Kid’s Korner: Focus on the child

This Kids Korner is from GCI Pastor Lance McKinnon.

Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their lives. (Proverbs 22:6)

December and the Christmas season it entails has a way of focusing our attention on our kids in ways other months do not. Parents are searching for gifts that are fitting for their little ones. Pastors and children’s ministry leaders are searching for appropriate ways to include their youth in the Christmas celebrations. This added focus may also bring into sharp view the fact that we have one less year with the kids in our care. Add to that the approaching New Year and we are challenged with how we will parent and disciple our kids going forward.

It is here that guilt and fear can find an easy path into our souls. Did we do enough with our kids this year? Were our choices and activities with them fitting for their development? What about that nagging problem little Johnny is still struggling with? What about that kid at church who just can’t seem to connect? Are we making any progress or are we making things worse? Do we have enough time to prepare them to face the world on their own? What about their faith? Did we disciple them adequately? What if we haven’t? Can we make up time this coming year? Do we have them in the right schools? Are we using the right curriculums? Do we have the right youth program? Maybe we are in the wrong church—maybe we are the wrong parents/pastors/youth leaders? And on and on it goes.

Maybe you’ve set out on this introspective journey, fearful that it ultimately ends at a big green sign that says, “Welcome To Complete And Utter Failure With The Children Entrusted To Your Care.” Yeah, that can be a real bah humbug for your Christmas celebration. Not to mention a roadblock to enjoying your kids or your kids enjoying you.

“The Adoration of the Shepherds” by La Tour
(public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Let’s consider another road we may travel down together this Christmas—the road to Bethlehem. Those who took this road did not find at its end the sum of all their fears realized and confirmed. Rather, they found hope for their souls lying in a manger repurposed for a cradle. They found a child—not just any child, but the Christ child named Jesus, the redeemer of all creation.

As we heighten our focus on our children in December, why not also heighten our focus on the one child the Christmas season celebrates? It is here that we find the ultimate right and fitting provision for all the children entrusted to our care, whether as parents, pastors or youth leaders.

Jesus came as a child. Have you ever thought through the implications of that fact as it relates to our kids? The Father didn’t send his Son as a fully—grown adult, keeping at arm’s length the Father’s redeeming touch from our babies, kids and youth. When Jesus was conceived as a baby, grew as a kid, then matured into an adult, he took every baby resting in its mother’s womb, every kid scurrying around daddy’s feet and every youth facing adulthood and lifted them up into his redeeming work.

Our kids are not at the mercy of our parenting skills or church programs. They, like the rest of us, find themselves resting on the abundant mercies of a loving Father. God has our kids. And he loves them far more than we do.

May this truth free us from those nagging fears that rob us not only of enjoying Jesus during Christmas, but from enjoying the kids God has blessed us with. In this freedom, we can participate with what Jesus is doing with our kids. Merry Christmas.

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