‘The day I lost my child’

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

mother is sobbing.  She is standing outside, near where her son was murdered.  She is crying out “my baby, my baby.”   The news cameras come and her sadness turns to rage as she shouts into the camera that her son “never did anything to anybody.”

What this mother doesn’t realize is that she lost her baby a long, long time ago.  He may have been killed on a particular day, but he was lost to her way before then. 

Without active parenting, children are spiritually and emotionally lost.  There are spiritual penalties for losing children; in fact, the whole community suffers. 

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We have all witnessed this “lostness” in the lack of general respect and decorum exhibited in some quarters.  Many refuse to submit in the face of age and wisdom.   A few even take their way by violence and force. 

These situations exist because parents have failed in their most basic task:  parenting.  Our society is filled with young adults who really are lost children.  They have no sense of commitment; no sense of family; indeed, no sense of belonging.  Each child that is not actively parented further erodes our collective sense of community.

Yes, my friends, the penalty for losing a child is severe.  The best way to avoid the penalty is not to lose the child.  The key to not losing a child is to stay out of the pitfall of anger. 

Every child conceived should receive unconditional love and acceptance.  This is non-negotiable.  Children who are exposed to yelling, cursing, jerking, pushing, pulling, or any type of unstable emotional environment runs a higher risk of being lost. 

Parents, if you view your newborn or your toddler as an object rather than an individual personality to be loved and developed, you are setting yourself up for failure as a parent.  Furthermore, if you don’t view parenthood as an assignment from God, you will eventually lose your child — affecting us all. 

Following the early years in importance, are the years that a child experiences puberty.  These years are crucial.  During them, a parent is tasked with guiding a child into sexual and emotional responsibility. 

If authority has not been established in a child’s life by the time of puberty, then a battle of wills occurs – parent versus child.  This battle of wills produces more anger in the child. 

Without significant parental investment – time, talent, and treasure – children could be lost forever; maybe not to violent deaths, but certainly to anger, rage, and even hate. 

Rev. R.D. Bernard is pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church in Vicksburg.