Cultivating Your Child’s Personality As God Created It To Be
The moment you find out you are pregnant, the dreams begin. You love to shop, so of course, your daughter will love to shop. You were a star athlete, so you envision your daughter as the next collegiate basketball superstar. Your husband is a scholar, so you imagine your son will be a doctor, lawyer, or professor.
But…what if God has other plans?
I was the collegiate athlete who envisioned birthing only boys. Instead, God gave me two amazing daughters. When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Makaylan, I refused to have an all pink room. We settled on pink and brown with no frills. I told people that we would NOT do princesses or tutus. In my opinion, little girls looked ridiculous in tutus, and I would not raise my daughter to be a “ditz.”
My daughter was going to be practical and athletic like her mother.
Well…almost immediately I saw a different personality blossoming in her. Soon after her first birthday she began asking to wear the tutu her aunt gave her. (And I thought, surely she would grow out of this stage.) She, then, began asking for Disney princesses, which I allowed her grandmothers to buy for her. Her Lego towers were dream castles, and she daily invited me to join her for a tea party.
By the time she was two-years old, I knew I had a girly girl living in my house.
Psalm 139:13-16 says: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
There are several things God taught me through this passage of Scripture…
God is the Creator of personality and Mothers are the Cultivators of personality.
As mothers, it is not our job to make our children who we want them to be. When God created Makaylan, He made her exactly how He envisioned her, and it is my job to help her become the woman He created her to be. There are some personality traits (easily angered, jealous, selfish) that we must help our children overcome.
However, there are some personality traits that we need to help cultivate, even when it is uncomfortable for us. Is your child a natural leader, but you are naturally introverted? Allow her to be influenced by godly leaders so she will have an example to follow. Help her learn to lead other towards Jesus and away from the world. Are you a scholar, but your child is proficient at sports? Give him opportunities to explore different sports, so he can determine where he is gifted. Yet, teach him the importance of doing his best in the classroom. Are you practical and reserved, yet your child is “silly” and enjoys the spotlight? (This describes me and my youngest daughter.) Laugh with her, and learn to enjoy her humor. Yet, teach her how to judge when to be goofy and when to be serious.
Delight in your children’s personality, rather than try to make them into who you want them to be.
Relax and let God do His “thing” in your child.
So often we want to mold our children into little clones of ourselves. I did not know what to do when I realized my daughter loves to shop; her favorite color is pink; her favorite clothing is a “twirlly” dress; and she thinks every Disney princess is her best friend. But, God is molding this little girl into something I do not yet see. And He is also molding me through her. My understanding and opinion of “girly girls” has changed because of my daughter. She loves pink, but she is not a ditz. She loves tutus, but she is a determined leader. She loves to twirl, but she will stand up for herself. I love watching God do His “thing” in her life because I know one day He is going to use her in amazing ways.
Remember that God creates Individuals, not Clones.
I know this seems obvious, but do you believe this statement when it comes to your child? It is God who has your child’s days written in His book. Those plans will be different from the plans that God has for you. He may call your child to live overseas and reach an unreached people group. God may ask your child to work as a mechanic and use his skills to serve those in need. He may call your child to be a doctor or lawyer, and you do not even have a college degree. There are so many things that God has planned for you and your children, and they are good things. Will you allow your child to fulfill who God created him to be?
So, for now, my house is filled with dream castles and tutus, and I am learning to delight in every tea party, princess movie, and ballerina dance. My children are both beautifully created by God on purpose and for a purpose. And your child, no matter her personality or preferences, is also created by God on purpose and for a purpose. May we be mothers who help cultivate God’s plan for our children’s lives.
Relax and enjoy the parenting ride!