God loves children and has provided comfort for them. God, in His kindness and goodness, provided parents to be a comfort for their children. Children are so vulnerable and helpless that the Lord provided a double layer of comfort for children. If one parent fails then there is another to give the child what he or she needs. The greatest reproach that the Lord could give a Christian is given to a parent who does not provide for their family.
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. I Timothy 5:8
The first thing that a baby seeks for is comfort. Even before food, a newborn baby will quit crying when they are comforted. A baby has already learned the sound of their mother’s voice before they come out of the womb. When they hear that sweet voice then they are comforted. Even a baby can make the connection between a voice and comfort. How great is our longing for the comfort of feeling loved. As soon as a baby learns to nurse, a baby will associate the closeness of the mother and her warm milk with love. A baby will grow and thrive in proportion to its intake of milk and love. In a similar way, we grow as Christians in our relationship with the Lord in proportion to our intake of His Word and the knowledge of His love for us.
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, I Peter 2:2
Children need for their souls to grow in wisdom and knowledge and their bodies to grow and mature in stature. They will do so as they soul (which is their mind and heart), is nourished through love and knowledge and they will grow strong in body as they are nourished with good food. Feed a child junk food and his body will not be as strong and healthy and in the same way, feed a child’s soul the junk food of entertainment, internet, television or songs filled with the perversions of the flesh and their souls will become sick and perverted as well.
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:6-8
Do not expect for the heart and mind of a child to long for what is good when they have never known what is good. A child’s heart is like a sponge and will absorb what it is around. Only God is good and a child’s heart must be filled with the love and knowledge of God.
No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18b
Two of a child’s biggest needs of their souls are security and significance or worth. Both of these needs are met through love. Love believes the best and sees the best. A parent is given the responsibility of instilling in a child a sense of security in who they are, how special they are created, and a sense of destiny and purpose in believing that they are of great worth. This can only come from teaching them and showing them who God is and how wonderful His love is for them. The Lord formed and created each child and He makes no mistakes.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Psalm 139:13-15
A child needs to know that the Lord sees them at all times and is aware of all of their actions and words. This will put in children a healthy respect for God and will keep them from many a temptation when they would otherwise think that no one sees them.
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Psalm 139:1-6
A child needs an example to learn from and not just be told what to do. We all know instinctively what we need to do but we do not know how to do it. Words are not enough.
A slave will not be instructed by words alone; For though he understands, there will be no response. Proverbs 29:19
A child will feel loved and will feel secure when they see their parents loving each other. Love is a choice and no matter what your “feelings” may be at any given time, you can always choose to love another. The Lord would not have commanded us to do something if He did not give us the grace to do it.
This I command you, that you love one another. John 15:17
There are not many things that the Lord says that He hates, but He says that He hates divorce. Why does He hate divorce? He says He hates divorce because of what it does to the children.
This is another thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and with groaning, because He no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But not one has done so who has a remnant of the Spirit. And what did that one do while he was seeking a godly offspring? Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong,” says the Lord of hosts. “So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” Malachi 2:13-16
If you love God then you will love what He loves and you will hate what He hates. No one can say that He loves God and counsels someone to be separated or divorced.
There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the Lord. Proverbs 21:30
The Lord says that what He has joined together let no man separate.
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:6
Divorce destroys everyone it touches. A man has to harden his heart to divorce his wife and a wife also has a hardened heart if she divorces her husband. There is no innocent one in a marriage where there is divorce. That is a lie that is seeking to place the blame elsewhere. Most divorces happen because of two people who compromised before they were married and in their marriage they reaped the fruit of their own sins which they did before they were married. The children are the innocent ones and the lack of control before marriage is expressed in the divorce and it is the children who suffer. Children do not learn love and commitment when there is a divorce and their significance and security in life is shaken, sometimes never to be recovered.
Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
The greatest temptations for children come from seeking comfort when they have little or none. A child receives love and comfort through attention, praise, discipline, forgiveness and their needs of justice, provision and protection being met. If every parent understood this then there would be few runaways. There would be no gangs and very little juvenile delinquency. There would also be fewer broken hearts of parents.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, Psalm 127:3a
The Lord gives children as gifts and when they are brought up in the Lord, as God designed, then they bring great joy to the parents as they grow and mature and they bring great comfort to the parents when the parents are old.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:4,5
How blessed are the parents who followed the Lord and trusted in Him rather than in the ways of the world. Everyone wants “good” children but the only way that someone will have “good” children is if they have godly children because only God is good.
No one is good except God alone. Mark 10:18b