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Just like the Bonsai tree , raising children requires careful training, and special handling and care. My husband has recently taken up the hobby of bonsai, it takes patience, it requires molding and bending the branches while they are young and tender. Right now, he has a heavy rock tied to the ends on a couple of wired branches. If you follow the symbolism here, you will understand that while your child is young and impressionable,(Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it). it is the most important time to establish the rules and boundaries for your home life. The other important thing to catch here is that a bonsai artist studies the sapling before they start the formation of the design. They look at what the finished result should look like in their mind, and start pressing slowly toward that goal. It may take decades before they achieve the desired goal, but they are patient in their endeavor, for they have the joy in knowing the result will be worth the wait.
In the book of Ephesians 2, it says Eph 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. ” the word “workmanship”
actually translates in the Greek ‘POIEMA’ where we get the English word ‘poem’ or work of art.
Like the bonsai artist, Jesus too, saw ahead, and for the joy that was His, gave all He had to be the artist in the grandest work of all- mankind. ‘fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.’ Hbr 12:2
As a parent, you recognize that each one of your children, from the day of their birth, are completely different individuals, with different temperaments, and characteristics. Just like that sapling, each child needs to be studied as an individual, to understand what makes that child tick. Our oldest for instance, was intelligent from the word go- a memory and vocabulary as a toddler that blew people away. He had what we called the Eyore complex though, he walked around with a rain cloud over his head all the time. He never believed in himself the way everyone around him believed in him. He was so large for his age though, his motor skills were behind some of the kids his age, soccer proved to be a disaster, and we quickly decided it was lost on him. We didn’t push the sports, but supported all the dreams he pursued, and is still pursuing. We still believe in him, and admire him very much, he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, that memory, intelligence, and boundless creativity is his ticket. What sets him apart however, is his disarming charm and lightning whit. Our middle son was a very happy baby, with a very empathetic personality. If you pretended to be sad, he would pout up and cry with you, you could turn right around and laugh, and he would giggle like crazy.
His personality showed us that it would not take much to get him to sway. This could be positive or negative. We needed to strengthen him in his character, we put him in boy scouting, where he thrived, we also encouraged his music and art, because of his sensitivity. He excelled in all these areas, Eagle- almost. Professional musician? yes, Bass Guitar. Artist? Yes, professionally.
Our daughter came out of the womb with fists clinched and fire in her eyes. When she was dive rolling out of her playpen, and climbing out of her crib before six month old, we knew we had a spitfire. She was the kind of baby that you could not hold onto to get her to sleep, she would bend backwards, and wiggle, and cry for hours. Stubborn? Oh you think so? Her brothers didn’t want to mess with her, she was so tiny, but she was large and in charge! We had to put her in gymnastics so she could learn the correct way to tumble. Her intelligence and moxie were more than any boy could deal with, we never had to worry. One boy trying to make advances at her while a young teen, found himself pinned to the wall with a dining chair- Needless to say, she is our office manager in the medical field. At 26 she is only 4’11” she can hold her own. Our saying with her: It was like taming a wild mustang- But the beauty of her spirit now, her patience, graciousness, and calm demeanor are virtues that come from the training and knowing an artist never paints with only one brush, in one color but many. She by the way is expecting her first child, and will be the most incredible mother! Each child has different bents, or God given characters, which we must treat as individually as possible. The stubborn child doesn’t respond to the same discipline as the more malleable one. We were also blessed with the most creative child you could ever imagine, it certainly had it’s challenges for the family, and for him, He had ADHD.
Do you treat these children the same? Hopefully if you are smart, you do some homework on what to expect. I will write a blog on it later. Our son had a hard time with schooling, coping, all the classic things they go through. The one thing we felt important was to let him express himself. OH Yeah- he did that alright, he wore a cape everywhere he went, every day, with punk clothes, glasses that had no lenses with masking tape in the middle. I could go on, but all this to say, we accepted him, and everybody loved him, he was so popular! He was very insecure though. That’s why the outward garb was over the top. One time he over heard my husband and I talking about not knowing what to do about his schooling, he as a small child thought he was a failure, never measuring up. Do you know what our lack of discretion cost? He was destroyed in his heart for years. But God is so good, and we have been able to redeem all those things again. He is creative, artistic, a joy to be with, talented, sensitive towards people and generous to a fault. Were we cutting down the clothes? No, clothes aren’t important, is a mohawk important? piercings? Pick your battles wisely… You are training them to be all that God has created them to be. Ask them about their personal convictions, they won’t answer for yours, only theirs. You are their guide, study their ways, prune and train, but remember, if you cut a branch that is not meant to be cut, it will a have lasting effect. Keep in your sight, the joy set before YOU, that each “work of art” that God has given you to work with in your children is a gift from Him, and the rewards are so great! Can you see it in your minds eye? Yeah that’s it- you’re getting the vision!

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