By Cindy Koch –
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Her eyes sparkled and grew a little bigger. Focusing into the future, somewhere beyond our present conversation, she released her hopeful dreams from within. I could see the inspiration of tomorrow lifting every little bit of her countenance. There in her mind she could imagine herself, in the best way, part of a world and an identity that she longed to see. Every so often you might be so privileged to see this glimmer of excitement in a child’s life. Every so often you might be so blessed to witness a moment of inspiration.
It is the teachers and mothers and doctors and artists who share their own love for their craft that can inspire our children. We can watch it happen before your very eyes. A little girl will patch up her baby doll, copying the compassion and love she has learned from those who invest in her health. A little boy will repeat after the pastor, practicing the patterns of worship and care he receives from his own pastor in church. Inspired to imagine themselves part of this reality, encouraged in this endeavor, children will grow to develop and appreciate those things that inspire them.
Even more critical than a healthy career, the hope for Christian parents is that our own children would grow up into a deep and personal trust in Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Prayers are lifted to the Heavenly Father for good examples and the right influences to inspire a child’s life. Teachers and mothers and fathers may even show him what a Christian might look like: as the old Christian hymn rings out, “They will know we are Christians by our love!” But how one outwardly acts is not enough to confess faith in Jesus Christ alone. In the observance of a Christian person, our children may see someone who does good things, but most assuredly not all the time. They may see a believer who enjoys beautiful blessings, and then a believer who struggles endlessly. Our children are surrounded by saints of God who just might look like broken miserable people. There is so much more to inspiration than surrounding our children with those who lead godly lives.
The key to inspiration, for our children and for each other, comes from the mouth of God himself. Nothing we can display of our own life choices and actions will be powerful enough to inspire our kids to faith, but rather we return to the source of life itself. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. His word created the world. His word created the creatures who move and breathe. His word created a path back to righteousness. His word became flesh and dwelt among us. Here is the inspiration that promises to capture every child in the wonder of God’s incredible grace. From the beginning of time, God’s word has been the inspiration to eternal life.
The quest for inspiration is instantly narrowed to one particular focal point: the Word who is Jesus Christ. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Parents have been charged with the gift of continually bathing their children in the life-saving Word of Christ. Those who love and cherish the little ones are encouraged to feed them constantly with the nourishing Words of their Savior. And by hearing, by the Word that lives in their ears, our children will certainly be flooded with the powerful inspiration that only the Creator of Heaven and earth can give.
As simple as it sounds, sadly, there are so many obstacles that stand in the way of His Word taking root in our children. But there is one thing that we can do. Keep the conversation going, no matter how young or old our children are. The Word of God does what it says, turning darkness into light. This is the only inspiration that eternally matters.