It’s a long time since Socrates said that if he could get to the highest
point in Athens he would cry, “What do you mean, fellow citizens, that
you scrape every stone to get wealth together and take so little care of your
children to whom you must one day relinquish it all.”
Yes, we all hear of disease, homelessness, war, famine, floods and other
natural disasters, yet there is one thing that is very clear about it all:
children are bearing the brunt of pain and death in this world.
We don’t need figures to prove it. Think of the way children die in
Third World countries through lack of food and water, basic medical
attention and proper care. Millions are turned out into the streets in some
Latin American countries, left to fend for themselves. In other places they
are enslaved and exploited. What a cruel world!
Millions don’t see the light of day in civilized USA for example. They
are killed before they are born. Countless others are victims of the
life-styles or death-styles of their mothers who do drugs, or
binge along with their menfolk and give their babies a horrible start in life
with deformity and disease. The greatest victims of AIDS in Africa are
It is also plain that in our educated Western societies we have many parents
who have little understanding of how to raise a family. Too many abuse their
offspring, injuring them physically and psychologically.
Sorry that this all sounds so sad and pathetic, but it is true. And yet it
seems so normal, so human for even the most hard-hearted of people to melt
with compassion when they experience the appeal of these little dependent
people. Something is wrong.
have a special place
The oldest and most common question is ‘Why does God allow
While a satisfying answer is hard to give, we must insist that God has not
failed to address the need.
Think of this. When Jesus was asked who was the greatest in God’s
kingdom, he called for a child and stood him in the middle. He said,
“Whoever welcomes a little child like this welcomes me. But if anyone
causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better
for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in
the depths of the sea .... See that you do not look down on one of these
little ones for I tell you that their angels always see the face of my
Father in heaven”
(Matthew 18, verses 5-6, 10).
From these words it is not hard to see that God has a special place in his
heart for children. The warning to anyone who causes a child to stumble is
Something for all of
We, too, should see children as precious — indeed priceless. They ought
to be defended devotedly by older people. They need a fair go at life without
massive handicaps passed to them by adults. They need to be warned about the
danger of wrong moral choices, of the power of evil in the world, and of the
perils of peer pressure.
Children who receive good care for their bodies, a good education for their
minds, are nevertheless deprived if their spirit is neglected. We have not
finished with tragedy if we send our children out into the world with
everything except a worldview and an understanding of who they are and why
they are here. They are targets for evil seduction.
A parent doing the job with children will work and pray hard, endeavouring to
pass on a reason for living, something worth living and dying for. The only
reason that stands the test is that we are God’s creations, meant to
live for His glory. The great news we have to share with our offspring is that
God is love, that He is opposed to all evil and that He has in Christ done a
mighty thing in opening up a new way for us to Life that never ends. Let them
hear about it.