Updated: May 9
Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old,
they will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
"Train" in this text means to create an environment for life.
You see, we had tried to grow an avocado tree in our current location without a lot of intervention, and even then, we were not successful. We lost it, it died. I was so sad and felt like I had failed but truly, I was trying to grow something in an environment for which it was not designed.
Most people don't think of their environment when they think of raising children.
It should not be our objective to press upon them our hurts and traumas
Many often believe they will have kids and simply raise them up to be how they want them to be. When they don't grow up like they thought they would, they are surprised, caught off guard even. But we must ask ourselves, did we raise them according to what the Lord suggested? Do you know the nurture and admonition of the Lord? (Ephesians 6:4b)
If anything, what we learned about parenting is to let the child be who God intended the child to be.
I often drift to Mary as she was raising Jesus and wonder if she felt sufficient.
When Jesus went missing at twelve years of age and was found preaching and teaching in the synagogues and Mary (Luke 2 41-49) was very upset, and I love Jesus' response. "I must be about my father's teaching." He was getting down to business and was not wasting any time. While Mary understood what his purpose was, she was still his mom, and she was still feeling responsible for him and for his wellbeing.
When we are gifted with children, it is no small thing. God has decided to place in our care the well-being of one of his children. We are just the caretakers. It should not be our objective to press upon them our hurts and traumas.
Now while it is important to try to communicate to them of the harm that can come in this broken world, sometimes the hurts that come to our children are lessons they need to learn sent from the Father. For example, we can tell them all the instructions on how to ride a bike, but yet, they fall off the bike and they learn quickly that the flesh hurts and it bleeds.
As we approach Father's Day, I can't help but mention the importance of the father.
We can't take our dads for granted. Men have different fears than women when it comes to children and family, and they think differently. They were created to be the head of the house, so the weight of that charge from God is both important and should be handled with care.
We may not always know what they are thinking as they are working through all the responsibilities they carry. They may not always do it right in our eyes, but our eyes are not the ones that matter most. We need to see them through God's eyes.
So often, men, in general, are treated with such disrespect and contentment when really they should be treasured. So as a wife/mother, I always make sure to point out all the great things about dad to our children, so that they too learn to appreciate him the way he should be.
This week, I hope you will join me in lifting up the dad in your world. Think of the ways to say I love you without the use of words. Breakfast in bed, a hot cup of coffee ready for them as they walk out the door to work.
Sometimes its just the little thing of taking a chore off of his plate and putting it on ours. A dad that feels loved and respected is the happiest dad in the world.