Parenting: Honoring our Child’s Individuality

A child’s rights as an individual are as positive and as sacred as a man’s; and it is never proper to ignore these rights in a child, anymore than it would be in a man.
-H. Clay Trumbull
Honoring a childs individuality
Children are people. Of course everyone knows this. And while they have not the same demands on their life as an older person may they have the same God given rights. God gave us what we have come to call the 10 commandments as a blueprint for relating to others. Hidden in these 10 commandments are 5 truths, each with an example of how that truth relates to those above us (the first tablet) and those our peers (the second tablet). After all where is the command in I AM the LORD your God? It is a truth. For brevity I will list these five truths here in order of their occurrence on the two tablets. A more full look at them can be found in this post, The Ten Commandments for Relating to Others.

  1. Others exist and have a right to,
  2. certain relationships are sacred,
  3. others have a right to their property,
  4. reputations are a form of property, and
  5. our rights have limits.

These five truths, in my estimation, like all truths work with creation, that is they do well with God’s design. They do not ‘grind the gears’ as it were. Like all creation the truth of the matter was gifted by God, that is, looking at it from the second tablet perspective; God gave life, marriage, possessions, reputation and our lot in life. And. No one can take these things away without working against God’s design. Grinding the gears. So what does all this have to do with child rearing? A lot I believe. We talked about how God gave free will and how important that is to consider when training a child. That is to guard sacredly that the choice of a matter remain with the child. Here in this, his next chapter, Mr. Trumbull encourages parents to consider that children are all individuals and that their individualism should be recognized and honored.

In the creation account we see something mysterious on the sixth day when God creates mankind. In the first five days God creates many things. We read these creation events and see a one to one ratio, Genesis 1:1 reads

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

God goes on creating with this pattern. God created and it was. God said and it was. And then we get to man and everything changes, Genesis 1:27 reads:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Interesting. Here we find a 3:1 ratio. Unlike anything else in the creation account. God created, created, created and it was. God said let us create them in our image. God, the three person God, creates man in His image; 3:1. Perhaps this is soul, spirit, and body. Perhaps more likely I do not have the words to express these three parts. But certainly there is something here. A great mystery.  Put another way, we are a spirit with a body not a body with a spirit. Certainly not just a body. There is something core to all us that is much more than a body. I like how the song I’m building me a home put it;

I’m building me a home. This earthly heart, oh is goin to soon decay, and the soul has got a have someplace to stay. When you hear me prayin, I’m buildin me a home. 

 

This idea of our core is what Mr. Trumbull suggests we as parents need understand. I believe Mr. Trumbull is recognizing that these 3 parts exist and urging parents to recognize that they exist no matter age. Here I come back to the five principles. The fourth: reputation is a form of property. On the first tablet we are called to remember the sabbath to keep it holy. Notice it does not say remember the sabbath and keep it holy. The act of remembering or observing the sabbath is what does keep it holy. When Christ teaches us how to pray we start with our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. This is a declaration of God’s reputation followed by a blessing that His reputation, His name, be maintained as it should unto the future. When Christian’s observe the sabbath they are upholding God’s reputation as the Creator.  Pointing to God by the way they live and saying with their actions, “Today is different than the other days because He is the Creator.” On the second tablet we see this truth more plainly. Thou shalt not bear false witness. We are not to slander our fellow’s reputation by lying about them. Furthermore, I have come to believe that this principle calls us to defend our fellow’s reputation. “No he did not do it, I know it so, he was with me at that time.” So then we arrive at this place where we are told that reputation is on God’s top 5 list. So how are we as parents to deal with our child’s reputation? their sprit? their soul?

Mr. Trumbull refers to it as honoring our child’s individuality. He argues that small children are often dismissed in this respect, almost dealt with as lesser people and that we would be wise to treat them in such a manner that these truths exist. These God given truths such as free will and reputation exist in people at their core no matter age.

…so many children are deprived of their right as individuals, by inconsiderate parents or others. When seats are lacking for new comers in a room or a street car, and two or three children are seated together by themselves in absorbing chat, the temptation is to speak quickly to the little one, telling them to vacate those seats for their elders, in a tone that seems to indicate that a child has no right in comparison with a grown person; instead of showing by the very manner of address that the children’s attention is called to their privilege of showing courtesy to their elders. in the one case, every child of that party feels aggrieved through being made to feel that his rights are not recognized as rights. In the other case, he is gratified by the implied confidence in his gentlemanliness, and in his readiness to yield his right gracefully. A child’s rights as an individual are as positive and as sacred as a man’s; and it is never proper to ignore these rights in a child, anymore than it would be in a man.

Children are not to be thought of as lesser men. Questions of a conversation brushed aside as to say; this is a topic for real people, which you yet are not. Concerns to be brushed aside as to say; your concerns are so very small in comparison to real people. Instead he believes a child’s perspective on a matter a sacred thing that if heeded would be to quite the benefit to the ‘real people’. To this belief Mr. Trumbull references the following scripture to which I will draw this post to a close.

Matthew 18:3-6:

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:10:

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

 

-A takeaway from Hints on Child Training by H Clay Trumbull

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

God willing

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
-King Solomon

God willing

James is a most useful book for Christians who want to learn how to act. In it James writes to newly Jewish-Christians and explains just that; as followers of Christ, how are we to live. There are many practical things in this letter. As a business person here is one that I have come to believe is important to practice.

In business there are plans. Plans to do this and to do that. When we speak about the future as Christians I think we need to understand the power of our words. As a quick side note please consider reading James chapter 3 for a better understanding on how our words can change the course of our whole life. Back to it then. In business we are called to speak of the future, to lead a team to a better place in time. James shows us how we are to do this in James 4:13-15:

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

It is my estimation, that as Christians we are called to uphold God’s reputation. Here James also tells us not to boast in the future but humble ourselves and to submit it to God. Admit that it is subject to God’s will. This I have come to believe is a way to uphold God’s reputation. Here is an example of what I am trying at:

Whenever we talk about the future may we honor God. Let this remind ourselves that God is in control. Let this proclaim our belief that our future rest in God’s hands that others would know that we belong to God. The Creator of all.

 

-A takeaway from a study in James 4:13-15

-A takeaway from a study in Proverbs 27:1

-A takeaway from a study in Jeremiah 9:24

-A takeaway from a study in 2 Corinthians 10:17

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Praise God

As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
-Proverbs 27:21

Tested by fire

A fining pot for silver. A crucible or melting pot to refine silver. To make it pure. A furnace for gold. To burn away the impurities. Gold and silver are tested by fire. Their impurities raised to the top, separated by fire. Proverbs 27:21 tells us that man is also tested, but by praise. Interesting.

Praise God! This is go to saying for me. Deployed, God willing, when I am tested by praise. I have come to believe that I am here to glorify God and this is one way to do it. When someone says, “You are awesome, the way you did that thing was amazing.” I believe it best to say something of the sort, “Thank you, praise God!” I have noticed some people looking a little puzzled with this response from time to time. Some get a look on their face like to say “….anyways”. This of course is all part of it, being different. Having a way that others do not know or understand and sticking to it all the same. The way I mean here is that praise and glory belong to God not to me and any good attributed to me is for me to pass on to God. To uphold His reputation.

Try it out next time someone praises you; “Thanks, praise God!” or another option is to quote this truth:

But by the grace of God I am what I am: – 1 Corinthians 15:10a

I think you will enjoy it. After all, God is good and He is worthy of all praise, His faithful love endureth forever!

Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. -Psalm 106:1

This brings me to another what I believe to be interesting idea, perhaps worth consideration. It rather starts off a question; what does that mean anyway, God is worthy of all praise? Throughout the bible we hear it. Praise God for He is worthy and so on. The other day I was talking with a rather well read, well learned economist about the unfortunate debasement of our currency and it came to me, how we worship it. How we worship money. And. How it can not stand it. I think it so because it is not worthy of our praise. It can not stand it, it falls, it fails admits the praise and worship. It is not up to the test. Interesting.

 

-A takeaway from a study in Proverbs

-A takeaway from an internrocket.com meeting

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Cardinal Virtues: Prudence

Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.

-CS Lewis

Path Through Grass In Misty Sunrise

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” Matthew 7:13–14

Followers of Christ are called to take the strait way. Strait, a middle english word meaning a narrow passage, from the old french estreit meaning tight and narrow. The old french from the latin strictus meaning drawn tight. The closest modern english, strict. So then Christians are called to a strait path. But why? 

Here is one example. From the fourth principle of the ten commandments we see that reputation is a form of property. In the fourth commandment God tells us to remember the sabbath to keep it holy. Why? Why are we to keep it holy and what does that have to do with God’s reputation?

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11

When we keep the sabbath day we uphold God’s reputation. We are called to take a different path from the rest of the world and observe the sabbath, we are a signal to the many that our God, the Creator, is real. This is just one way that one may or may not be called to take a strait path. To be different, not for the sake of being different but to the glory of God. I have come to believe that we are all called to different but each narrow paths. One to this, another to that, all headed the same direction of truth and goodness.

Darkness and light. Christians are called to be a light to the world. A city on a hill. Something people take notice of. Christians are called to be different. To take the difficult way that others do not. We are called to consider the things we do, the paths we take. Day to day there are things we do. Right. Well then, why? Why do we this or that? Because everyone else is, so we figure it the right? The wide path is easy mind you. The way of the many. The thoughtless way. What decisions have we fallen into all at once like an ox lead to the slaughter? God give us understanding so that we may keep your law and obey it with all our hearts.

When we stop and consider the things we do; what is God’s will, what will honor God, what will bring glory to God?, we find ourselves a narrow path very much different the path society in the whole.

May we all find each other on the narrow path that the Spirit calls each us to and may we all honor our God in righteousness and truth.

 

-A takeaway from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject are most appreciated.

Know your money

Promise less than you deliver.

-Rabbi Hillel

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When you write a check the proprietor will typically only accept it if they trust you have the money in the bank for the check to clear.  They will typically only accept it if they trust you. When Argentina gave notice to their creditors that they would not pay past $130 billion people no longer trusted them.  As a result people stopped accepting their currency.

Rabbi Lapin explains that the very word dollar comes from trust.  In the sixteenth century a highly trusted German count known for his high ethical standards started minting currency.  The coins were known as valley coins or thalers. Because the count maintained an extremely strict level of standards for weight and purity of silver people came to trust his currency and its reputation grew.  Thalers spread across Europe and each country pronounced it a little differently.  The Dutch called them daalders and eventually dallers.  Lapin makes a great point: “the lesson of the Thaler is still true; anyone with a reputation for reliability can create money.” Accepting a dollar is trust in a government.  Accepting a check is trust in a person.  Money is trust.  Could you create money if you needed to?

 

-A takeaway from Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin

 As always good books, takeaways, stories, and/or lessons learned on the subject would be the coolest.