Analysis: MUMBA MWANSA
FEBRUARY is famously known to be the month of love. Yes, we as humans need to show love and care for one another. Basically, we shall tackle the love that our children deserve not only in the month of February, but for the rest of their lives.
Just like adults, children, too, need to have their rights respected and observed. As parents and guardians, we are mandated by the Bible, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child to give children special care and assistance as they grow up.
The love and care that we ought to give children is not tantamount to any form of abuse such as physical, emotional, spiritual or, worse off, sexual. This love ought to be unconditional and a feeling that comes about naturally but gets to grow bigger by the day.
Children are innocent sweet souls who do not deserve any form of hurt or neglect in their growing up. It is the reason why parents and guardians always have to protect and nurture them in a dignified and appropriate manner.
In our society, we have heard so many stories of children being neglected by their parents or guardians, who are mandated by law to provide this basic right. Some children are sexually abused by close relations, while others are disciplined in ways that are inappropriate and against their rights.
But the Bible reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13:6 that “love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth”. Evil or bad deeds towards our children do not in any way constitute affection for love.
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for the full and harmonious development of a child’s personality, one needs to grow up in a family environment with an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. Are we abiding by this law?
Well, as parents and guardians, we need to bear in mind that how we raise children will have an impact on how they will perceive life in the future when they are grown-ups.
If a child has never experienced love and care, this poses a threat on society as such a child may also tend to grow up bitter and without love for any being in society. This, therefore, becomes a contributing factor to the cases of theft, murder, defilement and gender-based violence, among others.
Not feeling loved and cared for normally leads to rebellious behaviour, which can prove to be very bad in trying to have a clean and co-ordinated society.
Even the Bible encourages us to show love for one another as is evidenced in 1 John 4:7-8, which states: “Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God. For God is love.”
Therefore, as we parents and guardians show our love and affection towards our fellow adults, let us always remember that we have a huge task of showing love and affection towards our children, too. The young ones need our love more, especially for a better future. Much love to all the children in the world!
The author is a Zambia Daily Mail sub-editor.