"Let Us Make Man..."
Parents who bring a totally dependent, innocent baby into the world have the responsibility of making that child into a worthy man or woman. How can a couple meet such a powerful responsibility?
Realizing the inherent value of the child. No child born into the world has inherited sin, but each is born in the image and likeness of God. Regarding children it is said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19.14). If parents understand the value of what God has given them in their child, they will work diligently to see that the image of God in them is not marred.
Awareness of the great potential of the child. A child by the name of Joseph helped save a nation from starving during a famine. A child by the name of Moses led God’s people from bondage to a land of milk and honey. A child by the name of Paul became a teacher, influence, and motivator for righteousness among many New Testament Christians. Every baby born in this world has the potential to be a vessel of honor for God.
Receive your child with gratitude. Does it matter whether your child is a boy or girl? Some parents would rather have one over the other, but in view of the child abuse and neglect of our day, too many children are not wanted. What a sad commentary on childhood! Your child may be an elder or wife of an elder. Be grateful God has given them to you to train and be in the position some day to lead other Christians to heaven.
Remembering this is your child. Your children are not only given your name, they are your responsibility. No set of parents can pass off this obligation to a school, set of grandparents, church, or sitter. Irresponsibility in parents is a leading cause for the next generation’s irresponsibility. If you give others more of the responsibility of raising your child, you are the one the principal of the school calls. You are the one everyone refers to as “his parents” or “her parents.” You are the one people congratulate when they get married. You are the one who will give account to God for how you molded and trained the attitudes and actions of your child.
Love the child dearly. Be devoted to the comfort, protection, and security of your child. Turn them to God’s love by your love for Him. Give them an understanding ear and heart. Bless them with your attention. Soothe their worries with your peace and confidence in God. Bestow upon them the joy you have in Christ.
Be your child’s guide. Your children want to be around you - their parent. There is never enough time to give all you want for your child. What time you give, spend it in the way Moses told Israel in Deuteronomy 6.4-9. Let the morning, afternoon, evening, car ride, bedtime, dinnertime, or any time be an opportunity for you to support them and teach them about God’s way for them.
Profit from the successes and failures of others. Good children are no accident. There is no guarantee they will have the values and understanding you have about life. Nothing is automatic or to be taken for granted with children. What you have observed from parents whose children are honorable, grateful, and Christian, practice yourself. These behaviors, words, and actions you have witnessed which have led to a rebellious, indifferent, and obnoxious child, avoid. Learn from the mistakes of others. Cling to the little things which have made for good children. Have in your heart the same feeling as Hannah: “Lord, give us a child and we will give him to the Lord all the days of his life” (1 Samuel 1.11).