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
June 14th, 2012 at 11:55 am
Thank you for this reminder that my children are unique in the way that God created them. I don’t have to compare them or my parenting to those around me. I need only to give them to the Lord, point them to the Lord and let Him work out the plans He has for their lives. I agree that it is VERY hard at times to not be prideful as a mother. We want what “we want” for our children and it’s hard to not become conformed to this world and care what society or our friends and family think. BUT just like the verse the Lord gave us at the very beginning of this year, we need to heed it’s wisdom and instruction. Romans 12:2 says: “Do NOT conform to this world, BUT be TRANSFORMED with the renewing of your mind.” Thank you for being the kind of mother and friend that I can look up to. That doesn’t only teach her children the “way they should go”, but you do it for your friends as well. What a blessing you are Arcy. I just love being your sister in Christ!!
June 22nd, 2012 at 1:20 am
I love how His Word pours out of you! Thank you for your encouragement and walking with me as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ! So thankful for you!
June 15th, 2012 at 12:31 am
This is such a lovely perspective on child rearing. The sooner we can appreciate them as individuals, and embrace their personalities, the better!
June 22nd, 2012 at 1:24 am
Yes! That’s why I enjoyed your post about allowing our children to ‘be free’! Praying I let go of my expectations and allow His Holy Spirit to work in and through me. Thank you for stopping by!
June 15th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
ahh.. those smiles priceless!
you brought back my precious childhood memories of DVBS
along with it, is the “kids praise”, oh how i miss Psalty
I grew up with this verse too
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6
I have kids as well, and I must say the scriptures inculcated and the words of God sown into their hearts will grow as they grow too.
thank you for reminding us with scriptures.. 🙂
– grace and peace
June 22nd, 2012 at 1:29 am
Thank you for your encouraging words of God’s words growing in their hearts. I’m not very patient and I usually want quick results…I’m glad you stopped by!
Usually after I post I’m tested on what I share and also encouraged…God used you to encourage me and today I read a verse that also encouraged me:
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
May i patiently wait and take God’s instruction, teaching, and counsel.
June 22nd, 2012 at 11:16 am
That’s a great post thank you. In a response to your comment in mybroom Graeme mentioned that the starting point is knowing we are completely safe in Jesus. However, Jesus made it clear to us that the start point is repentance, “repent for the Kingdom of God is hand” Matthew 3;2. Go to Acts 17, 30-31 it further helped me appreciate this teaching. It is wonderful that you are bringing up god fearing children, thank you. Putting the Lord Jesus, what he has done for us and his radical teaching above all else is the way. Knowing the extent of our sin, repenting and putting our total faith and trust in him is the path to being born again and salvation. I really am grateful for your post.
June 22nd, 2012 at 2:15 pm
Thank you so much for following up on my comment AND confirming the TRUTH the starting point is REPENTANCE and for the Scriptures, this is so important and we must never forget our part in having a ‘change of heart.’ When we are not stiff necked and we humble ourselves and repent we know we are completely safe in Jesus Christ because we are doing right in His sight. I pray I remain in Him and stay low.
Thank you for the encouragement of raising God fearing children…this was not always the case. I started later and I’m so thankful I am awakened and equipped by His Holy Spirit to raise the gifts He has given me. Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to reading more of you posts!
June 22nd, 2012 at 2:19 pm
p.s. I almost forgot to mention…even the repentance of true ‘godly sorrow’ comes from Him and a friend was reminding me yesterday that our ‘work’ is ‘the work of God’ that we believe in Him (Jesus Christ)
“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” 30 So they said to Him, “ What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘ He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
35 Jesus said to them, “ I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
June 22nd, 2012 at 2:58 pm
As we say in Swahili, ‘bwana asifiwe’, amen, and amen.
June 25th, 2012 at 8:14 pm
A great reminder…thanks!!!!
June 25th, 2012 at 8:16 pm
A wonderful reminder…thank you!
July 7th, 2012 at 2:49 am
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