By Sibusisiwe Jonathan
(Photo Source: http://babaklix.com/new-born-baby-2/new-born-baby4-2/)
New International Version (NIV)
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
After reading one of my favourite bloggers, Shar Martinez’s posting entitled ‘Shar loves God’ and listening to my pastor’s sermon twice this week, it hit me afresh; the importance of children in our lives and bringing them up in a godly way. At times as parents we take giving birth and/or having children for granted, forgetting they are a special gift from God. Some couples have been trying for a child, praying and going from one doctor to another but they are still childless. For those, my prayers are with them all today that one day a baby will cry in their homes. With our Lord Jesus there are no impossibilities.
Child bearing is the way which God uses us to have influence now even to the next generation. However, unlike trees that grow tall and strong from rain and sunshine, children need guidance, both physically and spiritually. Raising them is a challenge needing wisdom, love and patience.
From the powerful sermon I now know that we need to celebrate the challenge of raising up children, like Manoah, from the clan of the Danites and his wife (see Judges 13:1-8). After the announcement of the birth of Samson they looked forward to celebrating his up-bringing although they knew that the angel’s instructions were not easy. So it is good to be intentional about celebrating the challenges we face daily. It is also good to spend time in prayer regarding His direction for our lives and to sacrifice and/or surrender to His will as we bring our children up. It is interesting to note that if we do all these diligently, the reward will be great even in the next generation.
Giving birth is another challenge. My children, a son and a daughter are now teenagers but I will tell you that child-birth for both of them was just as God promised – painful. I am always grateful that for both of them there was no Caesarian section. Shar my heart goes out o you. However, there is a purpose for everything that happens to those who love God. Surely, I like this young lady’s passion.
Complaining is the worst thing we can do as parents. But doing everything we should joyfully will not convey a negative impact in our children. By the way, children are good parrots. They learn more from what we do than what we tell them to do. Let’s not convey a message that says, “There’s no joy in serving God.” What is it in our lives that we have or do that will make our children love God? My pastor, Larry Henderson, quoted, I forget where from: “…if you want more for your life, pour your life into something that will last longer than you.” I like this and I will sure start living accordingly.
At times we thing we have to be perfect. No, even in our imperfection we can still desire more for our children and the next generation. Now is the time to starting doing something about these truths, be it you have babies, toddlers or teenagers.
Before I bide you farewell, two things I would say are:
On the earthly realm, let’s teach our children hygiene, manners, respect for others and themselves. (Although all these are found in the Bible).
On the spiritual realm: Let’s stay on our knees waging a spiritual warfare, interceding and giving sacrifices of praise.
This week’s lessons and reading reminded me of one of my poems I penned some months ago when we were going to welcome a new baby in our Life group. It is entitled ‘Welcoming Children’:
Life is full of lots of things
That make it all worthwhile.
But none is better than the love found
In your baby’s smile
A new baby is God’s way
Of saying the world must go on.
It is one of the greatest
Ever perceived miracles,
That life grows inside another and
They are finally separated at birth.
Children are God’s love made visible.
Today I went to Schöbrunn palace, with some of my German classmates. It is one of the most important cultural monuments in Austria with 1,441 rooms. We did not go inside the Tiergarten, we only strolled around its magnificent gardens. We were all excited to see the statues and pictures of Sisi. By the way, the ladies call me Sisi as they cannot say my full name. I make sure they don’t use the other shorter version, when they do, in Austria it sounds like ‘kiss’.
We got to the Schonbrunn museum gate soon after eleven o’clock and had no chance of entering.The line to buy tickets was too long, may be next time. It seems everyone is out as it is Friday and the weather is at its best. As my photographer hubby, Ezekiel, was at work, it is understandable why the photos below are not up to scratch. They were taken by yours truly.
I am posting this in the evening and the brilliant sky in the pictures and all that one usually expects in spring is nowhere to be seen. There is thunder and lightning; a huge storm is threatening. I guess it’s typical of Vienna weather.
One most disappointed person is my fourteen year old daughter who had pleaded with me until I’d agreed to take her to G3 shopping complex. At the moment she has to understand that we can’t go if the weather does not clear. Oh! that will save my some euros.
Note: The complete sermon online is at http://www.cross.tv/112773 or just go to the site and look for the sermon entitled ‘More’.
For Martinez’s article: sharmartinez.wordpress.com