I was reading in Matthew chapter 18 this morning. I came to verse 6.
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
This is very heavy stuff! How many children from Christian homes go astray? MOST. That is the said truth. How many times have I angered my children and not shown them love and grace? How many times have I disciplined in anger instead of love?
As a parent, it is my job to show my children what God's attributes are like. The main way that they form an opinion about God is through the parents. We are the gatekeepers, a filter, if you will. We should reflect the character of our God to our children. They, in turn, will have a healthy view of God. We have the power to speak blessing or cursing into the life of our child by our attitudes, words, and actions.
The word "offend" in this verse means:
1) to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaphor. to offend
a) to entice to sin
b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey
1) to cause to fall away
2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what hinders me from acknowledging his authority
3) to cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another
c) since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
1) to cause one displeasure at a thing
2) to make indignant
3) to be displeased, indignant
So, how do we do this? Is this another "work" that "I" have to do? Do I just stop sinning in this area? NO!! It's just like any other area of my life. The only way to overcome is to lay down my life and cling to the Vine. The closer I stay to Jesus, the more clearly His light will be reflected. Which brings me to another verse. Matthew 16:25 says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." The key is to lay our life down and to cling to him. Then, our children will see Jesus in us.
Remember, the world's way is to "try harder" and "do better". The way of the cross is surrender.....