Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Photo from Son of God movie.
It is believed that the primary caregivers, in most cases mother and father, have the greatest influence and impact on a child in the formative early years. These years are what define a child’s life and destiny. Interestingly, it might be said that all is based on information the child internalizes.
The point is made well by the story of a young Prince. This is Indian history. During the English Reign in India in 1836, a baby boy was born to the Maharaja (Mighty king) Randhir Singh of the region of Punjab. Maharaja Randhir Singh and his lovely and fiery Queen, the Maharani Jind Kaur loved their baby boy the Crown Prince Dalip.
Young Prince Dalip in the center- Photo on Sikh Royalty
The king died when the Prince was just a child and chaos broke out. Wolves circled around in hopes of killing the son to gain the throne. The English wanted to retain control, but the Queen was fiercely independent. So, the child was taken by force from his mother’s arms, placed in the care of Lord and Lady Logan and the Queen was exiled to Nepal. At this point the little boy was just seven years old.
Lord and Lady Logan loved him very much raising him as their own son, and yes, he grew up in church. They did a great job presenting the gospel, true and accurate as they knew. The child received Christ and was baptized.
Soon after this he was taken to England where Queen Victoria received him well and he played with her children. She affectionately dubbed him her “Black Prince.” England was kind to this child as he grew up, but he never forgot his mother.
Prince Duleep aka The Black Prince to Queen Victoria
Dalip Singh in England.
When he came of age he expressed his desire to see his mother, who was still in political exile in Nepal and in ill health.
Even though they were reluctant, permission was granted and he was allowed to reconnect with his mother in India. He brought her back to England with him and took care of her. She held no power or position in India anymore, yet at heart she was still the Lioness, the Maharani of Punjab.
As would be expected she rekindled the flame, gave him his Father’s sword and reminded him of his true destiny, the throne of Punjab. Her dying wish was for him to be Coronated and to take the throne of his father.
The Prince rose to the challenge. Like Moses in the Bible, this man did not forget the training of his early years. Though the flame had diminished, it never really died out. He was Royalty, and treated as such even by the English, but he never forgot his roots. Just one breath from his mother fanned the flame and the direction of destiny changed.
Sad ending for this story was that he died trying to reclaim the Throne. The English would never have allowed it. His supporters were jailed and/or killed, and the plan went down in the ash heap of history as the Rebellion-that-never-was. He died holding on to his pride but little else.
Even more tragic was the fact that he traded his faith for a quest for the throne. Following his mother’s call he denounced Christ and converted back to Sikhism. He walked away from Christ to give a full embrace to the faith of his parents.
Now think about Moses! Yet an infant, when he no longer could be hidden from the Egyptian Grim-Reaper, his mama, Jochebed, trusted Elohim placing a basket among the reeds with her baby in it. Elohim saw to it that baby Moses was found of the Pharaoh’s daughter, and Jochebed became his wet-nurse. Moses was no more than three when she lost touch with him for he was now old enough to be raised as the Princess’s son. Royalty! God knows how to care for His own!
“The Finding of Moses” By Lawrence Alma-Tadema – Artrenewal.org, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45075716
Moses mother Jochebed had him only for three years and in that dangerous setting being watched by Pharaoh’s staff, she managed to give Moses enough instruction about his roots and Elohim, that this Prince also, like Prince Dalip, never really forgot his roots.
Photo from the Exodus the Movie, Moses leads the Armies.
The lure of the power over all Egypt, the luxury, the palatial surroundings, the authority, and yes, the love of a Princess mother along with the Pharaoh himself, servants, attendants, and the best education did not take away the call of his God or his people. When Elohim called, he answered. The god’s of Egypt did not hold any power.
Burning Bush Photo on Pixabey
His response to his call from Elohim made him one of the greatest men in all History. God honored him by revealing His glory.
Rembrandt painting of Moses with the Tablets of Law.
As both these stories show, children retain what they are taught in those early years. Psychology says that as well, but we as Christians should recognize that from the Bible.
Proverbs 22 :6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.(BSB)
Parents, do your job right! The first duty you have as a parent is to bring the child back to the God who gave this gift to you in the first place. I am not speaking of Infant Baptism or Dedication. I am speaking about living, walking, talking the Christ life in front of the children. I am speaking of being the best role models of Holy and Righteous living to your children. I am speaking of training the children by example.
These two young men, Moses and Dalip, returned to their past to reclaim a destiny and to answer a call. Will your children? If they return will it be worth returning to?!
Deuteronomy 4: 9 Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, and so that they do not slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. 10 The day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, the LORD said to me, “Gather the people before Me to hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach them to their children.”(BLB)
Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. 5 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.(BLB)
As a counselor I have been asked many times by parents the right age to tell a child about Jesus, especially regarding Sin and Crucifixion.
“Well, when he grows up, he can make up his own mind.”
“He is too little to see images of Jesus on the cross. The blood, the gore!”
“He wouldn’t understand.”
These are just some of the reasoning(s) I hear.
Mark 10: 13 Now people were bringing the little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, and the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But When Jesus saw this, He was indignant and told them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them.(BSB)
Apparently the disciples thought the children were not old or ready enough for Jesus either. Yet He wanted them near Him, He blessed them and said we need the simplicity of children to help us be transformed into His image. The very entry to heaven is barred to every grown up unless he/she receives it with the faith of a child.
I find the older I get, the more like a child I become! So, why do we wait for children to grow up before we think them mature enough to understand Christ?
By the time I am ready for heaven, I hope to be like a tiny infant in my faith, utterly dependent on Him, and yet totally healthy and still able in the physical body!!
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