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Protecting the Little Ones

Matthew 18:6

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Today, I want to share a devotional centred around a topic that is dear to our hearts, and of utmost importance in the eyes of God - protecting our children. In Psalm 127:3, the Bible says, "Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him." They are precious gifts from God, entrusted to our care, to be nurtured, guided, and protected. As parents, guardians, and members of the church community, we are stewards of these innocent lives.


The world is fraught with challenges and dangers that threaten the innocence and safety of our children. From the digital realm, where cyberbullying and inappropriate content lurk to the real world where they may encounter physical or emotional harm, the threats are real and ever-present. It is our sacred duty to stand as shields, protecting our children from these perils.


Jesus had a special place in His heart for children. In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." This scripture not only reveals Christ's love for children but also underscores the value He places on their protection and unhindered access to Him.


So, how do we protect our children? First, we must teach them the word of God. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." By instilling God's word in their hearts, we equip them with a moral compass to navigate the world, and a spiritual shield to ward off evil.


Second, we must pray for them. Prayer is a powerful tool for protection. Pray for God's covering over your children, pray for their wisdom and discernment, pray for their purity and innocence. In James 5:16, the Bible says, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." Our prayers can form a protective barrier around our children, shielding them from harm.


Third, we must create a safe environment for our children. This involves being vigilant about the physical, emotional, and spiritual safety of our children. To ensure that our homes, schools, playgrounds, and churches are safe spaces where children can grow and thrive without fear. This means we need to identify and address any potential threats to their safety.


Fourth, we must educate our children. Proverbs 22:6 advises us to "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." We must teach our children about their rights, about the importance of boundaries, and about the value of respect for themselves and others. We must equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves.


Fifth, we must be a voice for our children. We must stand up against any form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. We must advocate for policies and laws that protect children and promote their well-being. This includes reporting any suspected abuse or neglect and supporting organisations that work towards child protection.


Last, we must lead by example. Our children learn more from what they see than what they hear. We must strive to live godly lives, reflecting Christ's love and righteousness in our actions. Our lives should be a living sermon that our children can learn from.


Protecting our children is difficult, but we are not alone. We have the help of our heavenly Father, who loves our children even more than we do. He is our fortress and our strength, our ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). With Him on our side, we can stand firm, safeguarding our children from the evils of this world.


As we conclude, let us make a commitment today to be vigilant in protecting our children. Let us pledge to teach them God's word, to pray for them fervently, and to lead them by our godly example. And as we do so, may God grant us the wisdom and strength we need, and may He protect and bless our children, now and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.