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PASTOR MILAM: Our children need our best

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What do you see when you look into a child’s eyes?

You will see everything from wide-eyed wonder and happiness to deep thought and stress. When I look them in the eye, it reminds me of the responsibility we all have to be a good example for our children. As Christians and followers of Jesus Christ, one of our duties is to lead our children and young people in the right direction. This right direction is that which models a life in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We are the example they follow as they grow and mature. They watch our every move.

Reverend Claude Wisdom White Sr. in his poem “A Little Fellow Follows Me” says this:

A careful man that I should be,
A little guy follows me.
I dare not stray,
Lest he follow the same path.

I can’t once escape his eyes,
Whatever he sees me doing, he tries.
Like me, he said, he’ll be,
The little guy following me.

He thinks I’m fine and fine,
Believe in my every word.
The base in me that he must not see,
This little guy following me.

I have to remember as I go,
Through the summer sun and the winter snow.
I’m building for years to come,
In the little man who follows me.

We need to be careful about the example we set for our children. Every movement we make is observed and then it is tried. Our children believe that we know what we are doing. They will go in the same direction as us. The question is where are you leading them? Are you giving them the faith base they will need as they grow up? Will the seeds of faith be planted so that in years to come our children will develop a faith they can call their own? These are the things we need to do as Christian parents, teachers, coaches, friends and family to guide our children in the right direction. It’s not just for our own children, but for every child that crosses our path. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Lead children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn aside from it.” Remember to a child, 20 years old is old.

I heard that children and young people are our future. To some extent, there is some truth in that. I dispute that children and young people are not only the future, they and the present. They need our best right now. There’s no time to lose. Take this opportunity to help shape our children into young men and women who live and serve others with grace, mercy and love.

One of the best ways to help guide our children is to become involved in a church community that will help inspire and develop their understanding and belief in Jesus Christ. Gathering with like-minded people strengthens our faith and provides the examples our children need as they grow and mature.

If you are looking for a place to be inspired and encouraged, you are invited to gather with us at First Congregational Church in Greenville on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Ed Milam is the pastor of First Congregational Church in Greenville.

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