“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” – Psalms 139:14.
Sunday’s message was not a sermon about children, but it was a message to parents and to children. It applies to parents and grandparents, not just to the parents who just have children living at home, but also to the parents whose children have grown up and left the home. Usually when we talk about parenting we are talking to parents with young children. But sometimes the children who are out in the world by themselves, actually need their parents the most. The fact is, God created the unique design in each child, whatever ages they may be.
I think we intuitively know that. Because usually when you have more than one child, you have two very different people on your hands. God has given each of our children specific gifts, abilities and capacities for specific purposes and He can equip parents to discover and support those powerful personality traits if they know where to look and how to respond. So many kids raised in Christian homes launch into their adult lives without any sense of knowing who they are called to be or what their mission on earth is. What if parents, teachers or mentors could help them discover the the unique gifts God has given them?
One child can be very outgoing and the other can be very quiet. One can be a gifted writer while another can actually understand calculus. One child will be happy to stand up and speak in public, and another would rather be in time out for the rest of their life than stand up in front of other people. You learn very quickly that there aren’t that many hard and fast rules because children are individuals and children are different. And each child has to be treated as an individual. And we must remember that when God created your unique child, He didn’t create a mini-me that automatically follows in your footsteps. And if they desire to take a different path, we shouldn’t force them to be something they are not because that is what we want for them.
We need to be original since we are raising originals by thinking outside a cookie-cutter approach. But that means they may not be just like us. Parents who try to live vicariously through their children, in sports or in life, are not raising each child according to their unique needs and personality. This begins when we understand our kids unique strengths and the challenges associated with them and discover their God-given gifts and how to use them for His glory. Because when kids uncover and develop their individual skills, abilities and gifts, awesome things can and do happen.
- In your mind, what makes each child unique? What makes each parent unique?
- Is it wrong to follow in your parent’s footsteps?
- We need to be original since we are raising originals. Agree or disagree and why?
- What can we do this week to help our kids uncover and use their skills and abilities?