About Our Children Back To Sermon Storehouse

About Our Children

Mark 10:13-16

Schools are closed for the summer.
Children have a summer vacation from school.
But for parents, school is always in session.
Here are some things that parents have learned:

You can learn a great deal from children, particularly when they start telling you their perspective on the world.
I read about a first grade teacher who collected well-known proverbs.
She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb, and asked them to come up with the rest.

Here is what they said: You've heard the equation:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn and be judgmental.
If children live with hostility, they learn to be angry and fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy and withdrawn.

If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith.

If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.
-- Dorothy Knolte

What do children live with in your home?
And just as important, what do they live with in the school.
Our high school principal said, "Your children will be safe here."
They are doing all they can to protect our children.
But the protection does not just apply to their physical safety.
Children must be protected emotionally.

Middle school children are often the most vicious creatures on earth.
They are often cruel towards each other.
Some of the worst put downs to children do not come from their peers, but from their teachers.
Sarcasm has no place in a teacher's vocabulary.
Our schools need godly teachers who will see all children as gifts from God.

Notice how Jesus responded to the children.
First, He held them close.
He reached out and touched them.
I'm not sure that we understand the value of a single touch.

There was a study conducted with librarians at Purdue University.
Half were asked to touch those who came in to check out or return books or ask for information.
The other half were to conduct business as usual, with no touching.
The study concluded that those who were touched had higher regard for the librarians
and the books in the library, and they followed the rules more willingly.
This study makes a good point: God has made each of us to need and appreciate a tender touch.

Our children need a tender touch?
Children have a desperate need to be loved.
A pat on the back; a slight touch on the arm threatens no one.
You might say, "I'm not touchy person."
Then, become one.
See your hands as the hands of Jesus.

Then, follow up the touch with spoken words.
Bless them, tell them how valuable they are, talk about what a great future they have.
How many here today were greatly blessed by a teacher who believed in you?

Jesus not only held them close -- He held them up.
He said that children are examples for adults.
If anyone wants to follow Christ, he must become as a child.
In simple trust a child will jump out of the tree into the arms of a waiting parent.
And that is how we enter the kingdom of God, trusting Jesus to carry us all the way.

Colleen Townsend Evans, in Today's Christian Woman, said, "Faith is an area where
growing up means we must become more like a child

Rather than be shunned, children should be watched.
Look at the curiosity of a five-year-old when they learn about God.
Notice the excitement of a fifteen-year-old when they begin to understand the exciting truths
of God's Word.

Teachers are also needed to teach children in our churches.
Some might say, "I'm with kids all the time, I need a break,"
but who else is better qualified or experienced?
Others might say, "I've done my time, let someone else do it,"
but no one should ever say that unless it is God's will.
Jesus did not hold children back or hold them down but He held children close and held them up.

Not everyone is gifted or able to work with children.
Yet, we all can support and minister to them.
And we must support our teachers who are teaching our children with our prayers,
and our encouragement.

When we make this commitment, we are investing in the future of the church and the nation.
We do well to hear the poem of the most important work we can do:

"I took a piece of plastic clay,
And idly fashioned it one day.
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.

I came again when the days were passed,
And the bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day;
And molded with my power and art,
A young child's soft and yielding heart.

I came again when the days were gone,
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress wore,
But I could change that form no more."

It begins today!
How will you hold a child?

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@aol.com