“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” – Colossians 3:12.
I love the way the Lord speaks to us in ways that we understand. As parents, when our children are babies and toddlers, we pick the clothes they will wear. As they get older, we may give them a few options to choose from and then as they grow even older, they begin to dress themselves. The very same process is true in a spiritual sense. We model or choose their spiritual attire when they are new and young in their faith, but as they grow they become responsible to clothe themselves so to speak. Each of us and our children can choose either to be compassionate, or to be judgmental. We choose to be positive, or to be negative. Let’s make a choice to display the fruits of the Spirit…to be people who are good representations of our Father.
It is important for us to keep in mind that it is not fruitful to compare our ourselves or our children to others. Some of the saddest faces I have ever seen are those of a teen who feels as though they are in competition with others; in sports, in beauty and in academics. It is simply unhealthy. There will always be someone prettier, smarter and more athletic. Our children are made exactly the way the Father intended and their only goal is to be all He has designed them to be. The only comparison is to Christ…it is His Spirit who lives within them; it is Him we seek to imitate. Over and over scripture describes God as compassionate. Let’s pray that the Lord would give our children hearts of compassion.
Exodus 22:27; Exodus 33:19; Exodus 34:6; Psalm 51:1
Being compassionate doesn’t mean that we do not use wisdom. As children enter their teenage years, too often I see them fall into unhealthy friendships and dating relationships. Oftentimes, the motive begins as pure. They want to show love and compassion to a young man or young lady who may never have known it before. When an innocent, naïve, compassionate teen gets entangled with a needy, domineering, manipulative, broken person…they often end up compromising and getting hurt. Pray for wisdom and discernment for both teens and parents. We want our teens to be lights in their world. But we don’t want them to be swallowed up by peer pressure.
Deut. 34:9; 2 Samuel 14:20; 1 Kings 4:29; Psalm 51:6; Psalm 90:12
Compassionate, yes. Naïve, no. Raising strong young adults who know who they are in Christ, secure in their calling and focus on impacting their community for the Kingdom…YES!