What do you see? You can only build according to the pattern you see. Because sometimes we don’t have a picture in mind, we build haphazardly. You must have a picture in your mind of what you want that child to be. It’s that picture in your mind that guides your decisions, your actions and the course of your child’s life.
A few examples; the William sisters were groomed from the age of 4, Tiger Woods from that age of 3, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Mozart, Handel, we could go on and on. Most of the stars were groomed to be what they are at an early age. Why? Their parents saw a picture and built their lives according to that picture.
The tragedy however is that whether you realize it or not, you are building a life. You can either build according to the picture you see or the picture you don’t see. What do I mean? Your child’s life is in your hands. Even if you don’t see a picture of where your child is going, you are still building and because you don’t have a pattern or a structure, you build haphazardly. We all know what happens to a house without a plan, it comes out really horrible.
Having a picture makes life easy. It’s easy to have a dream and live out that dream through your child. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is having a picture in your mind that God gives you. That picture is God’s purpose for your child’s life, only then can you be sure that you are building according to God’s pattern of life. Career decisions are easier when you have a picture from God.
You won’t be putting your son in the arts, if his call is in sciences; you won’t be expecting him to be a ball player if he has dancing in his genes because you already have a picture. I admit that sometimes the picture is not clear. For the gray areas, you go back to God and ask for clarity and He’ll show you in different ways; through a book, by observing your children, other people, or a TV program or in any way He chooses. Parenting is deliberate when you have a picture.
One day, I was teasing my husband and I said, I’m going to train my son to be such a well behaved gentleman that there will be lines of girls wanting to marry him. My husband couldn’t help laughing, I’m sure in his mind; he went; “Sola and her crazy ideas.” But I was serious. Suddenly a thought popped in my head, when we think about pictures of how you see your children, we only see them in terms of careers. Do you have a character picture for your children?
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In the last few days, I’ve seen great stars and respected people crumble under moral pressure; adultery, infidelity, drugs, the whole works… I’ve seen great successes loose in the battle of character, choosing right from wrong and making decisions of life and death. Life is not about charisma but character. Character sustains the successes we become.
I have decided to begin to see a character picture; to raise children that can stand in the face of adversity and not crumble, children that will stand for what they believe even to the detriment of their lives, children that believe in honour and integrity, children that love the Lord with their whole heart, strength and might.
Immediately, I began to see this picture, my attitude changed. That was my dilemma as I faced my son again in the battle of wills. I was determined to change the attitude and focus which said you can do things at your time, or that you don’t have to push yourself beyond what you term your normal capacity, or you can manipulate your way out of a situation that is not favourable. Things I could have pushed aside were no longer pushed aside. You know why? I had a picture in my mind. I am going somewhere and to allow those things were to put a hole in the building I was constructing.
In engaging this battle, I found out that I also became stronger. You see if parenting is done right, it not only builds the child’s life, it changes the parent. You are forced to be a better parent to create a better child.
I can hear you asking who won in this battle of wills. Round 1, my son won, round 2, I won, round 3 starts today and I can assure you the battle lines have been drawn; I plan to win this one and every other one after this.
Contributed by Sola Agudah
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