The gift every child wants
KANSAS CITY, MO. — I was killing time in a department store, waiting for my wife, when I overheard a mother verbally abusing her two young boys. Her tirade went far beyond typical parental discipline or correction. She cursed at her kids as if despising the day they were born.
I sensed the boys had grown accustomed to her harsh words, because they simply ignored her demands and continued playing between the racks of clothing.
The mother shouted another obscenity, startling every customer in the store. Finally the boys obeyed and returned to her side.
“You’re worthless,” she said, her teeth clenched.
I had to fight the urge to march up to her, wave my finger in her face and tell her she was out of line. My heart ached for those kids. I resented the emotional scars being inflicted on them by an embittered parent. I wondered how long it had been since they had basked in their mother’s arms and heard the words “I love you.”
I wish I had confronted that mother in love that day. She needed more than a lecture in parenting skills; she needed Jesus to transform her heart. Unfortunately, it was too easy for me to tell myself it was none of my business.
The episode reminded me of the importance of inviting children in our neighborhoods to Sunday School — because it may be the only place where they find love, acceptance and security.
Besides introducing children to Christ and nurturing them in the ways of the Lord, the greatest gift we can pass along to them is love, affection, security and a feeling of self-worth. Children who learn about a loving Savior in Sunday School and observe the loving ways of a parent at home are more likely to become loving adults.
The best way to protect the future of our children is to show them 24/7 what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
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