The crowd sat charmed at a performance by several young violin students. After the concert, the instructor spoke briefly about how young children are taught to play the violin. He said the first thing the children learn is the proper stance. The second thing the children learn, even before they pick up the violin, is how to take a bow. “If the children just play the violin and stop, people may forget to show their appreciation,” the instructor said. “But when the children bow, the audience invariably applauds. And applause is the best motivator we’ve found to make children feel good about performing and want to do it well” (Ernest Mellor, Homemade, November 1984).
Everyone likes being applauded. However, children may be the one group that needs it the most. Kids can be sensitive, easily embarrassed, and quickly discouraged. The good news is, the opposite effect can occur just and swiftly. This is why it is so important to praise and encourage our kids, particularly when they show an interest in spiritual activities.
Hebrews 3:13 instructs, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
While obviously children are pure and innocent in God’s eyes (Matthew 19:14), they are not at all exempt from the need for daily encouragement. Encouragement helps children to make the right decisions. Encouragement helps children to make faithful decisions. Encouragement helps kids grow up to become tomorrow’s church leaders and leaders’ wives. Encouragement just helps kids to grow up and remain faithful.
One of the worst scenarios a Christian parent can imagine is their children becoming unfaithful. So let’s tap into this very simple and effective tool and keep on encouraging our kids for faithful decisions!