Almost the whole world celebrated the birth of a new baby this past week… we have been waiting on hold for news of the Royal babe… and it appears to have been born with ten fingers and toes… He has the cutest name, Prince George, and judging from the photographs he is firmly entrenched in the hearts of not only his parents, but his nation and in fact most of the world. As he and all babies should be. A new baby is indeed worthy of a celebration!!!
I pray for his parents, they are in for a rough road… not only will they love and adore him, and so will so many other folk, who might not even know him, but will worship him just because of his title. I pray that he won’t become a little idol, as so many other princes and princesses before him. Not just royal children, but all children can easily get entangled in the trap to being worshiped. from the Merriam Webster dictionary: An idol is a representation or symbol of an object of worship; broadly a false god. An idol is something that usurps God’s place in our hearts.
As a world we are so drawn to the things that we love and they can easily become our first love… We are all so aware of other folks idols, like Aaron’s golden calf in Exodus Chapter 32, and yet we are so unaware of the idols in our own lives… We are so quick to notice the friend that is excessively health conscious and spends the better part of her day at the gym… working on her form, or feel sorry for the friend whose husband is “married to his job.” Obsessive as these folk might be, we do admire their dedication… We are less likely to admire the faithful friend who prays for our children and never misses bible study and continues to be eager and excited to learn more – even though they must have heard it all before.
We live in an era where idols are rife – not just drugs and rock ‘n roll… but fame, wealth, materialism, academics, work, even apparently-good-things like fitness and our children can turn into obsessions and idols… Unfortunately, lovely as they are and glamorous as they might seem, just as the Israelites discovered, it doesn’t take us long to discover that these idols can not replace the true God in our lives and will inevitably fail us, invariably disappoint us and lead to a general feeling of dissatisfaction. Modern idols, or superstars tend to crack under the pressure to perform, they just can not cope, neither can our kids. What a horrible burden to place on the shoulders of our children – after years of dedication, months of obsessively chasing after our dreams for them and then they follow a different path… they choose a different journey… and they will feel the burden of our disappointment. Honestly, I don’t want that for my children…
Here are se7en + 1 Bible Verses to keep us mindful that our children are not ours to idolise…
- Our Children are a Gift from God: And what an incredibly special gift they are – we had better indeed look after them with all our hearts… being mindful of who they belong too.
Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
- Be Still and Know That I am God: In the craziness that abounds when raising and caring for young children, one or many they seem to pack a punch of energy into their days… we need to pause and remember just who God is… reflect on His Word and His place in our hearts.
Matthew 6:20,21 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Store up your Treasures in Heaven: We all know that our children do not need the latest gadget, the fanciest clothes or even the most toys to grow up to serve the Lord with all their hearts… We also know that they don’t need to sign up for the latest extra-mural and fill their lives with busy activities… in order to take give them a step up the co-operate ladder one day. God has a plan for their lives and wether they play tiny tot football, or not, is unlikely going to make too much difference in their lives.
Deuteronomy6:6,7 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
- Train them up in the Ways of The Lord: In a world where the rules can sometimes be just plain wrong: “To each his own” or “the winner takes it all,” teach your children the ways of the Lord, even when they are unpopular… “Love your neighbour as yourself… ” and so on.
Galations 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,through which[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
- Only Boast in Jesus Christ: We have a song about this: “I will only boast in Jesus Christ… I will only boast in Jesus Christ…” We need this song, how incredibly easy it is to fall into the trap of “my child is so wonderful” or even reverse boasting… “my child is the worst at tidying up ever.” We don’t like being boasted about ourselves – just don’t boast about your children.
- Do Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Child: How often have we thought, “My kids would never do that…” or “I wish my children would do that!!!” Never compare your kids to each other, and even worse to other folks kids. No matter how marvellous your child is there will always be another child measurably better at almost everything than your child is. Let it go, love your children for who they are, not for who you wish they were.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
- Cast All Your Worries on Him: This is one Bible verse really worth engraving on your heart… you do not need to worry about your children. We spend so many hours of our lives worrying about them: are they eating enough vegetables, will their grades be good enough, can we afford college, can we afford shoes!!! We are called to cast our worries on the Lord because He cares for us… Good advice indeed!!!
And the Se7en + 1th…
Exodus 34:17 Do not make any idols.
- Do Not Create Any Idols: The bible could not be any clearer on this… We want our children to grow up happy, to have all the things we didn’t have – we pursue stuff and experiences “on their behalf” when really we are satisfying our own hearts. You may have wanted a specific toy when you were a child, thirty years later when your child rejects the gift that you carefully saved for… it might be time to assess who you are serving.
We spend their childhood raising them in the ways of the Lord, to admire other christian hero’s who have walked before them… we can not be disappointed when they don’t choose to be surgeons, but instead follow their hero’s. When this little royal prince, Prince George, grows up… and he is called to walk in the royal footsteps of his parents and grand parents… even his mum and dad have to remember that he is only borrowed for a time. I want my children to know that they belong to the Lord, I have been lent them for a time and they will move on… Of course I love them with all my heart, but I know that they have their own journey to travel through eternity, just as I have mine…