Meeting needs of the children


 The children are our future;  meeting their needs makes our feature secure

Children are no less human.  They too are spirit, soul and body.  It follows therefore that they have needs in these three realms which must be satisfied.

Arranged in order of priority, man is first and foremost spirit, then soul and body.  If man is first spirit, then the part of him that requires the greatest attention is his spirit.  God is a Spirit (John 4:24) and He made man in His image (Gen. 1:26); so man is a spirit as He is.  It is the same with every child.

In the world this order is reversed and the spirit is given the least attention, while the body and soul are paid the greater attention; but this ought not to be.  It is a requirement to pray over and with our children.  Also it is a great thing to share the word of God in simple language with them.  There are so many colourful story books, which tell Bible stories in pictures that you can use to explain kingdom truths to your child.  This invariably prepares him or her for a personal relationship with Jesus.

Parents need to help their children develop Christian character, character is that quality that makes up a person’s behavioural pattern, such as honesty, discipline, diligence, integrity, etc.  This is then a spiritual need because, whatever character traits you see your child manifest is coming from the spirit.  Thus when you invest the Word of God into your child, you are using the most powerful instrument to mould his character.  (Hebrews 4:12) tells us that the Word of God is quick, powerful and sharper than any sword.  It is so strong that it can reach to the spirit, sound and marrow, exposing the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Teach your child how to forgive when wronged and to ask for forgiveness when he offends someone else.  These things are better learnt from childhood.  It’s a common adage that a dried fish is difficult to bend.  Adults who find it difficult to say, “I am sorry” today never learnt it as children.

Giving is learnt.  The language of children is “give me, give me” and “it’s my own”, let them learn that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Therefore, you need to consciously teach your youngsters the importance of being generous from scriptures, and practically demonstrate the art of giving by example.

Charity begins at home, teach them honesty, mercy, obedience, integrity etc.  Most bad habits like cheating, lying and fighting, all begin at a tender age and when left unchecked become life-threatening vices.

The primary tool for teaching children how to overcome their enemies – Satan, the world and the flesh -- is the Word of God.  Don’t allow your children become victims of circumstances, rather make them masters over situations by loading them with God’s Word.

Meeting emotional needs

And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.  Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 

And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16) 
Emotional needs are not peculiar to adults alone, children have them also.  They have a need to be loved and to express love; they have a need to be accepted and a need to be secure in that love.  Children with inferiority complex are often those reared in emotionally “cold” homes, homes where their fathers are dictators and “military commanders” and their mothers are disciplinarians.

Children need to be talked to, their questions answered and their need for a confidante and friend met.  Parents need to study their children, to know their temperaments and moods, their likes and dislikes.  One child may be reserved, given to reading and thinking, while another is boisterous and playful.

You need to discover also your child’s talents and God given abilities.  Believing in him and his gifts help develop confidence in the child, and is an essential ingredient for success.  Constantly reaffirm love for your child.  Praise is a wonderful instrument for instilling confidence in children.  Praise him for the things he does well.  It is wise to reward good habits with praise.

Never assume that your children know they are loved, tell them and demonstrate your affection by hugs and kisses.  You can really help to develop an optimistic outlook to life in your child.  As parents, we need to learn how to draw our children out of themselves and help them discuss what’s on their minds.  Make out time to have long talks with each child.  Let your child know repeatedly that he has access to you, and can come to discuss what’s on his mind anytime.

Meeting physiological needs

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.  (1Timothy 5:8) 

God expects us as parents to cater for the physical needs of our children.  There are several ways to do this.  However, you must bear in mind that according to Maslow, physiological needs include food, clothes and shelter.

Food; You must ensure that your children are well fed.  Growing children need particular types of food to ensure a healthy growth.  Please make sure that they eat carbohydrates like rice, bread, potatoes etc, for energy and body building, feed them with proteins food such as beans, meat, fish and eggs.  Also they need fats and vitamins which are mainly found in vegetable oil, fruits and vegetables.

As a parent, supervise the feeding habits of your children.  Sweets, ice-cream, meat pies, burgers, biscuits and crackers are not real food, and are not nutritious.  Rather, sweets and biscuits and sugary pastries spoil their teeth.

Even when you permit them to take a little, ensure that they brush their teeth.
Clothing; Children need to be adequately clothed.  Warm clothes for cold season, light clothes for warm season, festive clothes for occasions and clean stay-home clothes for everyday use.  Children should be decently dressed.  It is wrong to allow your children wear clothes that are worldly, seductive and simply the “in thing”.  Please be careful; once those children get used to having their way in their dressing, they become difficult to correct in later life.

Home environment; Children need to be taught how to be diligent, not lazy and irresponsible.  Parents need to train them in good habits, with fun, goodwill and consistency.  Teach them to make their beds, tidy their rooms, bathroom and clean out the dishes after a meal.  As they grow, teach them how to cook.  Remember to reward them with praise.

Personal cleanliness such as regular baths, brushing of their teeth, washing their underwear’s and others should be carefully supervised until a good habit is formed.  Children must be taught to be orderly and careful with their toys, clothes and books.  Most of these things do not just come on their own, but must be taught and developed.

It is also important to help children properly manage their time.  They should have regular times for going to bed, studying, doing their home work, watching TV as well as time for devotion.  Cultivating these habits takes a process of time, so be patient with your children.

Academics; Another important physiological or mental need is helping your child in setting goals, our children need to go to school and to be encouraged to give attention to their academics.  Let them know that education is the door to any place anyone ever desires to go.

A failure in academics is a failure in life and he that jokes with school life will joke with him.  The papers you get in school are your introduction in life, therefore without them or having poor papers makes your child to have no address in the race of the competitive world.

Handling money; One child demanded money from the parent for buying snacks at school, but the parent said to him, “You don’t go to school to take money, you go to school to learn how to make money”, and this is true.  Everyone in the family, whether male or female, adult or child, will have to use money at one time or the other.

It is important to know that to waste money is to waste life, because one is in essence misusing the labour used to earn it.  Children can earn money from little jobs.  This is important because until you learn how to earn money you won’t become a wise spender.

By Pastor David Koin
Winners’ Chapel International

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