Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
PARENTS GUIDE THEIR CHILDREN
Many people know this verse from Proverbs, and I think it’s an important one to note…especially for those of us with children. I know that some people think this verse means different things, but here’s what I’ve heard preached on this subject.
So often we (as parents) want to project our passions and talents on to our children. While it’s great that we share these things with our children, I think it can lead to disappointment from us as parents and frustration from children.
EVERYONE HAS SPECIAL GIFTS (EVERYONE!!)
Our job as parents is to raise our children as productive members of society and make sure they find what they’re good at. God has gifted all of us with something we are good at and that we can do in our unique way. This is special, and as parents we should do our very best to encourage our children to find what they’re great at and help them become better.
We have three children, and they are all VERY different. Of course they have some similarities, but they truly have different drives, passions, learning abilities, and learning styles. It’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just how God made them.
COMPARISON TRULY IS THE THEIF OF JOY
Too often I see mamas fall into the trap of comparison. With social media it’s really hard not to do. I mean, one mom touts her 11 month old is fully potty trained, speaks two languages, can play the piano, and eats all of his fruits and vegetables, and very well behaved. Meanwhile I’m sitting here with my almost four year old who is scared of the potty (most days) and gets PT, OT, and speech therapy.
Or the mom who shares the accomplishments of her pre teen girl who can do back hand springs or a perfect split and made strait A’s the last grading period while my 10 year old daughter can barely read the most basic of words and still plays with baby dolls.
I’m not going to lie, it used to bother me. But the more I mediate on this and really think about my children’s abilities and gifts it puts things into perspective. Jac will do something great. She’s already taught me so much and humbled me over and over. Uriah isn’t going to wear a diaper walking across a the stage to receive his high school diploma, so I shouldn’t be too concerned.
But while we are talking about different abilities and fostering passions and bringing them up to use their God-given talents, let’s talk about our middle boy. He’s smart. Like, really smart. He’s a deep thinker. While he loves some of the things my husband does (dirt bikes, motorcycles, and some sports) he’s very different from my husband. It used to bother him a lot. But Joseph sees things in such a different way from Joe AND me, and while it sometimes drives me crazy, I really appreciate his “different” mind.
BLESSED WITH EACH CHILD
Joe didn’t want a third kid. (I mean he’s happy now that we have Uriah, but it wasn’t part of his plan. He only wanted two children: a boy and a girl. God had different plans.) But Uriah is much more like Joe than Joseph is. And I think it’s great! He got the boy “just like him” that he wanted. Each kid is special in his or her own way. And your kids are special in their own way even if they don’t do things at the same level as his or her peers. This is okay! Find your child’s strength and encourage them in that because that’s their God-given gift and the quicker they figure it out, the less frustrated everyone will be.
DIFFERENCES ARE BEAUTIFUL
So remember, not everyone is the same. Not everyone is on the same path. All kids don’t have to go to college. And not everyone does everything at the same time in life. It doesn’t make anyone better or smarter or more special. It just makes people unique. Find your kids’ gift and help them flourish into the person God made them to be.
Until next time….