Accept Your Kids' Uniqueness
By Rick Warren
— May 5, 2012
"The same God produces every gift in every person." (1 Corinthians 12:6b GW)
Every child in your family is different and unique. Even twins are not alike. As a parent, you have to recognize and value each child's individuality.
1 Corinthians 12:6 says, "The same God produces every gift in every person" (GW). God made everyone different because otherwise the world would be incredibly boring. There would also be a lot of work that wouldn't get done. If we all liked the same thing, there would be a lot of things that nobody liked to do, and they just wouldn't get done.
How can you tell when you've accepted your kid's uniqueness? It's simple: You stop insisting that they be like you. God made us in his image, and now, as parents, we want to make our kids in our image. So we say either overtly or covertly, "You need to be like me. You need to think like I think. You need to like the things I like.
The things I was good at in school, you should be good at in school." The message comes through loud and clear to the kids: "You can't be yourself. The only way to get love, acceptance, or approval is to be like Mom and Dad."
Kids are not things to be molded; they're people to be unfolded. Your goal in life should not be to mold your kids in your image. Your goal in life should be to help them discover who God made them to be.
God sovereignly chose to make your kids the way they are. He wired them in a way that you had nothing to do with. When your child is acting in a way that is so foreign to you that you want to say, "What planet did you come from?" you need to trust God's wisdom and realize that he knew exactly what your child needed and exactly what you needed, and he put the two of you together in a family for his unique purpose.
Talk About It
- Helping your children realize their uniqueness is a difficult task for parents because there are two competing pressures in the world: the pressure to conform and the pressure to compare. Talk about what this means with some of your friends.
- In what ways are you helping your children understand their uniqueness in spite of these pressures?
- Have you embraced your own uniqueness? How are you modeling for your kids that it's OK to be different, that God never makes a mistake, and that we are created in his image?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.