Sponges Are A Gift From the Lord
Having three boys myself, I learned quickly that kids are sponges. They soak up everything that is around them both consciously and subconsciously. What we say. What we do. How we (parents) treat each other. How we treat others. What we say in the car to other drivers or in the store about other shoppers. Do we keep our homes clean or are they in a state of constant clutter? Do we cook meals or eat takeout repeatedly? What music do we listen to? How about the movies or tv shows that we watch? It may not seem like children are paying attention to all of these things, but they really are. It all has an influence on who they become as adults. If your child grows up into someone with a potty mouth. Guess where they learned that? If your child becomes a selfish, self-centered teen. These are learned traits. There is no “selfish” gene.
Similarly, if a child grows up seeing his or her parents praying, reading Scripture, attending church and Bible study, serving in the community, helping friends out, that sinks in too.
We are so blessed to have children in Sunday school, but there is so much to teach them beside stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, and Jesus. We also need to show them what following Jesus looks like. You see, as children grow, they become quite adept at noticing hypocrisy. This is a reason churches tend to lose so many children when they become teens. Christian faith begins to seem artificial to them because they witness church members saying one thing and doing another. How do we treat each other? How do we treat visitors? Are we worshiping the Lord or playing on our phones? Are we praying or whispering to our neighbor? What do they see us put – if anything – in the offering plate? They are paying attention, even when we think they are not.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). When God blesses us with children, they are blank slates. Sponges, ready to soak up everything that surrounds them. So, lets surround them with love, forgiveness, and show them Jesus in all that we say and do. May church always be a place where they will feel welcome, valued, and accepted.
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