Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 009 - Uniquely Christ's
Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #009 – Uniquely Christ’s
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
Because I homeschool, I’ve been able to spend much more time with my two youngest daughters than I was able to be with my oldest children, who attended public school while I worked full-time. When you stay home with your children, plus serve as their educator in the classroom, you have the opportunity to craft a special relationship with each child. Not only do I know their natural inclinations toward learning and life, but I understand their attitude and desires. I have a front row seat to viewing when lessons and material stick and when we need to work harder; I get to be present when they accomplish big goals and look them in the eye to share successes in the moment.
Just as I have memorized the faces of my beautiful daughters, their spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical states are well known by me. Our closeness comes from time spent together and by pursuing relationship through thick and thin. I know what lights them up and what dims their interest. God clearly shows Himself to me daily through my interactions with them as I recognize His mighty hand in the way He crafted them with special talents, interests, and dreams that can only come from Him.
Some may believe that all people are created as “blank slates” with potential to become anything they desire. While part of that statement can be considered true, if we look to scripture, we see that God actually purposed to craft uniqueness into each of us.
Psalm 139:13-16 says, “ For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
When we examine this passage closely, we are able to detect the intimacy of God and begin to understand how He planned for and brought each of us into existence. God created our “inmost” being, meaning our intimate thoughts, our deepest desires. As he formed each of us, we were knitted together, meaning His actions were designed uniquely for each specific human He thought of and created. Every single person is exceptional and exclusive, complex, and created for a purpose designed by the Great I Am. God, the Author of Life was involved in planning and forming each inmost area and outer detail of our soul and body. As the passage of scripture in Psalm 139 continues, we read affirmation that God planned us, saw us, and formedus. He knew all the seconds and days our life would hold before we even came to be.
It is no coincidence that you are paired with and have the particular child you were given at the exact time they came to be with you. Whether by birth or adoption, God knew you would parent exactly who you do.
Over my extended years of parenting I have found comfort and direction in these verses from Psalm 139. I hope they bring you peace and strength in your parenting journey, as well. Not only are we able to find assurance and affirmation in self-worth for ourselves, but most importantly, for our children.
This passage of scripture leaves no doubt that we are each cherished and planned. Your child is not an after-thought. His or her life matters. God purposed for your children to exist. He planned each of us, made each of us, knew us before we were born, and knew the exact second each of us were conceived. Even more, God is present at every moment of formation and development for everyone. He knows when we are born and He knows when we will leave this earth. There is no greater method of teaching your child that her life matters and that God has specific plans for her than through this section of Psalms.
Of course, most parents wouldn’t argue the fact that their child is special. Yet, the way we view “special” in earthly or secular terms versus how God defines unique is often quite different.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Combining the passage we read earlier from Psalms with this verse from Ephesians proves that we, and our children are each alive and purposed for special plans that can only come from the Father and are to be used for the Father. Ephesians 2:10 affirms again that we areGod’s workmanship and are created in Christ for good works, which were prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Because of our relationship with Jesus, believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the good works predestined for them to accomplish through Christ.
It is very interesting that the word “workmanship” translated in Greek becomes the word poiema (poyeema), which is the root of the English word, “poem.” I find two definitions for the word “poem” to be beautifully interesting in light of the context we are seeking here.
The first definition of “poem” is, “a composition in verse, especially one that is characterized by a highly developed artistic form and by the use of heightened language and rhythm to express an intensely imaginative interpretation of the subject.”
The second definition is: “composition that, though not in verse, is characterized by great beauty of language or expression.”
How God loves each of us and our children to compose us in such specific, artistic ways that showcase His imagination and sovereignty.
How clearly He values our individuality and purpose.
How deeply He yearns and calls for us to honor Himwith what we do and how we use what He has instilled within us.
As Christians, we can earnestly believe that we are to raise our child to honor Christ, yet be stuck in how to do it.
How is a parent supposed to find the ways each child is unique?
1. Relationship with you – Spending time with your child, observing their tendencies and giftedness. The most important part of this piece is to observe your child through God’s eyes and heart to find what may be used for Him.
2. Play – We all know God works hard, but He also allows Himself to relax. Just seeing the playfulness of each of God’s creations, not only in people, proves that He crafted and understands the importance of play. Children deeply need time to process and understand life, relationships, feelings, and emotions. Try to spend at least a small portion of each day doing some type of play with your child. Much will be discovered during this personal time spent together. If your child is older, play time includes their love language: shopping together, visiting coffee shops, sitting in their room together, chatting and laughing, or enjoying a sporting event or physical activity together. It doesn’t include just going to watch them in an event. Make time to hang out together to deepen your relationship together and get the opportunity to really observe and enjoy your child.
3. Feelings and Emotions – Through much time spent together in playful and serious moments, you will witness your child will express a variety of feelings and emotions. As they express joy or pour out their thoughts or show you through actions, you have the opportunity to see how they are constructed. Are they quiet, do they withhold feelings, do they need time to process, or do they spill and regret?
4. Interests – What lights up the eyes of your children? What makes them excited? What disappoints or scares them? Do they repeatedly seek the same things or like new adventures? Is there a skill or talent that shines through them?
How do we help our child to recognize the ways God has made him unique?
1. Healthy parent – When we have and are building a strong, mature relationship with Christ and we show our child the importance of relationship with Him, it will become important to our child. Accepting the gifts and talents God crafted within us is crucial. If we put ourself down and show no value in the way God has constructed us, our child will not find value in himself. As a parent, I believe we also have a very important responsibility to continue seeking God, allowing Him to develop and alter us. We cannot help and enable our children to become what God requires of them if we are not giving our needs to the Lord in humble, loving submission and allowing Him to graft Himself throughout us. Society often reminds us we can only do our best, but I don’t want your best or my best for our precious children. I desire God’s best for us so that they receive His best, as well.
2. Self-esteem – Whether we brag about our abilities or complain about what we feel is wrong with us, neither is the type of confidence Christ would have for us or our children. Building self-esteem through the Lord builds our walk with Him and becomes an example to our children, teaching them how to rely on Christ and trust that He has placed value within them. Helping our child to build their esteem through Jesus is the greatest foundation they will have. They must understand Who they belong to and what to craft their life around. Actively building that relationship with you and Christ together daily enables your child to recognize their godly potential and step out in faith to continue building it.
How do we guide our child to use their giftings, interests, or talents for God?
1. Safety – When we are focused on constructing and maintaining strong relationship with our child and Christ, our child feels safe to learn and grow with us. It is much easier to trust Jesus when your child knows she can trust you. When we remark on their abilities and strengths and offer suggestions as to how to use them for the Lord, our child hears and listens to our suggestions and feels safe enough to trust our encouragement and testimony to pursue their own faith.
2. Encouragement – Acknowledging the strengths of our children and offering glory to God for them teaches them to do the same.
3. Relationship with Jesus – When our child discovers faith and purposely develops it as their own, relationship with Christ will slowly mature. As they see, hear, and remember the way we have taught them to respect how God made them individually and for a purpose, and see how we use our own giftings for the Lord, they will believe their Heavenly Father can guide them in the way to honor Him.
As we continue to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and with all our strength, and humbly seek His way in building relationship with our children and allowing Him to continue transforming us moment by moment, our children are taught by example. As we recognize and help them develop the interests and talents God specifically chose to craft within them, then teach them the joy of serving God through them, we honor our Lord in ways that last for eternity.
Dear Heavenly Father, how great You are! Thank you for entrusting us with the talents and gifts You crafted within each of us and for the ones You gifted to our children. Help all of us to see and use what You have given us and enable our children to use them in mighty ways for Your kingdom and purpose. May our children delight You in the way they use the creativity and interests You chose for them. Your word tells us that before You formed our children in the womb You knew them, before they were born You set them apart, just as You did for us. What a holy honor to walk in the plans You have set for us. Help us to be so close to You, help our children to choose You and walk in Your ways that we each easily discern Your purpose and ways. Your word assures us that even the very hairs of our head are all numbered. You tell us that You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. In so many ways You make it clear that You are the Great I Am, but You also show how deeply and clearly You love us and chose to be with us. How thankful we desire to be. Help us please You as we understand more clearly moment by moment just how good You are, just how lavishly You love. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. If you pray for your child, please look for my free ebook, “Prayers for My Child,” available on the website under the “Resources” page and is designed to guide the heart of your child to the feet of Jesus through scripturally-based prayer.
The Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast is now available at terrihitt.com, where you can access the episodes housed in one convenient location, receive access to blog posts, read transcripts, and find additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and equip you to raiseor influence connected children through Him.
God knows that we are not capable of successful parenting on our own. As we rely on Him, releasing doubts and expectations, and humbly bow to His guidance and experience, we find greater clarity in parenting and a wondrous walk with our Creator that will extend to our children and those around us for generations.
I pray this podcast helps you parent with purposeand deepen your connection to Jesus and your children as you intentionally place Christ above culture or self. Allow Him to work through you for true connection that will draw your children to Him and build a maturing relationship with Christ and your child that lasts for eternity.