IS THERE A BETTER WORD THAN "KIDS"?
We discussed in Part 1 the negatives of calling our children "kids." If "kids" is not the kingdom word for our children, what can we call them?
How about using the word, "children"? The most common word for children in the Bible is ben which literally means, "the builder of the family name." That is a name that is worth using, isn't it? However, apart from children, sons and daughters, offspring, lads and lasses, which are all Biblical names, we find many expressions of God's heart for children. These are wonderful expressions you can use when speaking about your children. Let us discover them together, shall we?
Read Genesis 33:5; 48:9; Joshua 24:3; Ruth 4:13b; 1 Chronicles 25:4-6 and Psalm 127:3-5
Our children are gifts from the hand of the Lord. God gives them to us. We can call them our "gifts." What we call our children has an amazing impact upon their attitude and their behavior.
I had a lovely revelation recently from Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." As I checked the word "ordained" in my concordance I was amazed to notice that the Hebrew word, nathan is a primary root word meaning "to give." God planned Jeremiah's future before he was even conceived! God gave him as a "gift" to the nations.
Every child is a gift to the world! Isn't that exciting? Our children are not only a gift from God to us, but a gift to others. Each child God has given you is a gift from God to the world. Who knows which one will be another David, or Paul, or Einstein or Billy Graham! Or anointed and faithful builders, teachers, store managers, or whatever! And of course, godly mothers and fathers. The world will never be the same because of these "gifts" that you have brought into the world and will bring into the world.
The Message Bible translation of Psalm 127:3 says, “Do not you see that children are God’s BEST gift? the fruit of the womb His generous legacy?”
2. BLESSINGS. Deuteronomy 28:4; 33:24 and 1 Chronicles 26:4-5
I remember a friend of mine with three difficult little children. She often referred to them as her "brats." One day God convicted her that these children were blessings from God and that she should acknowledge them as such. Instead, she began to call them her "blessings." As she changed her vocabulary, her attitude to her children changed. As she changed, her children changed. Instead of being brats, they became the blessings she called them. These children are now fully grown today and are continuing to bring much blessing to their parents.
3. HERITAGE OF THE LORD. Psalm 127:3.
4. FRUIT OF THE WOMB. Psalm 127:3.
5. BELOVED FRUIT OF THE WOMB. Hosea 9:16.
I love the beautiful names God calls our children. Isn't this a lovely one? Not just the "fruit of the womb," but the "BELOVED FRUIT OF THE WOMB"! The context of this passage is that God was going to destroy the beloved fruit of their womb, because of their continual disobedience. However, it shows how God views children and also how the early Hebrews felt about their children.
We feel more of the heart for children when we read from other translations...
NIV CHERISHED OFFSPRING
RV BELOVED CHILDREN
NAS PRECIOUS ONES
NEB DEAREST OFFSPRING
NAS TREASURES OF THE WOMB
CEB MUCH-LOVED LITTLE ONES
HCSB PRECIOUS OFFSPRING OF THEIR WOMBS
6. REWARDS. Psalm 127:3.
We feel really special when we have been rewarded, don't we? Imagine how special your children will feel when you call them your "rewards"?
7. ARROWS. Psalm 127:4.
Our task as parents is to polish, sharpen, and prepare arrows to be ready to be sent forth from the bow to the hit the mark God has planned for their lives. As parents, we are "arrow polishers." It gives our children a sense of destiny to know they are arrows, being sharpened and prepared for God's army. This is a great name to call your children. Here are some of the kind of arrows God wants you to prepare for His purposes:
8. OLIVE PLANTS. Psalm 128:3.
I wonder why God calls our children "olive plants." I have a few ideas:
1. Olive trees were a symbol of blessing to the Israelites. When they saw the new olive shoots growing up around their olive trees, they knew they were blessed. (Deut 6:11; 8:8).
2. Olive plants have to be cultivated or they will deteriorate and grow wild. So our children have to be cultivated and trained if they are going to grow up in wisdom and stature.
3. Olive trees are a symbol of beauty. Hosea 14:6. The Hebrew word hood used for beauty, although sometimes used for men, is mainly associated with God. It means "splendor, majesty glory and honor." This time it is used of the olive tree. God wants our children to grow up beautiful like the olive tree, revealing to the world the glory and splendor of God.
4. Olive trees have a purpose. They are not just ornaments. The olive was indispensible to the families of Israel. Our children also have a purpose. Before the foundation of the world God chose them and prepared their destiny. It is our role as parents to help them find that destiny and prepare them to walk in it. In Bible days the olive tree was used for:
a) Building. The two cherubims within the oracle and the doors into the oracle were made of olive wood (1 Kings 6:32-33). The purpose of our "olive plants" is to help build the kingdom of God.
b) Light. The oil from the olive tree was used for lighting the lamps in the tabernacle (Exodus 27:20-21 and Leviticus 24:1-4). Let us pray that our "olive shoots" will grow up to be lights in the midst of the darkness of this world. There are many who are afraid to have children because they fear to bring them into this evil world. But this is the very purpose God wants us to bring forth the godly seed --to be lights in the midst of the darkness! When we hold back the godly seed, evil increases.
c) Holy Anointing Oil. Exodus 30:22-33. Let us pray that our "olive plants" will grow up to be anointed of God to "preach good tidings unto the meek; to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound..." (Isaiah 61:1).
d) Food. The Israelites could not survive without the olives. Even in our countries, what would we do without olives, olive oil, and all the foods that contain this commodity? May our children "feed many" who are broken, starving, and needing God (Proverbs 10:21).
5. Olive trees live forever. Well, just about. There is a saying in Israel that the "olive tree never dies." On a number of occasions we have visited the site of the Garden of Gethsemane, which is at the base of the Mount of Olives and looks up to the Golden Gate of the city of Jerusalem. This is the gate that the Bible says Jesus is going to walk through one day. In this garden, there are a number of very old, gnarled olive trees. The guides tells us that they are two to three thousand years old and they are still alive and growing. Our children are also eternal souls who will live forever. Mothering is an eternal career. It is not a waste of time. It lasts into the eons of eternity.
9. SONS WHO ARE MATURE PLANTS. Psalm 144:12.
10. DAUGHTERS WHO ARE POLISHED CORNER STONES. Psalm 144:12.
What a powerful description for our daughters. The corner stone is the most important stone in the building. It is the pivot, foundation, and plumb line from which everything is measured. We must raise up our daughters to be mothers and homemaker for motherhood is the foundation of society. It is the greatest career they will ever embark upon.
Many daughters today are prepared for other careers instead of motherhood. This brings confusion. When they get married, they face a dilemma. "What do I do with this career for which I have been trained?" They think it is more important than motherhood, and therefore do not fully embrace their mothering role. Because of this, they never really enjoy it. They have no understanding of their highest calling.
Motherhood is a dignified role. It is not to be degraded. We should raise our daughters to be who they are, daughters of the king of kings, with beauty, regality, and splendor. Other translations of this Scripture say:
NAS"fashioned as for a palace."
TLB "Daughters of graceful beauty like the pillars of a palace wall."
NIV "carved to adorn a palace."
11. SIGNS AND WONDERS. Isaiah 8:18.
How exciting that our children are "signs and wonders" in this world for God!
12. LAMBS. Isaiah 40:11.
As many mothers change their vocabulary and call their little ones their "lambs" or their "little lamby" instead of "kids," they notice a new attitude toward their children. They experience a fresh tenderness in caring for their offspring. They become more like the Good Shepherd, who does not leave His young, but carries them in His bosom.
13. WORK OF GOD'S HANDS. Isaiah 29:23-24.
How important it is for our children to realize they are not a nuisance to our pursuits in life. They should be reminded they are the "work of God's hands" and it is our highest privilege in life to teach and train them on God's behalf.
14. GODLY SEED. Malachi 2:15.
The greatest way we can please our Father God is to bring forth and nurture a godly seed. This is what God looks for. And he looks for godly parents to produce this godly seed. The Hebrew word that is used for the “godly” seed is elohim which is one of the names of God. Isn’t that amazing? God wants children to come forth who are like Him. God wants children who will show who He is to the world. God wants children who are pure and righteous. God wants children who will allow Him to transform them into His image.
15. GLORY. Hosea 9:11. Children are the “glory” of a nation.
16. CROWNS. Proverbs 17:6. This is a special name for grandchildren.
Also RESTORER OF LIFE and
NOURISHER OF OLD AGE. Ruth 4:15.
There are many other special names you can call your children apart from these biblical ones. Each family will have their own pet names, but let us keep to positive ones. Will you take up this challenge with me?
Let's start a revolution and eliminate the word "kids" from our society!