The purpose of this study is to help parents, Christian martial arts teachers and other adults guide children through the mine fields of life and find God’s purpose and blessing for their lives.
The fourth step to Teaching Wisdom To Our Children is to lead them to make wise choices when it comes to relationships in life.
Babies are born into the world with almost no ability to care for themselves. Doctors and nurses and other types of caregivers help in the first days of a child’s life, but the primary responsibility for a baby’s health and wellbeing falls to the parents. In a child’s early years parents will look to family members, friends, neighbors, teachers and others for assistance in giving their children direction and protection. Parents soon learn about the many “mine fields” facing them as they attempt to raise healthy, well-adjusted children.
The best way to look at anything in life is through God’s eyes. What God believes is best for a child should be our main concern and He has a lot to say about children.
Jesus Christ, God in Flesh, showed through His words and actions what he thought about children. We gain a tremendous insight into how God sees children through these verses.
“And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.” Matthew 18:2-5
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:13-14
The NIV reads: “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Verse 15 is also worth mentioning because we see how Jesus expressed Himself to the children. “When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Jesus touched them with His heart full of love and interest in their lives. Adults then and now often treat children with a lack of respect. Pure and proper touching shows children how an adult cares for them.
Jesus created the natural process for children to be born and loves them deeply. They are precious in His sight. Children are wonderful examples of the spiritual relationship believers have with Christ. God loves and protects children. His Word is full of insight into that love and protection. In our study, we will see what God says about four important relationships in every child’s life: parents, teachers, friends and sexual relationships.
“And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.” Mark 9:36-37
Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, took a young child in his arms and spoke lovingly about the way adults should treat children. Jesus was speaking in the context of his disciples arguing among themselves about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. Jesus told them that if anyone desired to be first, they should be last of all and servant of all. Then, He took the little child in His arms and spoke the words quoted above. We do learn about the importance of having child-like qualities as children of God, but we also get a tremendous insight into how God wants us to treat the children He brings into our lives.
Building Healthy Relationships
One of the important ways children will learn about how to build healthy relationships in their lives is for parents, teachers and other adults in their lives to model healthy relationships. People who are good at building healthy relationships as adults often speak about having healthy relationships with adults when they were children. People who are not good at building healthy relationships as adults often speak about having unhealthy relationships with adults when they were children.
What can we learn from that? The way we build relationships with children in our care or sphere of influence will impact the way they build relationships as adults.
Here are some examples of healthy vs. unhealthy functions that may help you in building healthy relationships with children and guiding them toward building healthy relationships in their lives.
- Loving vs. unloving
- Reality vs. unreality
- Completing vs. finding completion
- Friendship vs. victimization
- Sacrifice vs. demand for sacrifice
- Forgiveness vs. resentment
- Security vs. fear
- Vulnerability vs. defensiveness
- Honesty vs. deception
- Respect vs. disrespect
- Non-violent vs. violent
- Physical safety vs. physical abuse
- Comfort vs. intimidation
- Support vs. criticism
- Enjoy time together vs. do not make time for each other
- Communicate clearly and openly vs. ignore each other’s communication
- Humor vs. hostility
- Stability vs. instability
What do you see in the relationships you have with children? What do you see you can do to help children in your care or sphere of influence to build healthy relationships instead of unhealthy relationships?
Each of us has a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life and in the lives of all the people they will relate to during their adult years. If enough of us commit to helping children develop healthy relationships with others, we could impact many generations for Christ.
** [Links to a few relationship websites below]