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Ellen White directed these words to fathers, but she could have included us all: "Spend as much time as possible with your children. Seek to become acquainted with their various dispositions, that you may know how to train them in harmony with the word of God."* Children are of inestimable worth within God's Kingdom. Positive time with them is stewardship at its best.

Here are some simple ways you can invest time in the youth of your church or school:

Refuse to give up any child. Our vow needs to be "Not One of Ours Gets ‘Left Behind' — Without a Fight."

"It doesn't 'Take a Village' but — a praying-fighting-warrior-village saying no child goes down on our watch!

Shoot hoops with a teen.

On your way through the take-out drive-through next time, take an "alien" teen with you. (You'll both learn a new language.)

Make a minute (no has one, so make it) to tell the local principal you are praying for him. He'll be thankful.

Fill a tummy. If you are brave, open the fridge to some teens. If you serve pizza — you'll have a crowd.

Pray by name for each child in your church. (Pray twice for the ones with bad attitudes and maybe your attitude will change, too.)

If you love something ... support it, massage it, prop it up — give it CPR.

If a child trusts you — become worthy of him or her.

Be a good "gatekeeper." The world has enough lousy role-models. Be a good one.

* Ellen White, The Adventist Home, p. 222.

March 01, 2010 / Feature