his father. "How else are you going to learn!" - Our Daily Bread