We passed another milestone this week. Caleb had his first “solid” food. Josiah gave him his first bite. He wasn’t so convinced, but as the days have passed he’s gotten better and better. I’m pretty sure that now at least half of his cereal gets to his tummy. The other half ends up on the bib, but I think that’s pretty normal.
As with every milestone we pass with Caleb I have to come to grips with the fact that this is my last baby, who with each milestone becomes less and less a baby. With Josiah and Matthew I can easily say that I met each new stage of their lives with the joy of seeing them grow. To be honest, with Caleb it’s probably 90% joy and 10% wanting him to stay a baby. I even waited a few extra weeks instead of giving him cereal the day he turned 4 months like I did with his brothers.
As parents it’s easy to want to keep our children little, but it’s not God’s plan, or His idea of parenting. Our children are born to grow and fulfill a purpose. If they stay small they won’t be able to do that. It’s better to celebrate and embrace their growth than to dread it.
Are you celebrating your children’s growth? Or are you wishing you could keep them young forever? Celebrating and looking forward to their futures will help us live more contently, but it will also encourage us to pray with purpose. If our hearts are to keep them with us our prayers will be along those lines, but if our hearts are to see them fulfill God’s purpose we will pray for them with more direction.
When we see our children grow it’s obviously silly to try to keep them babies. When it comes to spiritual children it’s another story. Do you have spiritual children? People you’ve ministered to? People who have worked under your leadership? What is your heart for them? Growth? What if they surpass you? I think that’s where our hearts are truly tested. Would you think yourself less of a leader if your followers surpass you?
Think of it along the lines of parenthood. Would you think yourself less of a parent if your children surpass you? Of course not! That is our hope for our children that they surpass us. And if they do it’s a sign of a job well done. It’s the same in leadership. If your followers, students, or spiritual children surpass you it shows you’ve done a good job. Even Christ said that we would do even greater things in His name! He never wanted us to stay babies. He took joy in our rebirth and salvation, but His hope for us is the same as our hope for our children. That we will do even greater things in His name.
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.