SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013.
‘See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Matt. 18 v 10.
IN 1992, Dr. Esther Nzewi, of the then Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, cried out in a public lecture: ‘all living things know what to do with their young ones, but parents of today don’t.’ Parenting (or child training) is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. The biological parents of the child in question also do it, though governments and society play a role as well. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent blood relations. Others may be adopted, raised in foster care or placed in an orphanage. Whichever way it is realised, the Bible enjoins parents to do their work conscientiously.
Sometimes, parents forget that children are gift or heritage from the Lord (Ps. 127:3). Hardly do they make enough time for the training of the young ones. It is sad to note that in some families the tasks of children upbringing are left in the hands of maids some of whom are inexperienced and ungodly. Some wild behaviour we notice in some of our young people could be traceable to the absence of parenting. The resultant effect to most of our young people is that some now belong to secret cults, engage in criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution and others.
The biblical admonition is that children should be taught by their parents ‘Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates,’ (Deut. 6:7-9). As parents do we have time to teach and listen to our young ones? Moses’ mother taught him, even in the house of Pharaoh.
It is true; most parents are under pressure due to economic downturn in the country, as a result they tend to focus more on making money to the neglect of their young ones. In most families, father and mother leave the house as early as 6.30am in pursuit of financial reward and return very late when most of the children have gone to bed. But for how long shall this continue? Remember, our children will sit exactly where we are sitting today and will take over from us in different corporations, companies, churches, politics and others. But are we doing well enough to prepare them for this handover that must come to pass? The earlier we begin to think seriously of this the better for us. Jesus was right in urging us today not to neglect, overlook the young ones. Their angels are daily before the Father in heaven reminding Him about these fragile ones. It is our prayer, therefore, that parents will sit up and do this God given assignment in the way it will please God our Father.VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.