This past week in an RCS academic cabinet meeting Psalm 127:3 was shared: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.” We talked together about the blessing of working with every family’s greatest treasure–their children. I was reminded of a devotion I had written and published in the book Devoted Parent: Devotions from Christian Teachers to Parents. This daily devotion provided below is entitled “Team Player.”
Of course, parents have full authority over their own children. What often is not realized, however, is the fact that as parents, we are not supposed to have all of the answers. As each child is uniquely created with individual gifts and talents, there is no way any single person can guide, affirm, and counsel that child alone. Christ purposely designed and called us to be a unified body, and raising a child is certainly one way He teaches us that we desperately need one another.
At the end of her tenth-grade year, my oldest daughter looked at me and proclaimed, “I want to be an opera singer.” My eyebrows went to my hairline. I knew little about opera and even less about how to help someone become a dramatic mezzo-soprano. That day a well-controlled panic set in. Over the years, I had heard several parents laughingly request “the manual” for child raising. At that moment, my spirit was yelling, “GOD, WHERE IS MY GODLY OPERA SINGER MANUAL?”
Truth is that “the manual” would in reality be the world’s largest encyclopedia set. We would have to switch volumes for every year, every phase, every changing friendship, and each life goal that is different from our own! I have since learned that the response to the manual request must be to pray diligently and to find the voices of wise counsel which surround every family.
As parents we are the primary educators; but, thankfully, alongside us are teachers, pastors, principals, dear friends, grandparents, and even opera singers. As Christians, we are supposed to reach out to one another for help and counsel. We are meant to reveal our vulnerabilities and need each other.
You are not alone. Be creative, persistent, and intentional in building the team called to bless your children. That way when those trials and opera songs come, you have wise counsel which supports your discernment of His perfect will for your greatest treasure: your children.
Written by Dr. Kim Gill, Chief Academic Officer at RCS