Monday, December 6, 2010

A Child’s Desire to Step Out & to Impress their Parents

We are all born with an innate urge, a compelling desire and a natural ability to create.  Since we are born of our Father (*1), God our Creator (*2), it is in our gene to have the compelling impulse to produce, to create, to emulate, to progress.  An adult is a grown-up and a highly-developed child.  That is why, as part of our inherited birthright, the volition to innovate carries on and continues during our full life span and throughout our full earthly existence.  A child may be willing to continue the legacy of their parents, or a child may be willing to steer away from the parents’ tradition or projection, and to be their own entity or to create their own world.  It is normal.  It is not rebellion from the child as it is not deception to the parents.  Although it may certainly be a shocking, an upsetting and a mysterious realization to the parent, this is nevertheless the choice of their child that must be accepted and respected. After all, the parents have done a tremendous job raising, grooming, training, teaching, mentoring, and instilling in the child the principles of values, virtue, ethics, confidence, wisdom and Leadership.  It is therefore normal when, full of self-confidence, the child decides to practice all the knowledge they have acquired and to apply in their own life all the notions they have absorbed and mastered from the parents over many years of skillful upbringing.  A parent may not always embrace the choice or the decision of their child (or adult-child).  However, this is where reasoning comes along and also where maturity prevails for both sides and for both parties to embrace, to develop mutual trust and to agree upon this pondering mystery and this puzzling fact called freedom of choice and freedom of decision making.

Let us imagine the scenario of a parent in a shopping mall that suddenly realizes that their child has disappeared from their sight.  This is one of the most frightening experiences ever which provokes mental chaos until that child is found.  When finally that child is found, it is joy and relief mixed with anger, gesticulations and vociferations.  Even the fact of finding the child in safe condition talking to others in full control, in quiet confidence and in total leadership, either teaching, or learning, or exchanging, or lecturing to others, will still not calm down that parent’s anger.  They would adamantly want answers from that child, and they would want to know why that child decided to go their own way without official permission.

This same experience was actually lived by some parents in biblical times.  Young-child Jesus, while in Jerusalem with His parents for the yearly festival of the Passover, once disappeared after the festival.  After three days on the road during their trip back home to Nazareth, Jesus’ parents realized that He was not with the relatives and friends traveling along with them.  After some frantic search, emotional turmoil, anxiety, desperate cry for help, and upon returning to Jerusalem, Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, which may have been a “too-elevated” endeavor according to the parents due to His “so-young” intelligence, and also due to His very young age.  When questioned by His mother about His decision to walk away from parental supervision and from parental vigilance, child Jesus replied quietly, seriously and confidently:  “Why were you searching for me?”  He asked.  ”Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (*3). It was a shocking surprise as it was a startling revelation worth pondering and worth meditating upon.  “But Jesus’ parents did not understand what He was saying to them” (*3). 

One might never know or never understand the level and the weight of the responsibility that lies in a child’s heart and that rests upon a child’s shoulders to fulfill their duty, their calling, their bestowed responsibility (*4), (*5).  It is innate, it is divine, it is civic, it is compelling.  And it will leave the child feeling burdened and incomplete until that specific task is completed or until that mysteriously-assigned job (or mission) is done and accomplished.  That specific assignment or that specific task may have been the main or the sole reason the child was born to fulfill or to perform (*6).  Again, it all rests in the hands of Almighty God.  He is omniscient, and He knows best.

They are many of such cases that we could cite like, for example, the story of David and Goliath (*7), or the story of the boy that unselfishly and voluntarily gave out his food (“five small barley loaves and two small fish”) to Jesus who used it to feed five thousand people, which is a great example of “obedient giving” (*8).  Very recently, in our time, we have the heart-touching story of a 7-year-old girl who took the baton and decided that she is going to continue the race after her mother died of cancer.  That young girl (*9) is now a powerful, gifted and impacting Gospel artist and messenger who, through her Music Ministry, pledges to continue the singing legacy of her deceased mother.  Such impulsive, compelling and heart-filled gestures are absolutely mind-boggling.

A child has surprises, regardless of their very young age.  Their innate (often hidden and suppressed) longing for self-expression is a genuinely-burning desire for self-impression first, and their uncontrollable conviction that they must do something big, beautiful, meaningful and purposeful as deposited inside of them by God the Creator Himself (*10), (*11).  They know with firm assurance that they have to take care of their Father’s (*1) business.  Therefore, they deserved to be acknowledged, nurtured, encouraged, supported, uplifted, and their gift protected, while they need the faith and the trust from their parents.  Some mature children (or grown-ups) may also need some freedom to act and some room to manoeuvre in order to prove and to confirm that they can do and accomplish great things responsibly on their own, in order to truly impress their parents, in order (sometimes) to feel accepted, and in order to earn the well-deserved appreciation from their parents and from all.  That divinely-bestowed assignment got to fully bloom, got to come to fruition, and got to be fully fulfilled with absolute confidence and for concrete results.  Furthermore, they also want to prove that they are worthy of the family name that they carry, and they long to genuinely represent their emulated parents well.  A well-groomed child would truly and naturally love their parents no matter what.  Understanding the child fully is the greatest love expression of a parent to their child and for their child, and the greatest synergy of parenthood.  And that is where the whole challenge and the real puzzle begin, as this is also where great joy and victory spring forth.


(*1) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ Matthew 6:9 (Full context: Matthew 6:5-14).
(*2) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ Genesis 1:26, 27.
(*3) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ Luke 2:41-51.
(*4) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ John 3:17.
(*5) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ Matthew 20:28 (Full story:  Matthew.20:20-28 ).
(*6) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ John 3:16.
(*7) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ 1 Samuel 17:1-58.  
(*8) Ref.: The Holy Bible/ John 6:9 (Full context: John 6:1-14).
(*9) Ref.: &
(*10) Ref.: The Holy Bible / Jeremiah 1:5.
(*11) Ref.: The Holy Bible / Psalms 139:13-16.

Special Notes:  

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