What Loving your Children Really Means
In the book of Titus chapter 2, women are specifically told to love their children. In today's society, however, we find that so many children go unloved. They are not nurtured, fed, educated or properly cared for. Child abuse is at an all time high unfortunately. Children crave love and affection and it is the parent's responsibility to give it. It is bibilcal. Sometimes, due to many factors, we may find it hard to love our children despite our best efforts. We try and fail by our own standands.
Let's look at some bible examples. We do not have to go far to see them. I can imagine that Adam and Eve felt as though they failed as parents. When there is murder in your own household, you could imagine how devastating that could be. Then, just in the next book of the bible, we see so many children killed by the Pharaoh trying to destroy the deliverer that would come out of Egypt. Parents struggle to protect their young to no avail. There are tons and tons of stories in the Bible that show failed parenting. Honestly, no one does parenting right 100% of the time. We all could use better skills in this area. No parent is perfect.
In The Titus Ten book, I share in a whole chapter about loving your children and point out some practical application for doing so. You can also see my other blogpost "Raising Soldiers" in The Daughters of the Deep community January 9th. I have thought about children a lot since we have two of them. The way we do parenting or not effectively shapes our world. I think of our two boys as our first disciples. We can literally mold and shape them. We place them in front of Jesus on a daily basis. However, we are in the world where pressures to conform to ungodly standards abound. It is difficult to motivate ourselves to do what we should as parents and it is difficult to taylor our discipling to each child individually. Thank the Lord for all the godly parents who pray for their children on a regular basis, take them to church and do not cause harm to them unintentionally.
Unfortunately, current child abuse statistics show that:
- just over 1,500 children die each year in the United States from child abuse and neglect
- 905,000 children were the victims of child abuse in 2006
- 70 percent of child abuse victims are under age three years old
- over 80 percent of the abused children were abused by one the child's parent
- neglect is the most common form of child abuse, followed by physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and lastly, medical neglect
Most importantly, everyone should be aware that victims of child abuse come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, living situations, and races.
By Vincent Iannelli, M.D., About.com Guide
I am horrified at the abuse of a child by their own parents. The Bible has much to say about this.
Mark 9:42, KJV - And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Abuse can happen to a child when we give them too much of what they do not need or they or we neglect what they need the most.
Consider spiritual abuse. It is what happens when we attempt to raise and love our children apart from the Holy Spirit. What children need most is a relationship with God. They need to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Only that relationship in their lives will sustain them through adulthood. Have you ever stopped to consider that? When we neglect to disciple our children, we deny them the kingdom of God. When the disciples were ready to push the children aside as Jesus was preaching, he clearly drew them to himself and said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven". A man and a woman were created to parent the first child ever born, not two men or two women. The only perfect parent is God. Ask His advice. Read His rulebook. Invite Him to your family meetings. He will come alongside and fill in all the gaps.
Let us be careful to care for our children. They belong to God. He formed them, shaped them and designed them with skills, talents and abilities for His glory. It is our job and privilege to grow and nurture them into a relationship with the One who gives them purpose.