Part 1: The Childhood of Jesus–What Parents and Children Can Learn

As I was re-reading the Christmas story this morning, a new insight was brought to my mind. Maybe it was because I wrote in our Christmas letter my daughter turned 12 this past year and is well on her way to her teenage years. Or maybe it was just the Holy Spirit’s way of preparing my own heart for how to approach these inevitable years of a house full of teenagers. Whatever the reason, I am full of hope and encouragement through the scriptures and wanted to express what was on my heart as I share them with my own children.

Not much is written in the scriptures regarding the childhood of Jesus. However, the few statements that are written in the Bible can teach children and parents much regarding the parent/child relationship. As a young boy, Jesus “grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him” (Luke 2:40). From birth to twelve years of age, Jesus grew and became strong. We all know how quickly children grow. I can just imagine Jesus playing with his brothers, carrying water for his mother, carrying in wood for the stove, working around the workshop with his father and various other activities young boys do. This part of Jesus’ boyhood comes naturally to most children. They grow and become strong. I know because I see it happen every day! But to be filled with wisdom takes deliberate and intentional focus on an individual’s part.

Jesus as a young boy provides an example for children. In today’s culture children are quick to tune out everything around them except for what will entertain them. I do not believe Jesus just sat around listening only to the Jewish teachings, memorizing the torah, etc. As already mentioned, I believe he lived a “normal” life. However, I do believe He probably took extra care to apply to His life or at least make note of the importance of the teachings He was being taught for God’s grace was upon Him. It is a wise child who will take time to listen to the teachings of their parents and other mentor’s around them to guide and direct them even at such a young age.

But in order for Jesus to be able to absorb wisdom, His parents had to provide the atmosphere for this to occur. We know that Mary and Joseph were faithful to follow the Jewish teachings and traditions and can assume they were raising their children to follow in the Jewish faith. As a young boy, this atmosphere gave Jesus the opportunity to gain wisdom in a loving environment. This example reminds parents of their responsibility to create an atmosphere where their children can gain a strong foundation built on wisdom. Proverbs 24:3 states: “A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understating; by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure.”

My Hearts Prayer: Lord, may our house be filled with knowledge of you in every room. May understanding infiltrate each of the members of this house and may your wisdom be proclaimed through the walls of our hearts and the doors of our lips. In Christ Jesus Name, Amen.

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