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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Children’s rights

Vieraskieliset / In-english
19.4.2022 12.00

Juttua muokattu:

21.3. 11:35

Text: Sal­la Pät­si

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Whe­ne­ver I think about the Day of Child­ren’s Rights, I won­der what that day re­al­ly me­ans. We sel­dom think very pro­found­ly about the rights we had as child­ren – or have now as adults. At le­ast I feel that I was born and grew up in ma­te­ri­al abun­dan­ce with many rights. We sel­dom think that many of the things we con­si­der self-evi­dent are inac­ces­sib­le to many pe­op­le. Or at le­ast they need to work hard, of­ten even at the risk of their li­ves, to at­tain those things.

I think child­ren’s rights should al­so inc­lu­de the right to hear the mes­sa­ge about mer­ci­ful God, about Je­sus who ato­ned for our sins and about gu­ar­di­an an­gels, and to le­arn a com­for­ting eve­ning pra­yer. I was hap­py to lis­ten to two yo­ung pe­op­le who sha­red ex­pe­rien­ces and me­mo­ries of their child­hood ho­mes. They said that, alt­hough they no lon­ger be­lie­ve in the same way as their pa­rents, they are re­al­ly gra­te­ful for the way they were brought up, the sa­fe­ty of their ho­mes and the eve­ning pra­yer, es­pe­ci­al­ly when they lis­ten to their friends or vi­sit their ho­mes. They felt that their child­hood ex­pe­rien­ces are still the foun­da­ti­on of their life.

They have so­met­hing gre­a­ter than them­sel­ves that they can rely on. There is the home where they are lo­ved un­con­di­ti­o­nal­ly and ca­red for wit­hout mu­tu­al de­mands. Alt­hough their li­fes­ty­le and their choi­ces in life cau­se their pa­rents to wor­ry, they still feel lo­ved and im­por­tant. They even said they were surp­ri­sed about their pa­rents’ to­le­ran­ce.

I was al­so hap­py to hear that they wan­ted to de­fend their pa­rents’ faith and to cor­rect ot­her pe­op­le’s mis­con­cep­ti­ons, be­cau­se ”this is so­met­hing that I know bet­ter than any of my friends!” They do not feel bit­ter about their home backg­round, but ap­p­re­ci­a­te it and feel free to say so. They said even some adults had been as­to­nis­hed at that.

I felt hap­py about eve­ryt­hing I he­ard, be­cau­se we, as be­lie­ving pa­rents, want to give our child­ren the best that we can. We do not push or for­ce them. We even try to un­ders­tand if our child ma­kes choi­ces that we do not ap­p­re­ci­a­te. Even so, I ag­ree with a mot­her who on­ce said that, when a child gave up their faith, she felt that her own faith was tes­ted and she lost her own joy of be­lie­ving. She al­so won­de­red if all the work she had done for that child would go to was­te.

Being a mot­her of some un­be­lie­ving child­ren, I can say it is good that not all of our thoughts show on the out­si­de. It is good so­me­ti­mes to have a mo­ment to con­si­der one’s re­ac­ti­ons. And it is al­so good that we can put away the words that would bet­ter have been left un­said and the things that should have been left un­do­ne and for­get them. My ex­pe­rien­ce is that hu­man for­gi­ve­ness is al­so avai­lab­le to un­be­lie­ving pe­op­le. And then we can start again from the be­gin­ning, even though wit­hout the gos­pel. We can al­wa­ys take care of the bad mat­ters and be gra­ci­ous to the ot­her per­son and to our­sel­ves.

One of the child­ren’s rights is the right to be ab­le to live like a child, wit­hout the wor­ries of adults. Child­ren should be ab­le to live and play, lis­ten to sto­ries, spend free time with adults, talk to them and even dis­cuss big and se­ri­ous mat­ters. To re­cei­ve age-ap­p­rop­ri­a­te ans­wers to their qu­es­ti­ons. To be held and to feel se­cu­re. To be clean and warm. And to hope there would al­wa­ys be “enough sleep and hun­ger”, like my hus­band of­ten says.

In our fa­mi­ly it is most­ly the fat­her who kis­ses and cud­d­les child­ren. So­me­ti­mes, when he co­mes home af­ter weeks of wor­king away from home, a child may say, “Mum­my ne­ver cud­d­les us. But she re­ads to us!”

That com­ment re­al­ly made me pau­se, be­cau­se it was true. I find it dif­fi­cult to show af­fec­ti­on, to touch and hold even my own child­ren. But I try to show my love in ot­her ways. I read them the sto­ries that I love my­self. I read the eve­ning pra­yer, the same that my mot­her’s mot­her is said to have read. I bless them, sing to them, and talk to them. I al­so try to le­arn to be qui­et and lis­ten pro­per­ly to what the child wants to tell me. To give them time.

The eve­ning pra­yer is an im­por­tant thing that con­nects us. I on­ce sta­yed over­night at the ca­bin with my own daugh­ter and a nie­ce. I won­de­red if I could still read the eve­ning pra­yer to the fair­ly big girls. But when I star­ted sa­ying the pra­yer, my nie­ce joi­ned in. It tur­ned out we had the same eve­ning pra­yer. And I have been hap­py to find that many of my cou­sins’ fa­mi­lies al­so pray with the same words! I feel that my grand­mot­her’s pra­yer is still car­rying us. Can a grand­mot­her give any bet­ter in­he­ri­tan­ce to her of­fsp­ring than the right to use an eve­ning pra­yer where we can pray for the whole world! Even as an adult, that pra­yer qui­e­tens down my thoughts and helps me see things more cle­ar­ly. When sa­ying that pra­yer, I can se­cu­re­ly be­lie­ve that, God wil­ling, we can do this or that… and we need not wor­ry about things that are too big for us to do anyt­hing about them!


Jeesus sanoi: ”Eivät terveet tarvitse parantajaa, vaan sairaat. Menkää ja tutkikaa, mitä tämä tarkoittaa: ’Armahtavaisuutta minä tahdon, en uhrimenoja.’” Matt. 9:12–13

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