God keeps giving me epiphanies lately. They are lessons I already knew, but He's showing me how critical they are in His ultimate will for mankind. I guess I didn't know the full ramifications and repercussions that could happen with certain things. This morning, He spoke to my heart about the importance of how we treat our children. Far too few people actually are careful speaking to their children. They use harsh words that sting and that will be remembered for years, maybe decades, and which may hobble our children through this already difficult road of life. Many people think of children as their personal possessions. They do not see children as they should, i.e. a gift on loan from God in which we have a critical no-fail responsibility to train them diligently. We are not supposed to craft them in our image or make them the repositories of all our own failed dreams in our lives. Instead, they are a unique life with talents and personalities and gifts that may make them diametrically opposed to who we are. We should view them as God's work in process, which we are allowed to influence, although we still have a heavy responsibility for their overall welfare and the outcome of their character. God will hold us accountable for this. In training them in the way that Deuteronomy 6:5-7 admonishes, we should approach the task as a never-ending one. We will always be (or should be) further up on this pilgrim road through life to our real home, though in reality, many parents are not as well developed as their children due to their own selfish choices in life. And we should always approach the task humbly, knowing that we were the same at one time, that life is very difficult for the young, tender heart, and knowing that we are all treasures in these earthen vessels. We are no better than our children and of no higher worth in the Father's eyes. Make no mistake about this. God sees every word and every action and will hold us accountable. He will judge most harshly those that selfishly or apathetically took advantage of innocence. But under the blood of Christ and through His spiritual power indwelling us, we approach the task of training our young ones humbly, with patience, with tenderness, with compassion, and with humor. We should treat our children just as we wish to be treated by our Father in Heaven when He trains us.