We were at a closing ceremony for Vacation Bible School when God reminded me how He has blessed me with two entirely opposite children.
The impeccably dressed kids were parading down the aisle of the Church, when my daughter comes out in a beautiful dress walking with proper posture, smiling and going into her assigned spot in the far left corner. My son on the other hand, wore cotton pajama shorts and a white T-shirt with flip flops and bounced down the aisle heading to his assigned spot in the far right side. As he tried to move next to the only other boy, two girls created a wall and he joyfully accepted their refusal and turned around and nearly knocked over a huge vase next to him.
When they began singing my daughter sang loudly, doing the hand motions perfectly and smiling with the exception of when she found the time to tell the older girl next to her to scoot over because she needed more room.
My son. He was trying to keep up with the hand motions but you can tell he had a hard time hearing, and he turned around at one point and faced the children and began to pick his bottom in front of the entire audience. When it came time for the team cheer my daughter said it in unison. My son was oblivious when his team cheered and when it was silent jumped in the air and yelled, “Go Judah!” All. By. Himself. The audience roared with laughter.
Laughter. I am thankful I was able to laugh. I am thankful it was a day I was not prideful as a mother but humble. It was a day I chose not to make it about me, or what others thought. It was a day I chose to accept my children for how God uniquely created them.
I must confess that’s not always the case, but I’m thankful for God’s inspired Word that reminds me:
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6
This does not say to train up a child in the way I think he should go. I have fought many useless battles with my son and daughter to try to conform them to the way I think they should go. The majority of these battles derived from my pride. I cared what others thought of my children and of me as a mother. I let my insecurities of motherhood dictate how I raised my children, until I remembered: we all belong to God. Since He is the Creator I asked Him, “which way do they go?” Especially since I have two completely opposite children…how do I know which way is the ‘right’ way? Again, God answers through His Word:
The word “Train up” means:
“To narrow; discipline, to dedicate of a house or temple”
And “in the way he should go” means:
‘according to his way’
This means to train them, discipline them in the way God has uniquely designed them.
I have pondered what this means for my children and this is what God has revealed to me:
- God has designed all of us to worship Him, to bring glory to Himself.
That has been the foremost training my husband and I have been focusing on for the past two years. We have dedicated our children to the Lord and have made a vow to train and teach them as God commands in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. We are teaching them the primary ‘Way’ to go, leading them to Jesus Christ each day.
However, God has also uniquely designed them, and blessed them with talents He wants them to use to glorify Him. He has created them with a purpose and He knows the plans He has for them, but how do I know ‘the way they should go’?
The best way for me to know how He uniquely created them is to pray for wisdom and ask God to show me. I ask God for wisdom on how I can cultivate an atmosphere to encourage and help flourish the talents and gifts He has blessed them with. I ask God for strength to help me to ‘pay attention’ and be present with my children to listen, to watch, and be around them.
God has taught me, when I listen to my children, I am listening to their hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks. What is their heart saying about what sort of discipline they need? All of these are questions I ask my Father in Heaven and when I humbly ask, He gives me the grace to raise them.
I realize by the power of the Holy Spirit I can teach my children about God and Jesus Christ and show my children the ‘Way’ to go, and lead them to the gate and they may still choose not to walk in the way of the narrow path, but I have comfort knowing the Lord hears my prayers and the Words I share with them now, His Word will watch over them even in their sleep and one day when they are awaken God’s Words will talk to them.
“My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life.” Proverbs 6:20-23