Let your child paint! I grew up with parents who ran a shipping company. That’s why we lived on a large ark on the water in Roermond. Very wide and free with lots of nature around us. That had its advantages. We always had boats around us, a speedboat, a sailboat or surfboards. The marina was my playground and with my friends we played hide and seek in the winter on all the large, luxurious yachts there. What a beautiful playground. Fortunately, the owners of the yachts knew nothing about this! My parents’ company also had another side, the ark was made of iron, the sailboat was made of wood and we had many customers. So at an early age I learned to sand, paint, varnish, tar, work and serve customers. In retrospect, I am so happy that I learned to work, that I was given tasks and responsibilities, that I had to work and think along, and that I could take music lessons. It has given me an attitude of tackling and helping. Tasks give you responsibility, responsibility makes you grow and become strong. I think we all agree on that. And that is what I also wanted to pass on to my children. I still say to my children: We have a family business here together, everyone in this house helps with what needs to be done. And when I look around me, I see that (too) little is asked of children. Parents carry the children’s backpacks, they carry all the groceries themselves, they put their child in front of the PC and go to work around the house. What is the purpose of parenting again? Give children everything? Protect children from everything? We don’t need to pamper or entertain our children so much. This takes the pressure off ourselves and gives the children more responsibility, imagination and creativity. This teaches children to deal with adversity and to learn from their mistakes. But what about in the church? There are so many tasks and challenges in a church, we often call for employees. Who can we deploy then? Can children participate? What if we started with the children to involve and train them in municipal work, to give them responsibility and to coach them? First in small tasks, in small responsibilities. With some guidance and help from us. What kind of generation will grow up then? Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Jesus said: I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden your secrets from those who think they know a lot, but have whispered them to young children. Matt 11:25-26I think the purpose of parenting is to make children independent of you and dependent on God . Every year we lead the children’s work, Megakids, at the Betteld. And then all the children can help, we have buddies who help the leaders. The children come half an hour earlier on their own and stay half an hour longer to work with them. They feel important and appreciated, they have a task! We teach the children the truths of the gospel (the words of Jesus), but we do not teach them the actions of Jesus. How can we bring balance to this? Our job is to prepare and train the children in the church so that they will be ready when God moves with His power. It is my passion to let children be an active part of the Kingdom of Jesus and to guide them in this as adults. Let’s give our children tasks and responsibilities both at home and in church, that makes us all stronger!Children are not only today’s church, they are also today’s missionaries and today’s evangelists!