There is a person in my life who can make me laugh more than anyone else I know – that person is my son. He has always had a wonderful sense of humor. He lives life outside of the box, is comfortable in his own skin, and refuses to conform to what others say he should be. I love that about him. I don’t have to wonder where he stands on anything because he tells it like it is.
Sadly, there was a time when I didn’t see any of these God given qualities for what they were. I listened to well meaning voices that told me how a young boy should act, look, and talk. Many of the little boys around him were dressed “just so”, sat still in church, and were told they were foolish when they joked around. Being a young mom who desired that my son learn to honor God, I listened to those around me and began my mission of trying to make my son behave the way others said he should. Sadly, in my quest of trying to trying to conform my son to what I thought was best, I began to stifle the unique gifts that he been given.
Through a number of circumstances God graciously opened my eyes to my own foolishness and helped me to see the young man he had lovingly created my son to be. He helped me understand that my precious son was in a process of growth and that the attitude of his heart was what most important – not his performance.
“A joyful heart is good medicine…” Proverbs 17:22
I am so grateful that God changed the way I viewed my son and how He taught me to accept him for how he has been “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Caleb’s personality is an amazing gift and has brought so much life into our home. God has enabled me to walk along side him in his process of growth and guide him rather than having to constantly correct him.
Some might see his untucked shirt, that he likes to joke around, that he does not fit a particular mold, and they may think that he doesn’t measure up to what they think the standard should be. But that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I see the person God has made him to be, have seen so much growth, and can truly celebrate who he is.
Yes, he has some foolishness in his heart. We all do! But he is not characterized by being foolish. He is a very submissive and tender young man. If I could do it over again, I would choose to seek God and His wisdom on how to relate to my son, rather than listenting to people and their opinions. I would have gotten to know my son for who he is and not tried to hold him up to a standard that someone decided was right. I am so thankful that God opened my eyes, changed ME, and that my son and I have a good relationship now. Caleb has helped me to loosen up, not take everything so seriously, and has added a fun dimension to our family. He has also helped me to learn how to be comfortable being who God made ME to be.
It’s important that we get to know our children as individuals and encourage them to be who God made them to be. It’s one of the best gifts we will ever give them. I am so grateful that God brought me to my senses before it was too late. He is so merciful!
6 Ways to Encourage Your Children to be Who God Made Them to Be
- Regularly bring to their attention that God has made them with amazing gifts and abilities.
- Tell them that the gifts and abilities they have been given can be used for God’s glory. (Even a wonderful sense of humor!)
- Strive to point out evidence of God’s grace in their lives and tell them when you see God working in them.
- If you sense it is time to bring something to their attention that they need to work on, make sure they understand that we are all in a process of growth and that we are in this together. We don’t want to leave them discouraged or feeling overwhelmed.
- Accept them for who they are, for how God has made them, and be sure to communicate that to them. (Ask for forgiveness when you fail to do this.)
- AND…Tell them that you love them and you like them!