Biblical Womanhood vs. Feminine Vermin
A Case for Homeschooling
The Constant Dripping: A Look at its Origins
Psychoanalytic Parenting: Making Progress in the Wrong Direction
Before They Were Nags
Rottenness in Everyone's Bones
Warning: Sugar N' Spice May Cause Cavities N' Heartburn
Is There Any More Room on the Roof?
See if you can come up with any of your own:
In spite of all the themes present, I think what strikes me most is that the annoying creature in this scene is a mere child. Many people believe that children are too young to understand the things of God. The Bible teaches the opposite:
1. Parents are commanded to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord: "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise" (Deuteronomy 6:7 & 11:19).
2. There is an expectation for children to know the Scriptures: "And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15).
3. Scripture speaks to children directly: "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord" (Colossians 3:20). "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:12).
4. The Scripture also gives vivid commentaries on a child's character: "Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright" (Proverbs 20:11).
5. Finally, Scripture promises positive results when we discipline children from an early age: "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him" (Proverbs 22:15). "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol" (Proverbs 23:13-14). "Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart" (Proverbs 29:17).
This is not an exhaustive study of the scriptures on this topic. There are many more verses like these which speak of the importance of training up a child in the way he should go. The important thing is to note that if a child is never too young to be disciplined, then he is never too young to understand the gospel. I find that all too often, children are marginalized in our evangelism efforts. If we do not properly explain to them who our Lord is and their identity in the grand scheme of God's creation as men and women, we will stunt the growth of their faith and character.
Consider the two children in this scene. Shirley (Temple) is a sweet, helpful, nurturing, encouraging and supportive little girl. But the other child, who ironically is called Joy, is the epitome of the kind of woman who will be a constant drain on a man in the future. The Bible gives us the confidence that children do understand much more than we give them credit for. The time to discipline, train, and evangelize them is now.