God's Plan For Children
Have you ever been in a big city and asked someone who looked and acted like a native for directions? I have done this many times with mixed results. It is only logical to seek help from someone who has lived there for a long time. Most of the time their directions were wrong or I had to ask others along the way to redirect me. Unfortunately you don’t find this out until after walking quite a ways -- sometimes in inclement weather.
Why does this happen? Does the one giving directions have faulty memory? Didn’t he understand the question? Or maybe she didn't really didn’t know the way, but because she has lived there a long time, it would have seemed foolish to not offer some directions. Most of the time, I think it is the latter. The person mistakenly relies on his memory or own experiences.
Sometimes I fear this is how the young have been led to look for directions in this life. If the source looks like she should have the answer, it is appealing to take her word for it. It is a hard lesson for us all to learn, and it often needs reinforcement. Caution when seeking directions for this life is not always practiced.
Unfortunately there are numerous sources offered to the young who fall into the category of misdirection. The world puts certain individuals on pedestals, holding them to be above reproach. They are authorities; their words are truth and must be followed. Professors, teachers, coaches, caregivers, peers and others often are looked to for direction.
But guidance in living our lives must come from a source that offers truth without fail. Who knows us better than our Creator? Who can offer us unerring leadership other than Him? There are those who would like to displace this guidance with their own ideas, and we don’t always realize when this is happening.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Prov. 3:5-7)
These verses suggest that when we seek direction, we are extending our trust to the other parties. We expect them to have our best interests at heart. But when their guidance conflicts with God’s, we have to stop following their lead. We must allow the Lord to direct our paths.
Matthew records a discussion between Jesus and the Pharisees. The Pharisees saw themselves as great spiritual leaders, but Jesus taught His disciples that they represented plants the Father had not planted and were blind leaders.
He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." (Matt. 15:13-14)
We do not want to be become one of the blind following the blind.
Relationship With Parents
God is our spiritual Father. He uses the familial term to refer to Himself and calls those who believe in Him and follow His will "children." In this way He is the spiritual Father of believers.
The relationship between God and His children is analogous to the relationship between parents and their children, to the extent that it complies with God’s laws. But we are physical beings and as we grow we require sustenance and care and so occupy this physical realm.
Parents provide this physical care, but they also have been directed to provide spiritual care and feeding. This includes instruction and the shaping of wills to conform to God’s will. This involves a parent instructing (telling) a child how to comply with their wishes. It also may involve some type of punishment when the child does not do this acceptably.
It is a training ground for us to learn at a young age that we cannot do whatever we want. Instead, we must restrain our wills and submit to another. This conditions us to obey our parents and to obey God.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. (Eph. 6:1-3)
This verse teaches children that obeying parents is the right thing to do in God’s eyes. Paul says that children will be held accountable for obeying their parents.
Obviously, how this accountability is applied may look different as one matures, but it should never look like disrespect. As one ages it may become harder to share feelings with parents because of the independence that we all have inside. But we also must be able to channel this independence into profitable relationships with our parents and God.
If we allow this lack of communication to become a part of us, it will make it harder to communicate with God and to submit our wills to Him.
To be independent in developing our lives and livelihood is a part of growing up, but being able to control our emotions and our tongues is equally part of maturing. Building a faith of your own starts with building a proper relationship with your parents.
As you mature, your relationship with God also must mature. Taking your thoughts to Him and looking into His word to get your direction is a sign of proper growth as you transition to having your own faith in God.
God has given us the family. We are in His hands and following His lead when children properly embrace the parental relationship.