Tuesday, January 15, 2008
caring for children
I know people whose love and fear for their child’s safety is so intense they smother their children. The children have the best car seats on the market, aren’t allowed to explore outside of very tight bounds of safety, and everything thing that may bump, bruise, or cut the child is covered, removed, or softened. They obsess about every little thing edible and otherwise that goes into their child’s mouth.
Often these same parents are the ones who buy all educational toys and use flash cars on their infants. Or they take the flip route and give their child every toy imaginable in a bid to make sure they miss nothing during their childhood.
Don’t get me wrong. Many improvements in child safety are good. For instance, car seats are a lifesaver even though they cramp many a baby’s style. Feeding your child healthy food is admirable. The hands on approach to educating your children is absolutely essential. Toys are nice. But...
My observation is that often these people are so obsessed with the physical well-being of their child that they do not give much thought to the spiritual well-being of their child. Yes, they go to church. Yes, the child has a mealtime prayer. Yes, the child gets a bible-story read to them at bedtime. Yet, there is little attention paid to the child’s true needs.
Children are every bit as spiritual as their parents. Often they are more attune to the emotional/spiritual needs of those around them than adults. In fact, Jesus reminds us that “"I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
To neglect the spirit is a very bad thing to do.
My humble observation is that often those who worry most about the physical are so unsure about the spiritual/emotional needs of children that they over-compensate in the areas in which they feel confident.