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A child's sacred life is worth safeguarding

20 May 2022 Rev. Paul Muoki

 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."

Mark 9:42.

A child’s life is sacred: Human life is sacred, and God places a high value on it. We were created in God's image. So are children. Much as children are still developing, they already possess the complete image of God. God’s image in them does not become complete when they become adults. Neither is it determined by culture, economic status, religion, social circumstances, race, or gender. The worth and sacredness of life are derived from God and are complete from infancy. ‘For in him’ all the children  ‘live’, ‘move’ and ‘have their being’[i] from infancy

Children are developing yet complete: Children are still developing, but they bear God's complete image; they have the 'image and likeness' of God at every developmental stage of their lives. Children are human beings, and human life is both sacred and eternal. It is sacred because it is elevated above the rest of God's creation, "worth more than many sparrows"; and it is eternal because God's plan for each human being is for them to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever," and Christ paid the price for redemption with his life, "he was pierced for our transgressions." [ii]

A child can fully participate: The cornerstone for child safety is Jesus' example of accepting children. Welcoming a child is associated with welcoming Jesus. As true practising Christians, learning from Jesus’ example, we need to 'fully receive children' wholeheartedly as Jesus did and commanded. Welcoming Jesus results in a love for children. If children are welcomed to participate, they are in the best position to share what threatens their safe environment. If they are given the necessary support, including appropriate ways to express themselves, their participation can be meaningful. It is both ethical and legal for us to listen to children. participation has the same value as that of adults.

Children need to be welcomed to participate in decisions that affect not only them but the human race.  Children are ‘complete and growing human beings’.  They have a unique role in child protection; they function as both stakeholders and beneficiaries.

Children are agents of a world in need: Child protection is directly linked to the fulfilment of the great commission. From various examples in the Bible, we see how children's involvement aided in the accomplishment of God's purposes. They are both recipients and givers of ministry, and their voice needs to be heard, respected, and valued for their contributions.[iii]. Interestingly, they hold two positions in God's kingdom simultaneously: the present church and the future church. To explain some aspects of God’s Kingdom both present and future, we see God using children. Jesus uses a child to present the model of entry into the Kingdom of God and also as a model of greatness in the Kingdom. [iv]

The church is a stakeholder: Developing and promoting child protection procedures in our churches is one way to ensure that children's best interests are protected in God's Kingdom.  The church is the "salt of the earth" that preserves a child's dignity and the "light of the world" that illuminates a child's journey from brokenness to wholeness. 




[i] Acts 17:28.

[ii] Genesis 1:27. Matthew 10:31. Psalm 139:13-14. Psalm 23:6. Isaiah 53:5. Luke 15:10. Isaiah 43:7 and  John 3:16.

[iii] Dan Brewster and Patrick Mcdonald, “Children Should Be Our Priority .,” n.d.

[iv] Matthew .10: 13-16; 19:13-15; Luke 18:15-17.



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