Allow Children to Be Children
Children

It seems children’s entertainment is becoming darker. Movies and video games seem to be pushing children to embrace adult situations. And it’s all in the name of being resourceful—of not needing adults (especially parents) to help them solve their problems.

On the other hand, maybe kids today don’t really have a choice. After all, we’ve done a poor job of protecting them. Molestation and child trafficking abound. Laws supposedly meant to protect children have the opposite effect. For example, in the name of progress, California revised its sex education guidance for public school teachers, giving kindergarten children the burden of determining if they’re identifying as the correct gender. Yes, in kindergarten!

The news this week makes the California policy look tame by comparison. A Dallas jury ruled a mother is free to transition her seven-year-old son into a girl via hormone treatments. The mother confirmed she is acting on her son’s desires and choice.*

Yet, at the same time, even though the boy’s first choice for his new name was Starfire (a cartoon character), his mother encouraged him to choose a different name. Did you catch that? He’s supposedly capable of choosing his gender, but not capable of choosing his name.

Is it any wonder childhood depression and suicide rates are increasing at an alarming rate?

Or that children are being told they shouldn’t be required to have parental involvement in their abortion decisions?

Children and teenagers are dressing like adults, behaving like adults, and sinning at adult levels. Alcohol and substance abuse, as well as promiscuity, are as much in the domain of children as their parents.

Culture’s ruling philosophy is to cast off all restraint. The Bible is no longer our plumb line. Standards of right and wrong spring from preferences rather than biblical convictions. Everything else flows from this corrupt foundation.

And so our culture is hastening children out of childhood in the name of freedom from biblical morality. The result is that we are rushing children into a distorted adulthood.

Oh, that we would return to the Father who created us. To His Son, Jesus, who died for us. And to the Holy Spirit who brings conviction and comfort.

Could it be the enemy of our souls is determined to damage our children so we lose the example of faith Jesus told us to follow? “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 NIV).

If this breaks our hearts, how it must grieve the heart of the One who longs for us to choose the redemption and reconciliation He offers. The One who longs for us to come…as little children.

What are your thoughts?

*Addendum: The judge in the gender transition case ruled the parents will have joint conservatorship over their seven-year-old son, giving the father a say in joint medical decisions.


Not My Father

Few things are as heartrending as a father who betrays the trust of his children. Stories about children who have been physically and sexually abused are tragic. When the abuser is the child’s own father or a father figure, the reports are even more appalling. Yet these crimes are becoming horribly commonplace.

Even more heartbreaking is the knowledge that those who have been betrayed by their earthly fathers often go on to reject their heavenly Father. They find it painful to relate to any father figure, including God.

But God isn’t just another imperfect father figure. He’s not a deadbeat dad, a philandering papa, or an absentee parent. He is the perfect, holy creator of the universe. He is faithful, righteous, and just. He is always present, loving, and merciful.

The failure of earthly fathers has led to a dismaying movement in our society: the denial of the fatherhood of God. This growing movement to deny God as Father permeates our society with dangerous results. If He is not our Father, then we are not accountable to Him. If we are not accountable to Him, then sin is not a problem. And if sin is not a problem, then we do not need a Savior. The consequences of this rationale are more than terrible – they’re eternal.

God is not restricted by human sexuality, but He has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word through male images. He described Himself as both the Father of the nation of Israel (Hosea 11:1) and our Father (Matthew 6:9). He sent His Son, the second person of the Trinity to show us the Father (John 14:9).

For some, earthly fathers have been a blessing – a living picture of the relationship our heavenly Father wants to have with us. For others, earthly fathers have been a source of harm. No matter what our family circumstances, good or bad, we must be careful not to allow imperfect, earthly fathers to overshadow our view of our perfect heavenly Father.

The parent-child relationship we have with God begins with our relationship with Jesus Christ. John 1:12 tells us, “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” We cannot become a child of God, with the privilege of calling Him Father, without believing in His Son, Jesus.

Once we can call God Father, the more intimate our relationship with the Lord, the easier it is for us to trust His character and His ways. Our heavenly Father may allow circumstances that will be painful in the short term, but although they may hurt, they will never harm us. The God of creation is also our Savior and Redeemer. He is always working for our ultimate good and for His glory.

Whether we are teaching our own children or others, writing fiction or non-fiction, or influencing those around us in a variety of other ways, let’s be sure to affirm God as our perfect Father. Regardless of positive or negative experiences with earthly fathers, begin by celebrating the greatness of our heavenly Father this Father’s Day.