Being a dad is quite the experience. I was reflecting on a few funny moments over the weekend. On Friday night we were at a football game at the kids' school and Joshua and I were sitting together. We were discussing the difference between football and baseball. I was prepared to talk about the number of players, touchdowns vs runs, tackle and pads verses bats and balls, but before I could even get into all of that Joshua came up with his own explanation of the difference. He said, 'Daddy, in football they have cheerleaders and in baseball they don't.' That apparently is what it boils down to for my son right now, the little lady's man. Then last night we were doing our devotional time, which Joshua now always reminds me about reading, and we were reading a story about how sometimes you have to sit on the bench in sports. The main jist of the devotional was that you need to work hard and try and have a good attitude no matter if you get to play or not. Joshua's take away was that he really didn't mind the bench because sometimes the bench is cooler and relaxing as opposed to having to run around and get hot out on the field. Nice....
One thing I am learning is that my kids are both different and unique. They are not exactly like each other and they are not exactly like me or Whitney. I love what it says in Proverbs 22:6, " 6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." The phrase 'in the way he should go' is related to a bow and arrow. Each bow has a certain bend to it and the archer has to learn how to release it with just the right amount of tension, how to position his arms and shoulders when pulling back the bow, etc. In the same way, we as parents have to study and learn about the unique characteristics of our kids so we can help guide them towards the target of God's purposes for their life without crushing their spirits. The only way to really learn our kids is by hanging out with them and spending time with them. So if you are a parent, enjoy the wild and crazy ride of getting to know the uniqueness of your kids and become better and better about helping to launch them out for God's kingdom. If you are a volunteer investing in the next generation, observe and get to know the kids you are working with and ask God to help you encourage them specifically in the way they need it.