by Phil Parkinson
Systems and I.T. Coordinator, CBN Europe

Paternal Patterns

As men, and as fathers, we are called to be giant killers. But what does that mean?

In our lives, there are certain patterns, traits, or habits that are unhealthy for us, but that we naturally gravitate towards. These can be a wide array of things: laziness, lust, lack of commitment, addiction, cynicism, to name but a few.

These can be just things we have fed as a result of unwise choices, but sometimes they are a result of things that have been passed down the generations. You may call it a ‘natural disposition,’ which often means that without care and attention, you can slip into these patterns. And while we should reflect on how we have been created; we need to fight some of these giants in our lives.

Take addiction, for example. If you know that the generations before you had a tendency to become easily addicted to things like gambling or alcohol, but didn’t do anything about it to change, then it’s a disposition that is passed down that says, ‘that’s just the way you are,’ and, ‘that will always be a part of our family.’

So how can this giant be killed?

And we’re not doing this on our own.

God says in His Word that He will ‘never leave us or forsake us,’ and this means He is there for us as we face down these giants in our lives.

As a parenting team, you have the responsibility but also the opportunity to bring up your children in a way that is unique to you. Taking inspiration from other parents, including your own, is good and healthy, but be sure to be guided by God in making decisions.

When your daughter reaches up for you, she wants you to embrace her because you are her safe person. When your son wants to play-fight, he knows that you won’t intentionally hurt him (although the odd bump on the head can happen sometimes!).

They aren’t waiting for you to read a manual on how to deal with them, they are waiting for you to be active in their lives. That’s the best kind of parenting. As they are growing up, they will remember the quality time you spent with them much more than whether their nap times were at the correct point in the day or whether they learnt to walk before the other toddlers in their social circles.

Another thing to remember is that each of your children are unique.

They may all feature the same DNA, but they are anything but identical to each other. And we need to recognise that we need to parent them differently too. When one child is loud and confident and loves to chat to anyone, we shouldn’t look at another one of our children who is quiet, reserved and who may hide behind us as wrong or try to push them to be like the others in any way.

It’s about using a different approach for each child and seeing their individual potential. Each personality in your family will have strengths and weaknesses, even ourselves! It’s our job to discover the potential in each of our children and pull as much of it out as possible.

Seeking advice and reading books are not wrong to do but remember that God has already given you everything you need to do this well. Rely on Him and read His Word for the best guidance. 

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