“You act just like your daddy”.
“You look just like your mama”.
“His daddy spit him out”!
“That’s her mama, all over again”!
We’ve all heard these phrases a time or two in life. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve even used some of them myself.
Those who know my family would say that of my two parents, I’m the most like my father. Up until recently, I would have agreed with them. I’m the one who loves to talk. I love to engage the world through words and conversation, regardless of the medium. My mind is full of thoughts at all times.
But it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that it was this allegiance to my biological heritage that was holding me back.
You see, I’m not like my dad.
I’m not like my mom.
Although we share similarities, we are also quite different.
So what happens when you spend all of your life focusing on someone’s similarities instead of celebrating their differences?
People end up being disappointed.
The one who wants to be copied is disappointed when their carbon copy deviates from the original plan.
The carbon copy feels rejected and confused because they should be able to be just like their expectation, but they can’t.
When I look at my two children, I don’t see me or their father. Sure, I’ve said that my children favor me and their father when it comes to their features, but that’s the extent of it.
They may look similar to us.
But they are NOT us.
So with the help of the Lord, I have chosen to raise my children with an awareness of themselves and a celebration of what makes them different. I can say with all honestly that I have seen very little in them thus far that looks even remotely like their father and I. Their personalities are very unique so much so, that I’ve been challenged to find new ways to meet their needs specific to who THEY are, and not to who I am.
It’s better to start now than for them to try to find their uniqueness in their 30’s like their mom.
Why not let them know now that they don’t have to be anything like mom and dad to be ok?
They are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, uniquely designed to provide a solution to this world that only they can give. If they instead spend their lives trying to be like me or their dad, they will have missed the whole point of their existence.
We exist not to be copies of each other but answers for each other.
Not every problem has the same answer and that’s why we don’t have an earth full of people with the exact same personalities.
There are moments where it’s appropriate to emphasize similarities. That’s how we overcome things like racism and discrimination.
But when it comes to helping a child discover their purpose and destiny in life, what makes them DIFFERENT must be emphasized and celebrated.
In a world that prefers differences to be camouflaged, it’s essential for parents to embrace this Word from the throne of Grace.
It’s not our job to crank out “mini me’s”.
It’s our job to encourage our children to celebrate their uniqueness and ultimately seek God for how their unique attributes can and should be used to change the world.
So no, Him (their father) + Me does NOT equal my children.
They’re in a class all by themselves.
It’s my job to make sure they both stay at the head of their class..