You’ll recall from an earlier post that my son has an infectious giggle. Yes, it’s still a giggle, not the laugh of an older child… yet. What a blessing to have videos of his giggle so that some day when his giggle turns to the deeper laugh of a man, I’ll be able to remember and smile at his sweet childish laughter – his sweet Image of God.
His giggle has been a sign to me of his joyful heart. I truly cherish it and beg God that I, through my impatience, wouldn’t crush it. Please don’t let anything or anyone rob him of his joy, Father! It’s such a delightful gift to the world displaying a little part of who God is, a small reflection of the Father’s joyful heart. It’s part of the Image of God he bears.
In Genesis 1:27, 31 we are told “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them…” then “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” We know what happens soon after – sin. And we are well aware of the effects of sin… on us and on our children. The sinful nature in us has turned the world upside down and caused us all to believe the lie that we are in control, that we are the ultimate authority in our own little world pulling us away from the Father that perfectly created us and called us “good.”
Most days it is easy to see the “sinful nature” in our children (oh, that it would be as easy to see it in ourselves!). They want what they want when they want it. Their favorite word is “no” or “mine.” And they do not like to obey. It’s easy to get lost in the world of correction. Yet how many times do we take time to sit and consider the Image of God in our child?
Can you see it? Can you picture the part(s) of your child that display an aspect of who our good God is? I don’t know about you, but I want to cherish that part of my child. To call it out and help it grow. I want to show it to my child, to teach them about that characteristic of God, and encourage them to cherish it as I do. I want to speak life to the Imago Dei in them.
Of course, sometimes the Image of God in your child can also be a challenge to “put up with.” My son’s joy can lead to silliness which is all well and good until he is silly at the wrong time or place. Just this week I told him that I loved his silliness and that God gave him that gift, but he needed to learn that there were times to be silly and times not to be silly. The next day this came up again and he replied, “But I don’t know when it’s okay to be silly and when it isn’t!” Well, that’s what I’m here for Buddy. Momma’s going to help you learn that skill (of course, that is going to take some patience and work from Momma, but that’s part of the calling, isn’t it?). Part of “speaking life” to his Imago Dei is to enjoy his joy, to laugh at his silly antics and play along in the merriment.
Where do you see the Image of God in your child(ren), Mom and Dad? Is it an area that might test your patience? What are some ways you might “speak life” to that area of their lives?
Gracious Father, you formed all of Creation, and it was good. And though sin has come and tarnished that creation, part of you still remains in us. And, oh, but Satan would love to see us snuff that Image of God out in our children. Lord, don’t let that happen. Give us eyes to see the Image of You in our children, to name it, to show it to our children, and to encourage it to spring forth in them. Thank you for the Image of You that you have placed inside all of us. May it grow and be a light to a very dark world. A light declaring who you are. Let it be so.