Monday, June 01, 2009
Wind & Fire Parenting (part 1)
I love our church! We have an energized liturgical worship and our pastors never miss celebrating milestones in redemptive history. Sunday Pastor Sweeting's sermon gave me plenty to consider concerning the events of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit's work in establishing, empowering and encouraging the Church.
Pastor Sweeting reminded us of a few characteristics of wind and fire as symbols of God's presence that we can mine as guidelines for our interactions with our older children. Remember though, as we look to the Lord for our inspiration, we are seeking to imitate His ways, not to replace Him in our children's lives. While we labor to work in the same patterns He uses, we do not labor to become the Holy Spirit to our children. It is a very dangerous thing indeed to try to take the place of God.
Wind is that original breath of creation, the Spirit hovering over the unformed earth, the voice of God speaking the world. For us as parents, our words of creation were mostly uttered to our children in their very early childhood. What did you tell your child about himself? about her potential? about the great things they would do together with God? about how you would work together when they grew up?
Careful the things you say! Children will listen! When my children were small, I told them that the Church needed to work to capture the imaginations of the world's people to bring them into obedience to Christ. My children heard that as a mission statement for our family and for themselves. My eldest is building a film company to train Christian storytellers to translate Christ's messages to challenge our culture. My second is studying music composition, writing for film and for worship to engage the hearts and imaginations of her hearers with the wonders of God. My youngest is still in preparation, but he loves humor. Already he works to show both the absurdity of life apart from God and His ways and the delight of life in Him.
But as our children gather themselves to leap into active service out in the world, we have another chance to breathe life into them. Blessings, commissions, commendations aren't just air. They are wind in the sails and under the wings. Wind is not the experienced captain of our children's ships, or even a steadying hand on the tiller of our children's lives. It's invisible. It's everywhere, but it's in the background. And wind does significantly effect the speed, direction and difficulty of those ships and lives.
So lift your face to the wind of the Holy Spirit. Feel how He is blowing in the lives of your children. Add your breath to that breeze, lest you create crushing turbulence for your child. Bless them and show them how to sense the Spirit's leading as they go.
Next time: Fire
Photo courtesy of http://www.bioneural.net/2007/02/12/at-sea-on-a-tall-ship/
More resources for parenting through the transitions of life: Quests & Homecomings