Part 2: What’s the inclination of a child?
Kids are interpreters and worshippers.
- Interpreters: Human beings made in the image of God don’t live life based on the facts of their experience, but based on their interpretation of the facts. We will dig to make sense of our existence. Kids will grow and learn and want to know more about life. They will look to what’s around them to understand purpose and why they’re here. They will ask layers and layers of “why” questions.
- Worshippers: The human identity is to worship. In every moment, we worship something. We worship other’s approval when we lie about something we did or exaggerate a story to make it sound better. We worship ourselves every time we put our own interests over others. Kids worship themselves and their own power when they hit another kid because they feel wronged.
What that looks like for us:
- Like being a theological community, we have to be in awe of God as parents. When Shilah stops on our way out to the car to smell the herbs growing in the pots outside the front door, I say, “Don’t those smell good? God made those to smell so pretty for you.”
- We have to constantly place God in the center of her world so that she doesn’t place herself in the center. My heart has to plead for her, “no, that is not what you want. That will never work. There is a God who loves you.” To show her that she’s not the center of everything, she is not to worship herself, I have to show her that I am not the center of my world. I need to help other people and take my daughter along with me. I need to interact with the world in a way that shows her that this life isn’t all about us. That means getting out of the house and getting involved in the city. That means taking meals to people and having people over to our house. That means effort and time and care and not separating my daughter from all of those things. She needs to see them! For us that means I am at home. I work from home and I take her with me most everywhere I go. We serve in the marriage ministry at church and we constantly have groups of people over to our house – large groups where people hang out and get to know each other and smaller groups for counseling. These people see our daughter and she sees them. She helps me prepare. Right now, that means she stands on a chair so she’s watching at counter-height while I prep dinner, and I give her a rag and she wipes off the coffee table. These are little things but they are important and she is learning.
How it’s going:
- This one feels silly at first but I try to do it at least a few times a day. She’s interested most anything I say, so I know I shouldn’t feel silly telling her about God!
- It’s hard to incorporate your kids, when I have her clean the coffee table, I have to usually clean it again. The process takes twice as long. It’s way easier to have her just watch sesame street while I get done what I need to. But it’s not the same. So, I am constantly reminding myself to have patience and to bring her into whatever I am doing.
Takeaways for this week: Show them that because of God, they have purpose, and integrate them into service for others, so they see that this life isn’t all about them.