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The Word for Today

Psalm 139:15 TM 
2018-11-14Written by Bob and Debby Gass
Understanding your child
The Psalmist wrote: "You know me inside and out...you know exactly how I was made, bit by bit...Like an open book...all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day" (vv. 14-16 TM). God has already determined your child's potential; now it's up to you to help him or her discover and develop it. You'll see it in their temperament, their gifts, and their interests. Resist the temptation to treat all your children the same way; they're different! Cain was a farmer and his brother Abel was a shepherd. Jacob and Esau were twins, yet they couldn't have been more different. And how about the Prodigal Son who left home and became a "party animal," while his older brother stayed home and became self-righteous and judgmental? You must love each of your children unconditionally, but develop them individually. Who are they? What do they like? What do they succeed at? How do they handle change? How do they behave when they're alone? Start listening to what your children value, what they fear, and what they need. Make sure they're anchored spiritually in God's Word. Don't force them to go the way you wish you'd gone. Help them discover their own identity, and become their biggest backer. If that means putting your own dreams on hold for a while, do it. You'll never regret it. Your children are your future; your very essence will live on in them. And one more thing: The trees we grow today produce the fruit we eat tomorrow. So pray and ask God to help you understand your child.
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