“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 NIV

265 homicides in Memphis and many of them were young people. Gangs threatening to have a shoot out in the malls; truancy in our school system; and the childhood poverty rate at 46%. What are we going to do with our children?

I grew up poor in rural Kentucky raised by a single mother on food stamps. So many of my peers were going to jail, on drugs, having babies, or being shot. Looking back on my life it was only the grace of God and a loving village that saw me through.

My mother also gave me a drug problem growing up! It was this drug problem that saved my life. She dragged me to church. She dragged me to Sunday school. She dragged me to the library. She made sure I had God and a good education.

The salvation of our children begins with their relationship to the Lord and getting them connected to a village. It takes a whole village to raise one child. We need to make sure our children and youth are connected to a local church.

  1. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against the enemy. Our enemy the devil is like a roaring lion going back and forth seeking to devour our young people. When we help them early to establish faith in God it creates a stronghold against the devil. There praise is a value statement in the belief that there is someone bigger than any problem they may face.
  2. A stronghold is a fortress that cannot be easily penetrated. Our kids have no protection without a strong faith community. A church with a strong children’s and youth ministry will fortify the values necessary for your child’s survival. Find you a church where you and your children can attend for their sake.
  3. When we instruct the young people to assert their faith it will silence their foes and avengers. No weapon formed against them shall prosper when we teach them who the real enemy is. The enemy is not another black person. The enemy is not a white person. We fight not against flesh and blood but against dark powers and principalities in high places. We fight against institutional racism. We fight against generational poverty. We fight against ineffective school systems. But it is only when we teach the young people that the power of life and death is in the power of their tongue. It’s only when we teach them what it says in

Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Dear God

Help us to train up our children in the way that they should go so that when they grow old they won’t tear up the community. Help us to raise bridge builders and not kids who burn bridges. Help us to teach our children that their life matters. Give us the same priority that Jesus gave Peter, “If you love me feed my lambs and then my sheep!” Father our children need you. Teach us how to teach them and reach them.

In Jesus Name,

Amen