Joy radiates through my son’s warm smile and his big brown eyes with a hint of green. There is only One who knows how many strands of brown hair frame his head. His body is growing bigger and taller with each passing moment.
A flashlight is a great treasure to him; he giggles playing flashlight tag with his electrical-savvy daddy. Anything with a light, motor, or battery is fascinating to him. I hope he grows to understand the importance of being a bright light for Jesus.
He is a 4-year-old who builds with Legos, flies planes through the house, adores books, regularly talks about numbers, pretends to blast-off into space, studies his daddy’s tools, and utters phrases at dinner like, “Saturn has at least 53 moons.” He is inquisitive, determined, enthused about life, sweet, energetic, usually cheerful, and always ready to learn something new.
God uniquely designed my child. He uniquely designed every child with great care and purpose.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
~ Psalm 139: 13-14 (NIV)
- In the original Hebrew text the word ‘fearfully’ means: with great reverence, heart-felt interest, and with respect.
- The word ‘wonderfully’ means: unique, set apart, marvelous.
What wonder! God created us with such care and respect, and He made each person unique and marvelous. Nurturing a child’s wonderful, God-given identity is a great privilege and great responsibility. So, where do we begin?
Being Receivers of God’s Love and Grace
May I gently remind us of the grace that was shown to us on the Cross? It is because of our imperfections that the Cross was necessary. Rather than leaving us hanging in our sin, God sent His Son down to earth to hang on the Cross, bearing the weight of all of our sins on His perfect body.
There will be mess-ups in the journey of child-rearing. We will fail at times, but when we humble ourselves before the Lord, He meets us with grace and strengthens us to press on.
The better we know grace, the better we can show it to the next generation.
May I also gently remind us of the love that was shown to us on the Cross? The Cross is a powerful reminder that the Lord is for us, not against us. He is our advocate, not our opponent. He believes in us, doesn’t belittle us.
Love brings life to us and our children. First believing that WE are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a loving God, will help us pass along this truth to our children. And letting our children know we love them, are for them, and believe in them – ultimately points them to the unconditional love of The Father who wonderfully made them.
Praying Fervently and Reading The Word
Prayer is an amazing gift that allows us to stay in communication with God; so is His Word. When we lack wisdom, this is the first place we should run. When we make space to hear His whispers, we are better equipped to speak life and love and truth to our children.
It is also never too early to begin praying and reading the Bible together as a family. If you have a young child like I do, there are several devotional type books and bibles that are a bit easier for little ones to digest. Our son daily asks to do his “Daily Bread” and “Nightly Bread” devotions. We read to him from our regular bibles too, but the kid-friendly material helps him relate. We pray together at meal time, before bed, and random times throughout the day.
The more children hear Truth, the more it soaks in. God has a way of speaking to even the littlest of hearts.
Speaking Words That Build Up
Words are powerful and the words we speak over our children can have great influence in their lives. Our homes should be environments saturated in life-giving words where children learn they are wanted, treasured, and wonderfully created by God.
Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
~Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)
When we affirm what God already says about our children, we bring Him honor. Genuine I love you’s and words of encouragement go a long way. Praising them when they complete a task or do something good, nurtures their self-esteem. Teaching them their bodies are marvelous creations to be respected, nurtures a healthy body-image.
Developing Your Child’s Talents
God created children with unique talents and abilities that should be nurtured rather than squashed. When their gifts are cultivated, not only do children develop a positive self-esteem, but they’re given the chance to reach their full potential. We may not know the unique calling God has for our child down the road, but we can start preparing them now for their unique journey ahead.
I already see some of my son’s talents and abilities peeking through at the young age of four. Perhaps some of these things are simply phases, but some may flourish into things only God knows.
My husband and I try to provide positive outlets for the things of interest to him. Our house is filled with toys that give him opportunities to build, take apart, and create. Sometimes he helps Daddy fix things around the house. He has his own flashlight which entertains his fascination with electricity. He is always on the move so he rides his bike, we go to parks, and our own backyard is a great classroom. He soaks in knowledge like a sponge through reading, so we go to the library and get books about things that interest him.
Discovering your child’s talents and gifts may take some trial and error, but giving them opportunities to try different things can be a great way to discover. What do they like to do? What’s that thing they keep going back to over and over again? Are their certain tasks that seem to come naturally? These can be clues about the unique way they were designed.
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Remember what the Psalmist did in Psalm 139? He PRAISED God. He thanked God for fearfully and wonderfully making him. When we celebrate that we are wonderful creations and guide our children to believe the same, we bring praise to our Creator.
Imagine a world that echoes songs of thanksgiving to the King of kings.