By Betty Jass, chaplain for the American Legion Department of Minnesota
Last month, The American Legion celebrated children and families. Most of us know that our American Legion family has a great deal of influence in our communities toward our children.
God created a special place for children in his creation plans after Adam and Eve including families with children. Everything about creation was pronounced good, including his design for children.
Following are some things God thought were important concerning children.
1. Children are gifts from God to families. “Children are a heritage from God, offspring a reward from him.” — Psalm 127:3. It is an honor and responsibility to be entrusted with a little one from God. We stand beside him to shepherd their growth and development, to advocate for them, and provide for their needs while they’re in our care.
2. Children need nurture and guidance. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” — Proverbs 22:6. Similar to planting vines and some bushes, gardeners will attach them to a framework, like a pole or trellis, to keep them from spreading out of control. Kids need solid structure to keep their physical, emotional, social and spiritual growth on track, too. This means we are present in their lives and leading by godly example.
3. Children need discipline. “Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” — Proverbs 29:17. There’s no question, disciplining kids is hard work. Parents who really love their kids will discipline them, as God does with us (Hebrews 12:7). Not harshly, but gently with the goal of leading them in the ways of the Lord. Done this way, they’ll become adults that fulfill all the Creator intends for them to become.
4. Children need protection. We live in a world corrupted by evil. Child labor, physical abuse and child marriage are only some of the challenges kids today may encounter. We also see drug and alcohol addiction, bullying or gang involvement. God is our deliverer from trouble and enemies, and we should protect kids from people who seek their harm. Whether a professional or not, we can all be aware and help protect the kids in our lives.
5. Children are blessed by God. “And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” — Mark 10:16. In blessing the children while here on earth as God incarnate, he sent his son to show his heart toward little ones. His kindness knew no bounds toward children.
Our American Legion Family has the great responsibility to enjoy, give guidance, discipline and protect our children for God blessed the children.