Opening the door to the world is one of the most important jobs for you as a parent. And as the parent, you have every right, every privilege, a special duty, in deciding how that plays out. Today I want to challenge you in four ways…
In Luke it is written that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man. In our family that broke down easily to areas of natural development.
… in wisdom – the intellect, but not just knowledge. The applied knowledge, the how to, the whys and the time appropriate use of this knowledge. Every body knows the kid who is bratty or the adult who grew up to be arrogant because their parent never did them the favour of teaching them how to use all the knowledge they were capable of holding. Especially now, I think the skill to strain out knowledge for knowing’s sake is invaluable. Giving our children the gift of a well informed, deliberate worldview establishes patterns of thinking that will carry them on beyond these early years. Ask questions; why is this important? Is it even true? Does it align to my experience? Why does it matter to me? How do I store this information in my worldview? do I care? What am I going to do about it?
…in stature. Jesus grew up. He was a carpenter, maybe in our day more of the odd job man whom everyone used to fix a door, build the chicken coop. Adaptable, experienced, faithful, reliable and clever with His hands. Are your children growing? Are they having great experiences which stimulate and encourage them in creativity and language development? Are they getting enough rest and downtime? Is their nutrition and self-cleanliness great? You are setting them up for life here. Is exercise a part of their life? Is it modelled in your own life? Are fun, games, sport part of the plan? Will they take a risk? Are they learning about using their bodies to honour God and help others?
…in favour with God. Intentionally Jesus sought God out His whole life. Are your children gaining tools in this area for their whole lives? Is there time alone to be, or are your activities so full-on that there is little time outside of the doing? Do they know how to thank God? How to ask for things in line with His Will? How to deal with disappointment? Do they know how to seek wise counsel? To really pray in community? God delights in our littlies and He loves them even more than we can because He is LOVE. His trinity shows us how importantly He values relating well. Led your children into this, deliberately. It matters.
…in favour with man. Socially. How well do your children listen to YOU? Are they basically obedient, the first time you ask? Knowing how to listen and take instruction are two of the biggest advantages you can give your child (who will grow and become part of society sooner than you know.) Are they polite? Can they contribute with kindness and humility? Take some time to check you have taught them the basic social skills of meeting and greeting, of table manners and how to start conversation. These social areas, once mastered, can help them as adults: anywhere from dealing with preschoolers, to mixing with royalty.
And as we aim to end in Heaven mixing with the King of Kings, following His earthly example is a good place to start. Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Luke 2:52