The world can be a cruel place for children. From their earliest years, children pick up messages about their value from their environment. The younger they are the more they rely upon their parents for those clues as to their worth. Charles Cooley gave us the concept of the ‘looking glass self.’ He said that children come to resemble the image that the most important people in their lives have of them. They trust the perceptions of their parents and care-givers. So their behaviour and attitudes will often reflect those perceptions.
If you are a parent, your words to your children and about your children carry great power. Of course, we send out powerful non-verbal signals, too. Through our words and actions, we consciously or unconsciously impress a picture into our children’s minds, an image of who they are and what they have to offer that the big, wide world. When you consider the incredible influence we have in the development of our kids, it should make us rely on God even more.
Matthew 19:14 ‘Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”‘ (NIV)
In His strength, with His wisdom, we can avoid the poison of negative, short-sighted or self-serving words and actions. He can help us to control our actions, especially when we’re under pressure. Above all, when we commit our children to God in daily prayer, we receive his special covering for their minds and hearts. The world can be a cruel place for children, but our God is bigger than this world. He loves children and will protect the little ones entrusted to his care.
Prayer: (for parents) ‘Father in heaven, help me to say positive things to my children today. And to act in the way that shows them how valuable they are to you.’