When I was pregnant with our first child I really did not like ‘getting advice’ from parents who told me all the worst-case scenarios about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. and then assumed I would have the same experience. “Get ready,” they would say, “Because the labor is going to be excruciating, the delivery will look like the scene of a crime, and your baby will have colic for 500 months…and on and on.” They left me feeling defeated before I even held my baby in my arms. I find that it’s the same no matter what age a child is: Get ready for… the terrible twos, the bratty kid, the bad attitude tween, the rebellious teen, the young adult backslider.
I love when Jesus called his first disciples. It says in Mark 1: 16, “As he passed alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, Simon’s brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.” That just seems like a standard, run-of-the-mill sentence. But when we dig a little deeper we find that the word ‘saw’ is the greek ὁράω (transliteration horaō). The meaning of this word goes far beyond just looking at something—it means to stare, to perceive, to discern clearly. “Follow me,” Jesus told them, “and I will make you fish for people.” (vs 17) Somehow where the world just saw fishermen Jesus saw fishers of men. He saw who they were created to be, he saw their potential, he saw what wasn’t yet but what could be and would be…and he called it forth.
How we see our kids and what we then say matters. We need the eyes of Jesus when we look at them. We need to look past what the world sees, and with Holy Spirit perception we need to call them forth. We reject the droning of the world that they will be [fill in your stage here] and that’s just the way it is. God has put them right here, right now so that they can know him, love him, and serve him. So we speak life and proclaim what what is true over them: “You are a child of God (Galatians 3:26), He has created you with purpose and prepared good works for you to do (Ephesians 2:10), you are not a slave to sin (Romans 6:1-7), you are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), His divine power has given you everything you need to live for life and godliness, and you are called by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). What an incredible task we have as parents/caregivers. We get to partner with God Himself and call forth a person who has been created for such a time as this!