"Let's see, which pajamas do you want to wear? Daddy's little helper? Nah. The ones with the cute paw prints on the feet? Nah. AH HA, Here we go! The basketball ones with 'Little Dribbler' on the chest and basketballs on the feet."
He's delighted at my choice, really.
"Mommy played basketball. It was Mommy's favorite sport. I bet you will be good at basketball. What do you say?" I hold his hands, stretching his arms out wide to admire the length of his wingspan as I break out into song, "Basketball...we're playing basketball...basketball...we love that basketball." At this point he does squeal and smile and delight.
I go on about the greatest sport ever. You see, he does have long arms and is in the 96th percentile for length--just sayin'.
But then I tell him, "You can play anything you want as long as you love it. As long as you love it and you serve God with it, I'll be happy if you are happy."
I'm sure I'm not the only one with these kinds of conversations. We hope our children will love what we love. We decorate their rooms (ours is sports fishing), we buy them clothes and toys, we tell them stories all based around our favorite sports, colleges, occupations, you name it.
There is a chance that our children will follow in our steps. They do have our genes and often look up to us and want to be like us. However, they may chose another path. Our role is to help them discover what they are good at, encourage development in that gifting, and teach them to serve God through it. Colossians 3: 17 tells us that all things should be done for Christ, "whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." In addition we will teach our children that their gifts are reflections of God as they are created in His image. We hope to foster a spirit of humility in our children as they realize that anything good in them actually comes from our Father and is to be offered back to him in service.
A part of our parenting philosophy is to help our children discover their unique giftings and to help them appreciate the unique giftings of others. God gives each person gifts; talents and spiritual gifts to be used to glorify him. To help our boys discover their gifts we will give them opportunities in many areas. As they show interest in certain subjects, sports, arts, and activities we will provide ways for them to hone in on their specific interests. In addition, we will pray for them and with them as God opens and closes doors revealing His will in their lives.Things that they may not show as much interest in, we will still learn about, appreciate, and support in others.
So just as we may watch a friend's piano performance with great admiration, we hope all of you will come watch as our sons lead their high school basketball team to the State championship. :)
I'm linking with other parents who discussing parenting and raising our kids in Christ. Do you have any ideas? Come share with us on Thursdays!