Growing with Your Child
The lifelong journey of raising children brings so many growing opportunities for parents to grow as well.
Let’s begin with two Bible verses about Jesus that you can believe for your children.
“And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”(Luke 2:40)
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52)
Parenting is seasonal. We are always parents, of course, but our involvement changes with each stage of our children’s lives. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, juniors, pre-teens, teenagers, and grown children all require different things from their parents.
Successful parents recognize that kids aren’t the only ones who grow and change: with each step children take, parents need to increase in wisdom and knowledge as well. Though every phase of our children’s lives brings both unique delights and unique challenges, God’s grace is more than enough. If we remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit and seek godly wisdom, we will navigate the changes in our children’s lives with joy and peace.
Getting to Know Your Child… the Child that God created:
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)
- What have your kids taught you?
- Have you ever felt like your child suddenly became another person and you had to get to know him or her again?
Parenting is not about making our children into who we want them to be. God already designed everything from their physical
characteristics to the calling upon their lives. He has a unique and wonderful plan for them. As parents, our role is to help them become the best possible version of themselves.
A wonderful part of the process is getting to know our kids. This journey starts at infancy and never ends. Their personality reveals itself, their talents develop, their identity takes shape. We draw out, refine, and shape the treasures God put in our children. We help them avoid decisions and character traits that would endanger their well-being. We instill wisdom and values to help them achieve God’s best for their lives. Throughout the crucial and formative childhood years, we must exercise wisdom and maturity in our parenting. This means we:
- Avoid comparing our kids to each other or to other children we know, either positively or negatively.
- Avoid insisting they have the same talents, dreams, and gifts we have – or wish we had. We can’t live our life through them.
- Avoid making them the center of our identity and self-esteem.
- Avoid frustrating them with impossible expectations.
- Avoid giving up on understanding them, especially during the turbulent seasons.
Understanding our children and bringing out their best is a beautiful response that will allow us to grow in grace as well.
– Pastor Gini