God Made Each Child Unique
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Funny how an object can cause so many different reactions with my children. Take a strawberry for instance. Caleb won't eat one because it made him gag when he was 2. He is 16. Camden will eat them until his stomach hurts. Carley only likes the ones straight from the plant, warmed by the sun. Cade thinks they will poison him. How about mac-n-cheese? Caleb eats it in any form. Camden is allergic to the lactose. Carley only likes it if it is soupy enough. Cade likes it in phases. Even a baseball. Caleb only likes anything to do with a football. Camden likes it but doesn't think about it nonstop. Carley prefers it to be bigger and yellow (softball) and Cade would play catch 24/7 if I would let him.
Raising children would be a lot easier if they were exact carbon copies of the first born. The first born is the guinea pig. The one you make parenting mistakes on. The one you baby for too long. The one you figure out this parenting thing with. They are your first study. You spend years studying them and are pretty confident you could win the parent of the year award. You know what they are interested in. You know how to properly discipline them that will result in the desired response. You've learned schedules work for this child and they get mad when they are hungry. Everything is going along just fine.
Until the second child comes. And you discover that nothing that worked with the first is going to work with this one. And you study this child for years and learn how to understand them. What they need. What discipline works.
And just when you think a parenting trophy is right around the corner...the third one comes and is completely different. You find yourself wondering how this can be happening when these children were made of the same genetic material and grown in the same womb by the same woman that eats the same thing. With that many sames, it seems as if the children should be somewhat the “same.”
After each consecutive child is born, you begin to notice something that can really be hard on a parent. Each of these little human beings are completely different than the other. They have different likes, wants and needs. They understand love in different ways. Their talents are unique to them. And what may work to discipline one doesn't even phase the other. Some require a lot of sleep while others run on adrenaline and seems to only need 1 hour of sleep a day.
That is when we need to remember that each child is born for a God-given purpose. Their will, their talents and their needs will help point them to what He created them to do. We as parents have a gigantic challenge ahead of us. We need to help them develop what they are good at, help them accept their challenges with grace, and do it all without breaking their spirit. And only God can help us do that. Young parents, get ready to study each new child to see what will work for them. Don't get frustrated with them if they don't fit your comfort mold. Realize each will need something different from you. That each child will grow you and push you and give you a chance to raise them to be what God created them to be. It is a big task. It requires a lot of you. It's frustrating and tiring and fun and amazing. It's the biggest, most important job that you will do.
If your child loves drawing, buy them art supplies and create with them. If your little one loves playing catch, get out in the yard and throw the ball. If your child loves bugs, get over the fear and help them catch those bugs. My mom always said that each of her three children stretched her in new ways and made her take adventures that she never would have on her own. We are teaching them as children and they are teaching us as parents. Each of us pushing the other to grow in different ways. Thank God for the making this wonderful thing called family. If we keep Him at the center of it all, He will be there to guide us. Thank God for these wonderful little humans, loaned to us for a short while. Individually crafted and unique. If we keep Him in the center of it all, He will be there to show us how to bring them up to be what He created them for.