I have always loved teaching and the Lord gave me the rich privilege when I was just barely twenty years old to teach kindergarten, and then for a few years after that, first grade. I remember the first year I taught I had 31 five-year olds in a tiny little classroom! I was overwhelmed many days at managing all those children and actually teaching them, but with the guidance of a dear saint and wonderful teacher who taught the other kindergarten class, I survived the year, and so did all my students.
Now, thirty some years later, I’ve been contacted on Facebook by some of those students! I always cringe when one of them says, “I’ll never forget when you told me…” Who knows what I might have said or done! I pray I was a godly influence, but I’m sure someone has a memory of something said to them from my lips that wasn’t helpful. Children are so impressionable and I know from my own experience, some things that we say will go with them into adulthood.
When I was a little girl in the fourth grade I had a teacher that encouraged me. She was the first teacher I can remember that had us write stories and poetry. I loved it! I had a folder packed full of papers with my handwritten stories, some including illustrations. At the end of the year she said to me, “I’ll give you this folder to keep if you’ll promise me you’ll keep writing.” I promised. Did she ever know what a motivator she was to me? I wish I could tell her.
On a negative note, I know someone who was told they “weren’t college material.” This lady has a remarkable ability to learn, share, and create, but because of that statement made by one person, she never even attempted college. She has achieved much without a degree…I wish I could tell that person who discouraged her!
My point is, we need to encourage children with godly encouragement. Remind them that God has a purpose for their lives, that He created them with special gifts and abilities that He wants to use them for His honor. Tell them that He has a will for them, and that they can trust God with their lives! Tell them you will be praying for them and you know they can do whatever God calls them to do. They will never forget the truths you share, and they’ll never forget that you shared it with them!