My husband and I had a holiday. We went to places where there were hills, shops and takeaway food. I ventured into a shop one day that sold trinkets and ornaments. But the thing that alerted my attention wasn’t the possible purchases but the salesgirl- probably fifteen or sixteen years old, smiling as she served a customer. My eyes were drawn to the name tag on her shirt.
The name was unusual. I’ve seen some interesting and even bizarre names in all of my teaching years but this one really surprised me. Her name was Precious.
Precious. What does that word mean? My dictionary says “of great value, costly, of great non-material worth, beloved”
I wasn’t to know or even ask the details but it gave me cause for contemplation. Maybe they had troubles leading up to the conception of their child, or complications during the pregnancy, or a difficult birth. Maybe even a family death or drama at the time of her birth. Maybe the circumstances weren’t anything extraordinary. Maybe she was just wanted and her parents were eagerly waiting for her to join the family.
Whatever it was- she was named such, because of her parents’ view. They knew what they knew and to them – she was precious. Maybe they knew what God knows- that every child is precious.
All of us have children around us- whether we are parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, Sunday School or Youth Group workers. We all have opportunities to live our lives in the presence of children.
Parents- mothers and fathers…. When’s the last time you looked into the eyes of your children and saw how precious they are- not just look at their outward behaviour or their attitude that needs working on….but look at them as a human being, created by a good God who gives good gifts?
Those who teach and minister to children… when did you last look at those children under your instruction and then act in a way that demonstrates that they are precious?
If we did this, I’m sure it would change how we train, discipline or spend time with them. It may change the way we go about giving instruction. We might even lose some of our tense and uptight “adultness” and slow down a bit.
Enjoy the years. Enjoy the time. Enjoy the moments of spilled milk, falls off bikes, more paracetamol for a coughing child or teaching that lesson yet again. Enjoy them.
Parents, ask any person who has lost what you have and you will know what it means to see your child as precious.
You don’t have to name your child, Precious. He or she just is.
Your job is to treat them like they are.
“By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:3,4