Vol.VII No.XII Pg.3
February 1971

Hindering Little Ones

Dan S. Shipley

And he said unto his disciples, It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come; but woe unto him, through whom they come. It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck. and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. (Lk. 17: 1,2)

Few courts of men ever meted out such a dreadful punishment as Christ describes in this passage. And yet, severe as it is. He says that even this fate would be better than causing a little one to stumble. We can only imagine the frightful punishment awaiting these offenders. This inferred punishment but indicates the enormity of such a crime. It is obvious that Christ intends for men to be deeply impressed with the seriousness of this sin and its consequence.

Few are more susceptible to the sin of causing little ones to stumble than we parents. What children are and what they become can be largely attributed to the influence of their parents — whether it be by design or by default. Little ones stand to be helped or hindered; led to God or away from Him by Mother and Daddy more than by anyone else. For this reason parents must have an abiding awareness of the God-given obligation to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and to train them up in the way they should go. (Eph. 6:4; Prov. 22:6)

While few parents would deliberately come between their children and God, many do so unwittingly by their example. Even children can see the absence of spiritual values in parents who do not pray and read the Bible. They understand that God cannot be very important to a Mother and Daddy who wont worship him. Stumbling block examples are not limited to the parents who curse, cheat, lie and drink before their children. High principles and good morals that are not Divinely motivated do not produce spiritual values and are no substitute for doing Gods will.

Precious young souls are hindered from knowing Christ and His teachings by parents who will not teach them at home nor allow others to teach them in Bible classes. Such parents are not unlike the scribes and Pharisees who shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; neither entering themselves nor allowing others to enter (Mt. 22:13). What a heritage for our little ones! — stumbling-blocks! And what can their children expect but more of the same. Satan could have no better ally than a parent who hinders his child from learning about Jesus and his truth.

It has been wisely noted. as the twig is bent, the tree is inclined (Pope). God looks to parents to bend the twig heavenward. Little ones are trusting us to lead them, by precept and example, in the right paths. With David, we should urge them to keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies.. (1 King. 2:3). Better the millstone than to hinder these little ones!Box 237, Burnet, Texas