Having seven children has done wonders for my memory. There are so many things to remember about kids: Birthdays; shoe sizes; favorite color; what grade they are in (*ahem*); and what color they are wearing when we go to a crowded park so I can pick them out of a crowd like a paranoid mother counting to seven approximately every 3 minutes might need to do (*ahem* again).
But here is what I’ve been noticing lately: I can know things about my child without really, really knowing them. Does that make sense? There are lots of basic facts about them that help me keep health and safety matters in check, but what about knowing them well enough to help them thrive?
Proverbs 22:6 is familiar territory for most of us. It reads: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Good to know. But what does that mean? For some of us it means simply raising them in a Christian home, trusting that once we’ve instilled a faith in their hearts, they won’t walk away from the Lord as they get older.
For some of us, it means teaching and training them according to their specific, God-given gifts and abilities so that they can walk on the vocational path God intended for them.
The question remains, how do we know our kids well enough to point them down that road? I can know their vital statistics and never *really* know them well enough to direct them well.
Please read the rest of my latest Heart of the Matter Online article here. And then, go and get to know your kids! ;-)