Police were sent to a home in response to a report of domestic child abuse. When they arrived at the house, they found a scared four-year-old girl with a black eye, swollen cheek, and bruises covering a majority of her tiny frame. The officers were devastated when they asked her to say her name and she meekly replied, “Idiot.”
In light of this particularly heart-wrenching example of both physical and emotional abuse, Psalm 127 has some vital words of wisdom for those who’ve been entrusted with children. Many believers in Jesus are familiar with verse 3, which says, “Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him.” Indeed, this verse is frequently attached to birth announcements and is spoken often by parents who are experiencing joy for the children with which God has blessed them (Psalm 127:5).
Theologian Albert Barnes says that Psalm 127 “emphasizes the happiness God intends for parents to derive through having children, and explains the divine favor bestowed on parents whom God’s entrusted with children’s lives, health and virtues.”
But if people view kids as a burden, abuse will sometimes follow. For those struggling to love and protect their children, Barnes suggests looking deeply into this passage and recognizing that as we depend on God and are guided by the Scriptures, we’ll receive what’s needed to wisely and lovingly nurture them.
If you’re not a parent, consider how you can be used to love and encourage children. Most of us have children in our lives that we’re influencing in some way. May we be encouraged that the Bible can help us better understand and live out our roles. And may we seek the Holy Spirit’s power in living out His love for children.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 3:22-36
Read Mark 10:13-15 and consider how Jesus compassionately cared for children.
Who are the children you’re influencing in some way? What can you do to uniquely contribute to the lives of children in your life?