One of the characteristics of the last days is that of being “without natural affection“(2 Tim. 3:3), and we see this in numerous ways. One of the most shocking and sad is child abuse–something we see all the time. Some of the things adults do to children are unimaginable, beyond belief, absolutely horrible! But child abuse comes in many forms and different degrees. It is far more common than what people think or are willing to admit. While some forms of child abuse are violations of the law that, as they should, carry stiff penalties, others are more acceptable or unnoticeable, though terribly wrong.
It is the parents responsibility to provide for the needs of their children, in every area. Are you doing that? Really? If you neglect their needs you are abusing them. It might not break the law, lead to your imprisonment, cause your children to be removed from the home, or even raise an eye brow, but it is wrong in God’s sight and you are accountable.
Sadly some parents think they have fulfilled their duties just because they feed, clothe, and shelter their children, but their needs go far beyond the physical. What about their emotional needs, their social skills, their education, their talent development, their life lessons and their spiritual needs? Are those being met? You have a moral mandate, a divine command, to provide these needs. Are you?
We often wonder why children are like they are, but it’s no wonder. The wonder is that they aren’t worse than they are–some don’t stand a chance. Many have been neglected and abused to the point that it is a miracle that they aren’t worse than they are. Many love to quote Eph. 6:1-2 which speaks about children obeying and honoring their parents, but they don’t have much to say about what follows– “provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). How long has it been since you studied that verse– I mean really studied it? Every parent should be aware of their God-given duties regarding their children, but knowing what to do and doing it is two different things. Some of you could pass an exam on parenting with flying colors, but when it comes to practice you fail miserably.
One of the saddest stories I’ve ever heard was that of a father who was to drop off his infant daughter at a daycare on the way to work. His mind was so preoccupied that he forgot and left her in the car where she died from the excessive heat. That man now has to live with that painful memory for the rest of his life. While that father inadvertently forgot his daughter some parents knowingly neglect their duties and abuse their children in pursuit of their selfish desires. They are so engaged in pleasures, vocation, hobbies, sports and worldly possessions that the children are deprived of their needs–abused. Children need instruction, protection, provisions, affection, assistance, guidance, discipline, and example, but most don’t get it.
The Bible says we are to “bring them up”, not watch them grow up. We are to nourish them, giving them what they need so they will grow as they ought. That requires time, effort, wisdom, patience, and love–lot’s of love. Think about it! Don’t forget the children.