<<offspring, kids>>

From the beginning God planned the family as the basic social unit for humans and children as the means of perpetuating that (Gen 2:24). Children, therefore, are a blessing from God (Gen 4:1, 33:5; Ps 127:3-5).  In the OT barrenness (inability to have children) was considered a curse and keenly felt (Gen 30:23; Prov 30:16; Lk 1:25). It is a normal expectation a couple will have children although infertility is increasing today and not always remedied with medical assistance. Adoption and having input into other children are other viable solutions if this is a major issue.

Children should be welcomed members of our families, yet not the center of attention. Sound routines and consistent guidelines or boundaries need establishing so they grow up to be mature and contributing members of society.

Children are to be helpful, obedient and respectful to their parents, yet if their values and orders violate God’s clear teaching they must obey God, while being prepared to accept any consequences of that decision (Act 5:29; Eph 6:1-3; Col 3:20). There are many blessings resulting from obeying parents as outlined in the opening chapters of Proverbs and elsewhere (Ex 20:12; Eph 6:2). Even as adults the children should continue to respect and honour their parents, while being free to make their own choices. Children can also be effective in serving God even at a young age (1 Sam 2:18).

It is the parent’s responsibility to train up their children (Prov 22:6; Eph 6:4). If a proper foundation has been laid and good role models provided it is likely that the children will continue on that path. Role models are better teachers than just words to lay good groundwork in the young impressionable lives. It is the duty of parents to live upright

Do you want your children to be clones of you?

lives, being the example to follow rather than just telling their children to ‘do as I say, not as I do’ (Prov 1:8). Values transmitted subconsciously into the minds of babies continue to shape the growing child’s perspective of life with them often taking on the same ideals, standards and characteristics as their parents.

The Bible teaches not to withhold discipline from children as it, along with your example are the means of establishing values of right and wrong as well as instilling obedience and authority structures into their lives (Prov 13:24, 23:13,14).  Discipline must always be administered in love not anger. Children need lots of instruction, encouragement, consistent love and patience to develop into responsible citizens.  Their tender and impressionable spirits are easily damaged by harsh and critical comments, requiring inner healing to be set free from the emotional scars of childhood. Even godly leaders can’t take for granted their children will follow God. Don’t let your efforts for the Kingdom of God blind you of the mission field in your home. Eli had spent his entire life in the service of God yet had neglected his own family (1 Sam 3:13).

Jesus said, children were important to Him and stated that anyone wanting to enter His kingdom must respond as a child would – in simplicity, innocence and with no self-effort – with sincerity of heart (Mk 10:14,15).  This response is termed childlike as opposed to childish which is the response of someone who can’t get their way and is playing up. 

Parents must eventually let their children go – to live their own independent lives making their own choices so they can become well-adjusted mature adults. Don’t meddle in their affairs, giving advice only when asked for.  Be sensitive to the developing interdependent offspring so a good and healthy relationship can be maintained. If the emerging life is ‘stifled’ there will be resistance and rebellion, with major repercussions.

Children are loaned from God to their parents and He holds them accountable for shaping the young lives entrusted to them. One of the greatest things a husband can do for his children is to love their mother! This security and tenderness will positively affect the children. Conversely, the consequences of a parent’s sins can be passed on from generation to generation (Ex 34:7).

The Bible also refers to all true Christians as God’s adopted children and specifically calls peacemakers ‘children of God’ (Mt 5:9; Eph 1:5; 1 Jn 3:1), while in the OT the Children of Israel  is frequently used as a collective term

Do people recognise me as a child of God?

for the Jews (Israelites).

See also: abortion, adoption, barren, childish or childlike, conception, contraception, correction, discipline, grandchildren/grandparents, obedience, parents/parenting, teenage, training.