Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1
An impressive sight in Copenhagen, Denmark, is Anders Bundgaard’s massive fountain of the Nordic goddess Gefion, who according to a myth turned her four sons into four oxen to plow a portion of land away from Sweden and add it to Denmark. Imagine, turning sons into oxen!
Long ago, before child-labor laws went into effect, children were made to do hard work in factories and on farms, almost as though they were oxen. In our time many children are abused in other ways – by inflicting bodily injury. In other homes children are neglected, or they are brought up to be self-centered individuals who turn out to be little monsters – and not so little monsters when they become users of drugs and alcohol. Some parents want to make status symbols of their children by pushing them into all kinds of glamour roles at school and elsewhere.
It is a good question for parents to ask: What kind of children do we want? Are we turning them into oxen? Are we fashioning sparrows and sending them out to fight hawks? It is no small task to be molders of children. Parents, teachers, and youth leaders need all the help they can get.
Such help comes from the Bible – from Jesus Christ, who is the center of the Bible. He Himself, we are told, “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). This points to mental, physical, spiritual, and social growth. We bring up our children to be like Christ when we teach them to love the Lord their God and to love one another. Such love comes as the Holy Spirit-induced response to the prior love of God, who gave His Son to expiate our sins, to reconcile us to God as His forgiven sons and daughters.
We should not turn our children into human animals, and we cannot bring them up to be angels, but we can guide them to be persons in whom the love of God dwells.
PRAYER: Lord God, give me wisdom and love so that I may fulfill my role as a discerning parent. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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