One more thought on this comprehensive verse that chronicles the growth and development of our Savior. I have been using His development as a model for rearing our own youngsters. Jesus was well-grounded in His faith, well-rounded in His interests and unbounded in His potential.
I contend we could benefit by adopting this model and establishing these goals in the development of our children.
You may ask, "Are you saying I should expect my child to grow up and become like Jesus? Isn't that unrealistic?"
Well, let's think about that.
Can your child be well-grounded?
Your child can and should come to a realization of his need for Christ resulting in a decision to receive Christ as Savior.
Is that not true?
Then your child CAN be well-grounded!
Can your child grow in grace and in knowledge of God's Word?
Of course, if he is exposed to and taught those principals in a regular and consistent basis!
Then your child CAN be well-grounded!
Can your child be well-rounded?
Children are born naturally inquisitive. Young children are on a steep learning curve and find themselves interested in practically everything.
The real challenge is not as much about making them interested in life but rather directing their interests into areas where they possess the most talent to be effective. Anyone who tries to be good at everything will find himself mediocre in many things.
Your child would benefit from experiencing and experimenting with music, art, sports, handicrafts, outdoor activities, travel, and cultural events.
Once the child shows an aptitude for a few things after experimenting with many things, being well-rounded involves rounding him down to a focus on the few things he does best. There is a life principle that states, "the more narrow the wedge the deeper it cuts."
Jesus, as the Son of God probably did many things well, but the closer He got to launching His earthly ministry the more He narrowed the focus of His life. His life cut deep into the moral history of mankind!
Help your child become well-grounded and well-rounded! But also help your child to become unbounded. Jesus was unbounded in His pursuit of His Father's will.
Brad, what do you mean by unbounded?
By unbounded, I mean unhindered in the ultimate pursuit of God's will and purpose for your life.
Joseph and Mary did that for Jesus!
What are some of the tendencies parents must overcome in order to keep their children unbounded?
Avoid the tendency to over-protect.
When you are charged with the responsibility of bringing up the Son of God Who will save the world from sin, wouldn't you find it tempting to be over-protective?
Who wants to be remembered as the person who let something bad happen to God's Son?
But, to their credit, this young couple chosen to be Jesus' earthly parents resisted the urge to over-protect.
Will you ask God to help you keep your kid(s) unbounded in that area?
Avoid the tendency to over-correct.
Can you imagine that Joseph and Mary may have felt the pressure of not allowing the Son of God to become an unruly brat? Don't think for a moment that Jesus wasn't subject to the foolish behavior that afflicts every child. Their challenge was to correct the humanity of Jesus without hindering His divinity! And history reveals that they got it right!
Will you ask God to help keep your child on the correct path without over-correcting and becoming overly strict.
Avoid the tendency to over-direct.
Every parent knows the temptation of being overly directive toward your child. Any why not? You have lived many years and learned many things with many scars to prove it but your child is young and very inexperienced at living.
Joseph and Mary had the Son of God. They pretty much knew the plan God had for His Son so it may have been less tempting for them to over-direct Jesus.
Pray that God will keep you from over-directing your child so His will can direct them instead!
Those aren't the only ways of putting barriers or speed bumps in the path of your children and hindering how God wants them to develop, but they are three of the most common!
Like Joseph and Mary did with Jesus, we want FredWes kids to grow up well-grounded, well-rounded and unbounded!
Sunday morning when the FredWes kids are up front doing their Christmas program and overwhelming us with their charm. Will you whisper a prayer for each of them and their parents?