Understanding Not Provoking
One of the hardest things that I have encountered in all of my years of being a parent is how to be a more understanding parent. I have a very results-oriented personality and thus, I think at times that the whole world should perform all at the same level and get the same results. We all know that does not work though, because everyone is different in regards to how God made them.
God blessed my wife and I with three beautiful girls who are each very different in terms of personality and interests. Unfortunately, there were many times early on that I expected all of them to be the same in how they performed at school, their interests, their behavior, and other areas. I learned quickly and sometimes painfully that this was not the case.
I should have known this from one of my favorite verses in the book of Ephesians. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” This verse reminds me that God made each person uniquely and carefully with a beautiful purpose for life. That truth has helped me tremendously in raising my children.
Each of my three girls has different talents, gifts, and personalities just as each of your children do. No matter how many children you have, they are all different. When we expect them to all perform the same in any area whether it be academics, athletics, or the arts, we will quickly frustrate our children and ourselves.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:4 reiterates this when he states: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Oftentimes, we as parents can provoke our children to anger by expecting them to fit a certain mold academically or athletically. I have found it far better to challenge my children to do their best at whatever endeavor or interest they have and allow God to do the rest.
What great reminder for us as parents that indeed our children are God’s masterpiece! I pray that we will spend our time helping our kids to find their significance and purpose in Jesus Christ. Once they discover that, then we can spend our energies on encouraging them to do their best to honor and glorify God with their unique set of talents and gifts!