The Very Best For Our Kids

by Pastor Peter Hoft

            Parents who dearly love their children often say, “I just want the best for my kids.” These are some ways we go about giving our kids “the best.” We feed them nutritious food, making sure they get a well-balanced diet. We play with them, getting down on their level, so that they may have a close emotional bond with us. We limit their screen time, encouraging them to engage in mind-expanding activities. We take our kids to the dentist for their regular check-ups, and seek out the best doctors. We keep them busy with programs such as dance, sports, and music lessons so that they will stay out of trouble and be well-rounded individuals. We spend hours and hours in the car transporting them from activity to activity. We outfit them with all the proper clothing, supplies, and electronic gadgets they need for school. We help them with their homework and stay on top of their grades so that they will get into a good college someday.


                All of these things are good, but when all is said and done have we really given them “the best?”


                How much time do you spend daily praying with your child? Does this happen at mealtime and bedtime? How often do you read from a Christian devotional book or a portion of the Bible with your child each day? When you are in the car heading to sports practice does God ever enter the conversation? Are worship and Sunday School weekly priorities in your family’s life these days, or do other activities come first? Are the words, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you” spoken in your home?


                Parents who appear to be doing everything right for their kids may actually be forgetting to give them the “very best” thing. They might receive the “Parent of the Year Award” but fail to give their kids “the one thing that is needed.” That “one thing” is Jesus Himself. (See the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42). Without Jesus there is no forgiveness of sin. Without Jesus there is no life of faith. Without Jesus there is no hope of salvation. Parents may boast of their love for their children, but if they are not sharing the Savior with them, is that really love?


                It’s true that our kids don’t always like what’s best for them. My own son hates getting shots. Does that mean I should let him skip out on his vaccinations? Kids throw fits when they are told to eat their vegetables. Do we then stop offering them even though we know how nutritious they are? Of course not! Our kids may throw fits about getting up for church or Sunday School. Do we then stop urging them to feast on Jesus who gives eternal life?


               Dear parents, if you want to give your children the very best, bring them to Jesus. Jesus says, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God (Mk. 10:18).” Remind them of what He’s done for them at their Baptism, and what He continues to do for them by His Word- preparing them for the glory of God’s kingdom.

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