Monday, February 25, 2013

Speaking Life Into Our Children

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!" (Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT)

A person doesn't have to watch the evening news for even a full week to realize that this is a perverse and upside down generation.  Right is wrong, and wrong is right.  These are wicked days that can weigh us down heavily if we focus only on the bad.

Part of the twisted nature of our culture is that we publicly speak of the value of the disabled, yet we mock them at every turn.  We talk of the social rights of those with special needs, yet we advocate for their termination prior to birth.  Our acceptance is oh-so-thinly veiled.  Mixed signals abound.  And while we would like to believe that we are an evolved and sophisticated culture, we are as unwelcoming as the generations before us when it comes to those with physical, cognitive or emotional challenges.  Children still mock in the school yards.  Off color jokes still occur at cocktail parties.  Discrimination still occurs in the work place.

With so much stacked against our children, our calling as parents is clear.  In order to succeed, our precious kids need us to speak life into them.  This world speaks the lies of death into them.  In all its subtleties, their life in this human body points out their differences, tells them they are not as valuable or lovable as others, wears them down with suffering, and prohibits them from doing too many things.  Anxiety, depression, and financial woes nip at their heals in disproportionate measure as compared to their typical peers.

Yet, God's word exposes the falsehoods of this world:
  • When the world calls our children unwanted or unlovable, God says, "I love you with an everlasting love.  So I will continue to show you my kindness." (Jeremiah 31:3, GW)
  • When the world tells our kids that they have much to fear, and that God is distant or detached, He proclaims, "I tell you, my friends, don’t be afraid of people who can kill the body but after that can do nothing more to hurt you...  Five sparrows are sold for only two pennies, and God does not forget any of them.  But God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows."  (Luke 12:4,6-7, NCV)
  • When the world says that there is no value in suffering and that all pain must be avoided, God reveals His truth, “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NLT)
  • When the world says the only hope for our children lays in exterior forces like a cure or government intervention, God assures us, “Through our faith, Christ has brought us into that blessing of God’s grace that we now enjoy. And we are very happy because of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory. And we are also happy with the troubles we have. Why are we happy with troubles? Because we know that these troubles make us more patient.  And this patience is proof that we are strong. And this proof gives us hope.  And this hope will never disappoint us. We know this because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts through the Holy Spirit he gave us.” (Romans 5:2-5, ERV)
These passages are only the tip of the iceberg.  God's word, the Bible, is filled with countless examples of how He loves and values our children.  (For more life-filled inspiration, watch Krista Horning's powerful testimony given at the Works of God Conference in November of 2012!)

Speaking life into our children means sharing these promises and the joy that lays beyond this flawed world and all it's swirling circumstances.  In Christ, we have a hope that far exceeds anything that can happen to us, in us or around us.  Clothing ourselves and our children in these life-giving words strengthens us, and helps us repel the dark lies that would do us harm.

Be intentional.  Begin the daily habit of building your child up by speaking God's words of life into him or her.  If you don't do it, who will?

PRAY:  Father God, I have so much on my mind every day.  It's easy to forget how much my child needs me to speak words of life into him.  By Your wisdom, Holy Spirit, bring to mind each day how I might be intentional about building my child up in this world that tears down.  Thank You that Your love doesn't operate by this world's hurtful standards.

Don’t forget to vote for SNAPPIN' MINISTRIES in the Readers Choice Awards. You can vote every day until the contest ends March 19th. 

1 comment:

  1. Amen! and may I shout it again? AMEN! We've dealt with so much negativity this year that we finally pulled Bethany out of part/time public school to full time home school- not to "protect" her but to give some "intensive care" and build her back up- rooting and grounding her in her identity and worth in Christ. We're intentionally building the Word and its truth into her life- so that whatever comes- and it will come- that she can have the Hope within rise up and make her strong. Blessings