Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Children are GIFTS: Part 2

Meet my friend, Nicki! I have invited her to post here all week to continue the celebration of Mothers.

Nicki and her husband, Brad, are faithfully raising three cheerful kids.

I love her comforting smile, her humble determination, and her rumbling hunger for more of God's Word. I know you'll enjoy this week-long study of Biblical Motherhood.
We're looking at five moms in the Bible and learning how to grow as a parent. Children are GIFTS. Each day this week, we'll look, at a different letter in the word "GIFTS".

Here's Nicki...

G is for God-centered. (Click here for Monday's post.)
I is for Individuality.

Another Mother who I find interesting is one whose name is never mentioned. She is mentioned in Judges 13. We know her as Manoh's wife, or Samson's mother. She too, like Hannah, was unable to conceive, but then by the power of God, she was blessed with a son who was to be raised quite differently than other little Jewish boys. He would be a Nazarite from birth. He could never eat anything that came from a grape, never cut his hair, and couldn’t be defiled by a corpse. This boy was to be raised according to God's individual calling on his life ... and shouldn't we as Christian mothers raise each of our kids on an individual basis? Each of our kids are different and have a natural bend to their personality and the way God designed them.

Our goal as parents is not to decide what we want our children to become and then teach and train - squeeze and force them each into that specific mold. Instead, we must recognize that God has already designed them for a specific purpose. Our job is to see our children as God sees them, and to involve ourselves in God's plan for them.

I have a perfectionist, a class clown and a controller. I know that God has designed each of them with these personalities in order to fulfill His purposes in their lives. I TRY to parent accordingly.

Brent is my perfectionist. If everything he does is not perfect, he falls apart, literally! This is so hard for me to understand. If he makes an 88 on a test, it is the end of the world. If I had made an 88, I would have been like "woohoo!!!!" Many times, I have learned that praying is all I can do in these circumstances. I cant change how God made him but I can pray that I will say what I should, and that God will take care of the rest.

I learned some time ago from “A Mother’s Heart” to take evaluations of my kids so that I can better pray for them. The book said to do it weekly, but I try to do it whenever I get a chance.
First, I list each of my children. Next, I list all their strengths: "was kind to his sister," or "cleaned her room without being asked." Then I list all their weaknesses - always making sure there are far more strengths than weaknesses. Examples are: "left their lunchbox two times this week," or "forgot to clean his room."

I try to find scripture to pray for that specific need. Praying the Scriptures for your Children is a great resource. I pray for direction on how to encourage those strengths while also praying that I will know how to teach them to overcome their weaknesses or at least give God the glory in those areas.

I have learned to be thankful for Brent, my perfectionist, because he truly wants to do the right thing.
I am thankful for Beau, my clown, because he brings so much joy. And I'm thankful for Bailor. Although somewhat bossy at times, she has the potential to become a great leader!

There are many resources for effectively loving the individuals in your life. Not only should you learn your husband's love language, you should also discover your children's. There is the Birth Order Book that also can help you understand your child. Recently, we received a table game called Flag Page by Tim Kimmel. It helps you discover your kids' personality and then has a book that gives you parenting tips for each specific personality.

Just as Samson's mother had to mother him as an unique individual, we too are called to raise our kids with that same attention to detail. God has made each of our children very different and with very different abilities and gifts. We are to parent them accordingly so they can reach their full God-given potential.

How are your kids alike? How are they different?
Have you ever listed their strengths and weaknesses to help you pray with purpose?

Hope you can pop back over tomorrow for Part 3!