by Rick Warren
“Our father in heaven …” Matthew 6:9 (NIV)
"If God likes me and I like me, but you don't like me, what's your problem?"
The number one problem kids have growing up is insecurity. Our society is trained to compete and compare instead of co-operate. So from the moment a child is born, he or she is taught to compare everything – appearance, achievement, affluence, even athletic ability (remember gym class?).
What we need to teach children from an early age, even before they get into school, is: God is my father, he loves me unconditionally, and he will never stop loving me.
If our children can understand and absorb that truth then, when they are confronted with someone who wants to diminish their self-worth, they can have the confidence to say, “If God likes me and I like me, but you don’t like me, what’s your problem?”
Unfortunately, most kids don’t grow up with that kind of confidence. They grow up under the cloud of comparison, constantly asking, “What does everybody else think of me?”
That’s why it is important to teach children that God is their ultimate, heavenly Father. And they need to understand that God is not like some earthly dads they may have encountered.
So what kind of Father is God? He’s …
- Caring. God is a caring Father who loves you and will never stop loving you. Some dads don’t care, but your heavenly Father cares about you all the time.
- Close. God is a close Father. Some dads are distant, but your heavenly Father has promised, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT).
- Consistent. God is a consistent Father. Some dads are fickle and moody, but your heavenly Father is never changing.
- Capable. God is a capable Father. Some dads are like Homer Simpson; they can’t do anything. But your heavenly Father is capable, able to do all things.