A Tampa toddler died Monday after her “very busy” father forgot about her and left the 18-month-old little girl in his jeep for hours.
The story made national headlines after the child was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
‘It appears it was a very busy morning for the family. They have several other children as well and in an effort to get everybody where they needed to go, the toddler was left in the backseat,’ said Steve Hegarty with the Tampa Police Department.
The mother called the police at around 6:30 p.m. after discovering the child in their Jeep.
Tampa police said the death appears to be accidental, and there are no signs of foul play.
‘The dad used the vehicle the toddler was in to take people to school, to work, and all that,’ Hegarty said. ‘[He] then took a separate car to work that caused him to forget the child was in the backseat of the car.’
This is the 50th such incident this year and the 5th in Florida.
You can only imagine the anguish, grief, and guilt these parents, and especially the Dad, must feel. It is so sad.
However, as I read this news of this tragedy, I thought of an even greater tragedy being suffered by so many children today.
Too many fathers and mothers, even those who profess Christianity, have forgotten about the spiritual needs of their children. They have failed to provide a healthy environment to nourish their little souls.
The Bible admonishes parents with these words: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).
When fathers are harsh and hurl cutting and cruel words at their children, they have forgotten their kids.
When mothers are so busy with their careers and their personal pursuits and neglect to listen to the needs of their sons and daughters, they have forgotten their kids.
When fathers and mothers angrily fight, screaming at each other, yelling ugly names with little eyes watching and little ears hearing, they have forgotten their kids.
When parents are so busy with their professions and pursuit of pleasure that they fail to pray, read the Bible and talk to them about Jesus and God, they have forgotten their kids.
When parents skip Bible classes or worship services because they are too tired, too busy, or too preoccupied with their self-interests, they have forgotten their kids.
The ancient words of Moses to Israel’s parents still serve as a real and relevant reminder to 21st-century parents.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deut 6:4-9, ESV).
The metaphors are not difficult to understand. Make God and His Word the center of your family life. Let it guide your actions and attitudes. Allow it to form your values. And be a priority for all your activities.
If you’re a parent, then parent your children. Don’t forget about your kids.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
2 responses to “Don’t Forget About Your Kids”
Great reminder Ken! Thanks!
Even in the old days busy involved parents forgot about their kids. In Luke 2:41-52, When the Father Jesus and the Mother Jesus return home from an annual festival in Jerusalem, the Kid Jesus gets left behind. The harried Jesus parents, look for the Kid Jesus amongst their family and friends to no avail. Nobody has seen the Kid Jesus or knows where the Kid Jesus could be. So the Jesus parents make their way back to Jerusalem and to their astonishment, the Kid Jesus is teaching and asks them an astounding question. The Kid Jesus asks “Why were you searching for me?” “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Luke says the Jesus parents did not understand such a question. Then Luke says The Mother Jesus stored this question in her heart.
Today Christian Kids also need to be seen taking an active part teaching and asking questions in their Father’s house. They need to know who their Father is and they need to recognize their Father as their Father. Moreover, their Father needs to feel loved, obeyed and included in a faith community or church that he, his wife the Mother of his kids and their kids can call their House.
Sadly too many Christian Kids are being raised by single parents who have no idea who Christ the Everlasting Father was and is and how he figures into the Christian story. It is time to let Christian families in on the mystery that crucified and chained Paul (Ephesians 6:19-20; Galatians 2:20).
It is blasphemous to promote Christ as the Everlasting Father and not unequivocally honour him as the loving faithful Bridegroom who is firmly attached, nailed to the Bride who faithfully searches for him. Christian followers need to know unequivocally who the Bride is and who her Bridegroom is. They need to see her with a heart full of certainty, love and desire as the Bride who clings to her Bridegroom her Lord and no other (Joshua 23:8). The Easter Rabboni is not the Christ. He is the first “born again” Jesus Kid and he is steadfast and sure of his role. He knows who his Jesus Parents are and why his Jesus Mother is asking him if he has taken the Lord’s body.
Thank you again Ken! You have caused me to remember the story of the Kid Jesus left behind and how important it is to raise up and teach our kids the Jesus Story. Please know and feel how much I appreciate your faith and your posts. I would never have thought this through on my own. Thank you with all my heart, Sincerely Linda.