What an important and often challenging job to raise children in this time. I’m not just talking about parents here. Grandparents, extended families, friends, godparents, all are needed to help children grow up in healthy and faithful ways. That’s one big reason we need a church family around every child (and parent) here. That’s one reason we make a covenant with parents when we do a baptism and promise to pray and care for children and their parents, and help them grow in the way of Jesus Christ. Whether you are single or married, with or without kids, we all share in this job of parenting. We will all share some valuable influence in the life of children as we convey and visibly demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ. We certainly want to instill proper values and behavior in children. We want to teach children how to choose right from wrong, to have a strong moral compass. We learn to set limits and stick to them. We want children to know their spiritual home is here and that we are all in the extended family.
A foundation of any healthy relationship with children is empathy. Whenever there is tension or conflict, children have to know we care deeply about them and understand their perspective and their problems. Empathy becomes the basis for all further conversation and behavior change. We are preparing as a church for a wonderful time on September 18 with Dr. Charles Fay from the Love and Logic Institute, who we hope will offer marvelous insights on dealing with children. Empathy is a key ingredient here. It is also a deep part of our Christian faith and the way God cares for us. Indeed, the whole idea of incarnation is that God came into human life in a fundamentally empathetic way, to know and face life as we do. God understands and lives our existence by coming in the human life of Jesus to teach and love us and point the way to God.
Worship with us Sunday, as we again meet the God of love, who knows our life inside and out, and helps us to share a compassionate and generous love towards all of God’s children.