Today, I’m trying out a new, chatty style of blog where I can just chat to you about topics that interest me! To begin, I want to talk about children!
This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot, since a number of months ago I heard someone from church say:
“I’ve never spoken to [him] before because, well, why would I?”
about a boy that attend our church.
Now, this comment made me really rather annoyed because the implication I see here is that just because this person is a child, there is no reason for another member of the church to chat to them.
For me, this is quite an alien concept. I love chatting to the kids at church, most of the time they’re way more interesting than the adults!
However, it’s also a very unbiblical standpoint to take. We are told that all who believe are children of God (John 1:12). This is our number one calling in life. And this makes us brothers and sisters in Christ – these children are your brothers and sisters, your family. They deserve your love and your respect.
Furthermore, in such a family, I believe that each of us becomes spiritual parents to every child within the church. We have a responsibility to raise these children in Christ, to guide them and support them in their journey. How are you planning to do that if you never talk to them?
But it’s not even just their spiritual journey, it’s their wellbeing that matters too. You never know when a child may disclose (or even just show signs) that their being bullied, that they have anxiety, that they self-harm. Such issues are becoming more and more prevalent in children and teenagers so I believe we should always be providing a space for children to feel safe and trusting us enough to tell us if something is bothering them.
Finally, children have SO much to share! I have learnt so much about new games, the latest crazes (although I still do not understand fingerlings!), their hobbies, what instruments their learning. Just the other week a girl came and showed me an awesome comic book that she had drawn! Children also have some awesome insights into God, prayer, the Bible, faith and other topics. They aren’t so limited by ever-shrinking imaginations, by embarrassment or by having heard the story billions of times before! We have so much to learn from them and to do this, we must be listening to them!
So really, why on earth wouldn’t you talk to the children around you? Make time to get to know them, find out what they enjoy, what they’re doing at school, what makes them sad, what makes them happy. They may seem uninterested at first, but you have to put the effort in to build a relationship where they trust you, and appreciate you because you are interested in them!