Genesis 1:26 NLT
Then God said, “Let us make human beings…
I often wonder what my parents imagined for me as they watched me grow up. I assume I was wanted and certainly they loved me as best they knew how as I grew. Dad, a survivor from fierce action throughout World War Two, was a brilliant father when I was a kid. However, the emergence of youth culture with its impact on social dynamics and interpersonal interaction seemed to leave him at a loss in knowing how to handle a teenager. It was, if truth be told, something of a phoney war between us. There was love, yet also distance and a measure of reaction between us.
Dad died a few years back now, and we never were able to have a conversation that settled the unsettled years and strained relationship we experienced. I did care for him alongside Mum over his last six months, and don’t feel any lasting regrets while aware of unresolved awkwardness between us.
God also had a plan in crafting then creating humanity. Each one of us was individually designed and known before our conception. God can also be described as parent with a conviction about how we might develop and flourish. God’s desire is always for our success, yet we are often slow to learn God’s ways. I only found God as a 19-year-old and I spent my first 16 years tailoring Christianity to my own design. It took a while and some big knocks before I realised God knew the best route to my flourishing.
Now as a parent myself, I recognise this is an art not a science. For me it is in retaining and deepening the relationship, while recognising however deeply I think I know my child, they will and they must discover life in all its forms for themselves. If I intervene too often or too much, it will result in my framework being saddled upon my child. There’s perhaps a lesson for Church in all that too. Please let go of legacy thinking and rather gift to each generation the freedom to discover God in their social context their own way in response to God’s voice and call.
QUESTION: How well were you parented?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. Teach me your ways.