Hello ladies! Here is my column from yesterdays edition of Take Root and Write Digital Magazine:
I have heard it said that Hitler commented that if he could get the children to follow him before they were five, he would have them for the rest of their lives. Even though I believe he said it, I have not been able to find that but I did find this quote from him in an undated letter encouraging children to join the Hitler Youth; "I begin with the young. We older ones are used up but my magnificent youngsters! Are there finer ones anywhere in the world? Look at these men and boys! What material! You and I can make a new world." God knew he would say that. That is why He left us with a specific command. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:16 NKJV).
He called them material. They are like clay you can easily sculpt and mold. If you have ever been around little children you know how true that is! Kids are human sponges! They are born so innocent and trusting and trainable! So why are so many lost? Why are the kids today not being trained in what is right then allowed to make up their own minds when they are older? Where did the mentality get flipped? I hear it all too often that parents don't want to push their religion on their kids so they let them just drift until they are old enough to choose for themselves. WHAT?! Where did that come from?
Small children like to follow. For example they love to play Simon Says. Now how many adults do you know that like to do that? They get great joy in mimicking your every movement and sometimes words. So why as parents are we not asking them to follow us into church? Why don't we have them follow us to worship? Why are we not leading them in praise? Parents are given great responsibility and I believe we will be held accountable for those trusted to us. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up" (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 NKJV).
We are told to teach them diligently. We are told to talk about the commands all day no matter what we are doing. So again I ask where did the idea to back off and let them find their own way come from? Why would anyone who has even an ounce of common sense, want their children to learn from the world? Sadly I think it is because so many parents today are lost themselves and think the world can do a better job than they can. As Christian parents I think we are called to step in whenever and wherever we can. I think we need to start leading kids to Christ even if they are not our own.
I think Hitler was on to something. He knew if he could gain a child's trust early on, it would be harder for anyone else to sway that child another way. It may be hard to help a child so young unless they are related to you. My son's friends that have it bad at home are already in their teens and think I am a crazy Jesus freak and don't really care what I have to say but they like coming to church for the games before and after service. I tell them as long as they behave during service I will bring them any time they want to come. Yes even if they are going for the wrong reasons, Jesus can touch them while they are there. Plus for some of them it is often a great escape from what is going on at home even if they won't admit it. I am horrified at some of the things my son has told me.
My daughter has a friend who I feel so sorry for. Her mother has more than two children all from different dads and moves them every time she gets a new boyfriend. They move around a lot. Every time I see this mother, she tells me how much God has done for her and how much He looks out for them. I don't think she knows her daughter shares their home life with mine and my daughter in turn shares with me. This little girl loves to go to church with us but her mother won't always let her. She uses the excuse she has no gas to bring her to our house and won't give her daughter directions for me to go pick her up. Since they move so much the little girl has no idea where she lives! In recent months this ten year old has started using inappropriate words and wearing inappropriate clothes as well. Sometimes I too am at a loss for what more I can do. All I know is we can't let the wolves have our lambs without a fight!