Building a Whole Life From the Beginning
Jesus made a profound statement about children when He told His disciples, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Luke 18:16, NRSV). While the disciples feared that the children might bother Jesus, the Savior embraced them and affirmed their value.
Wise King Solomon said, “Children are a gift of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3, NASB). Seventh-day Adventists agree, creating a culture that encourages child development with youth clubs, summer camps and other outdoor events, international youth gatherings, weekly Sabbath school programs, mission trips, Vacation Bible Schools and a quality educational system from elementary to university level.
Solomon also offered this parenting advice: “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it” (Proverbs 22:6, NLT). The church supports parents through programs and publications, emphasizing the importance of early childhood training. The Seventh-day Adventist approach to child-rearing focuses on spiritual growth. But it also emphasizes healthy lifestyle choices and intellectual learning that leads to useful service in the community and in the world.
Children are a gift to be returned to God. As Ellen White, a co-founder of the church, said: “Fathers and mothers should look upon their children as younger members of the Lord’s family, committed to them to educate for heaven.” (“The Desire of Ages,” p. 515)
Do you have a child interested in church? Or maybe know one who would enjoy learning about Jesus? Please tell us about them!