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We all know the story: Jesus is pouring out godly wisdom, the disciples try to wrangle the kids with ADD away from him, and Jesus rebukes them. There’s a pattern in Jesus’ interaction with kids: he welcomed them… just like he welcomed other “hard-to-love” individuals. Jesus saw them as valuable souls; as those in need of healing and redemption. Do we view kids the same way?
Think of it like this: if Jesus hasn’t saved them yet, then on at least one level, children are like every other not-yet-believer in your community. If Jesus has saved them, then they’re likely not much different from the believer who Paul “fed…with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it…” (1 Corinthians 3:2) – their “milk” might just look a little different from an adult who isn’t mature in their faith.
But very simply, both need a little extra attention; both need a little extra consideration; both need a little extra unconditional love and understanding. But since they’re part of your family, you don’t reject, ignore, or push aside the less-mature adult – why would you do the same for the less-mature child?
3 Ways our Community has been Sanctified by the Involvement of Children
1. Seeing brokenness restored
When parents lovingly have corrective conversations with children in the context of community, two things occur: first, we display gospel-focused discipline for other parents and for those who will be parents one day. We learn from other parents in their loving discipline as well.
Second, no matter what someone’s family history is, or how they were raised and disciplined, our community experiences together what it means to address the heart in our own disobedience.
While we encourage our community not to carry out discipline in front of others, we do have corrective conversations, and doing so has led to great discussions on our own tendencies, and our need for God to change our own hearts.