Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Children have rights, too!

Published:Saturday | September 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

MANDEVIILE, Manchester:

Ephesians 6:1-4: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with promise; that it may dwell with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord".

Children are always being told to have manners and to be respectful to their elders, but you rarely hear adults being told to respect their children. It is almost an afterthought when adults acknowledge that children have a right to be respected.

According to Pastor Jeremiah Burrell, this is a command handed down by God and should be taken with just as much seriousness as other laws.

"Children have a role to play in the family by being obedient to their parents, and parents, children must be respected too. It's not just adults that must get respect. Give them their moment to speak because the grand objective of parenting is to have children become self-disciplined, productive members of society."

Burrell said that showing due respect to children comes in varying forms.

"God has blessed me with a son and a daughter and they are both married and have their own families. But we keep them at the mercy seat at all times that they may live exemplary lives, wherever they go," said Pastor Burrell.

With respect to cases of helpers abusing children while the parents are away, Burrell said these are not being overlooked by God.

"Helpers should not be careful just because you are being watched, but because when you do the right thing you are standing in integrity. A Christian shouldn't need to be watched. I should just need to know my job description and do the work by God's grace," said Pastor Burrell.

While some mothers may need a helper to care for their children, others are able to do it themselves, but it is no easy task.

"As a mother in this age, I use various techniques to mother my just-turned-nine-year-old son. The first thing I ensure I do is model a life that represents Christ so that he can not only know of Christ, but so that he can also see Christ in me. What's the use of telling your children about Jesus and wanting them to follow in His footsteps when you yourself aren't practising what you are preaching?" said mother Johanna Denny.

"... I have ensured that he participates in Pathfindering because children are curious and busy. Getting their tiny hands and feet to have fun for Jesus is one of the best object lessons you will ever use in the Christian home. It teaches them how be obedient and respectful to God and man whilst opening their hearts to the word of God through nature," said Denny.

She noted that it is important to be honest with your children, another tactic that makes raising her son much more manageable..

"Lastly, I tell my son the truth about media and the disadvantages of it for a young Christian mind. I show him different ways whilst using Bible texts to show him how displeasing it is to our Creator to have their minds wrapped up with the pleasures of this world. There is no greater joy on earth than to give Jesus ... complete our lives.".