Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Defining Normal, Part 2

So just to recap from a couple of days ago, there are basically 2 normals:
1. Our personal normal that is based on our own experience
2. A societal normal which is defined by the outside world

I believe that most children have a strong sense of their personal normal and don't start to question that until the outside world tells them something different through exposure to societal norms.  My 5-year old is begging for a Nintendo DS right now because he sees all the big kids in our neighborhood have one and so he thinks he is lacking.  If we lived in an Amish community, I would think he would be much more content not having a DS.   Our role as parents is to try and speak into our children's lives into lots of areas including, but not limited to, how they perceive themselves and how they relate to their stuff and environment.

I think the Bible has a lot to say about both of these.

1. On personal normals I think the Bible instructs us to find our identity in Christ and not in our earthly form. I am not an individual with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia waiting on the day I become disabled.  I am the daughter of the King (1 John 3.1).  A sinner saved by grace (Ephesians 2.8-9).  A chosen one created to live my life in a way that brings Glory to God (Ephesians 1.3-6).  I am created in His image (Genesis 1.26-27).  I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).  I am called to a greater purpose (Colossians 1.9-12).  I am His workmanship and He has work for me to do (Ephesians 2.10).  Sure, I may have a few struggles in this world.  But those struggles do not define me.  And my acceptance of it is not defined by the world around me but by Him who created me.  Does that make sense?

2. On societal normals, I believe it is our responsibility to help our children relate rightly to their stuff and to the world around them.  For Trent and I, our societal normal reaches around the globe as we evaluate how to be good stewards of what God has given us.  For my children, it doesn't reach far beyond their neighborhood and school except for what we intentionally expose them to.  So with my kids I want to expose them to truths such as God is good provider (Ps 34:9), every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1.17), it is not good for us to covet what others have (Col 3:5), love of stuff is incompatible with following God (Matthew 6.24), we are to use what He has given us to bless others (Gen 12:2).  Sure there are things that we would like to have and there is allowance for that as long as we relate rightly to it (as good stewards), it is God's best for us, and we continue to hold it with an open hand.  We can't allow societal norms to infiltrate our family unless they first pass through the truth of God's word.

You know what I think is going to be the best illustrator of both of these for our kids?  How they see us walk this out in our own lives.  If I live a pattern of making excuses for my limitations then Jack is going to incorporate that into his normal and do it as well.  If live a pattern of giving and sacrificing to help others and not buying everything that catches my eye, my kids will incorporate that into their normal too.  Just a thought.


SIDE NOTE
So I mentioned the other day that I actually did end up getting some good wagon shots in my practice session with the little ones.  Here are a few of those for fun.




2 comments:

Holly S. said...

Oh, these a good thoughts.

Monica said...

Growing up with severe scoliosis and constant pain could have led me down a path of can nots. But, my great grandmother has a hump and my grandfather took meds for his pain and I NEVER heard them complain. I "saw" my back, surgery, etc through their eyes. I never knew until I was in my 30's and was searching info on the internet--that many people have serious health issues because of their scoliosis problems and their curves aren't near as bad as mine. I am thankful for the example that family members lived out in front of me.