My wife is a bit of an expert in raising and training children. When it comes to raising her own or with looking after other peoples’ children, she’s not ever been permissive or neglectful of the attention and directing they need. But one thing she always is and always has been to every child is nice. It’s her creed to be kind to children.
When I read the Gospel where people were trying to bring children to Jesus, it is telling of the culture that the disciples were being rude and telling the people to take the children away. Matthew writes, “13 Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and
pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Mt 19:13-14.
Jesus rebuked the disciples. They didn’t have a tender spot in their hearts for the children the way Jesus did. But it all worked out because Jesus taught disciples from then on out that children are not to be pushed away and treated unkindly. Children are precious little souls who either see meanness or kindness in the adults around them. Christians who are well-trained to have the mind of Christ are gentle and kind to children. I fear that far too many children are not seeing kindness. And like Hazel says, children remember if you were kind or not. She’s right.
“She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Pro 31:26. The worthy woman is not only kind, but she teaches kindness to others. That’s my wife.
It’s Vacation Bible School time which always makes me think about my first VBS experience when I was 4 or 5 years old, living in a foster home with an elderly woman we called Granny. She drove me, my sister, and other kids around in her old station wagon. One place she took us to was to VBS. I’m pretty sure my mom still has the crafts I made stored away in a trunk somewhere. The craft was a cat made from a green soda bottle and a hand print in plaster of paris. Kids remember these things. But mostly I remember Granny’s kindness. I still remember the VBS snack was orange drink and vanilla wafers. But I also remember that Granny, though she “switched” me when I was bad, was kind to me. It was like she loved me. She was not mean to me or to my sister. She was nice. Though it happened over fifty years ago, that she was kind still sticks with me.On the other hand, I’ve had some people in my life as a child who were not kind. I may not remember many of the circumstances, but there were enough instances of meanness and hate that it just doesn’t go away. Though I’ve moved on from the hurt and grudges, it reminds me of the importance of always being kind to children.
Jesus was kind and He had a special place in his heart for every child. So leave a good, lasting impression on the children in your life. They will remember and you can’t change it later. If you have been mean to children, you might receive forgiveness for it, but it will always be remembered.
When we do VBS, let’s be kind and nice. When we do daycare, let’s always be nice. When we talk to our children in the morning, noon, and nighttime, let’s be nice. Jesus wants it that way. And if you aren’t nice to children, repent now, because God is especially watchful in this matter.
I say this in love. Dan Mayfield