Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: Kids are People Too

on March 26, 2014

ImageMy husband and I were recently talking about the fact that we want to be careful to treat our kids as people, fellow humans who deserve respect. For example, we are teaching our son Calvin not to interrupt. Yet sometimes, we interrupt him without thinking, because “he’s just a kid” (or rambling or whatever). We are trying to remember that if he is talking, we need to give him the attention that we would want if we were talking.

Another example is the giving of treats. We could eat all of the ice cream or the special dessert that the kids picked out after they’ve had their first share. They would never know. Yet, we try to remember that they are (little) people who also enjoy these special treats just as much as–if not more than–we do.

With all these thoughts in my head, I was happy to read the blog post, “our children, our neighbors” by Jen Wilkin at the beginning of wisdom. I’ve enjoyed reading her posts. She posts only occasionally, but when she does, it’s really good!

She mentions that there seem to be few verses in Scripture that directly talk about parenting. But then she reminds us of a powerful truth: “children are people.” She goes on to say:

Because if children are people, then they are also our neighbors. This means that every scriptural imperative that speaks to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves suddenly comes to bear on how we parent. Every command to love preferentially at great cost, with great effort, and with godly wisdom becomes not just a command to love the people in my workplace or the people in my church or the people at my hair salon or the people on my street or the people in the homeless shelter. It becomes a command to love the people under my own roof, no matter how small. If children are people, then our own children are our very closest neighbors. No other neighbor lives closer or needs our self-sacrificing love more.

She goes on to give a (non-exhaustive) list of verses to help us in our parenting when we forget to love our children as our neighbors. I especially loved the last one; pretty sure I need to put in on my fridge too:

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

Here’s one of her closing paragraphs:

It is true that our children are God-given responsibilities we are to steward. But we will only steward them as we should by remembering that, first and foremost, our children are people we are to treasure. When we treasure our children as our neighbors, we remove from our discipline any hint of condemnation, shame or contempt. We alter our language to communicate love and value, even when we must speak words of correction. And we replace our prayers of “please fix my frustrating child” with prayers of “please help me to love the little neighbor You have placed in my home, even as You have loved me.”

I think I’m going to print out this whole article, actually, and put it on my fridge. I think I might also do a Bible study for myself in the future on loving my neighbor, so I can apply it better to my closest neighbors–my husband and the other little people in my home, my kids.

**Please, Please, PLEASE–especially if you are a parent–read the whole article. It will greatly benefit and encourage your soul!**

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}




2 responses to “Worthy Word Wednesday: Kids are People Too

  1. Linda Huffstutler says:

    Wise thoughts.Biblical child rearing at it’s best, The ideal situation is when both parents are in agreement taking accountability and responsibility.

  2. […] while ago, I posted a link to an article that reminds us that our children are people too. They deserve the same love […]

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