Monday, 22 July 2013

Family resemblance {who do our children look like, REALLY?}

The world is in waiting.

Well, OK, maybe not the whole world.  Certainly, a lot of people, and especially mothers who know what being through labour is like.

Waiting for the Duchess of Cambridge to have her baby.

We had the official announcement this morning, from Buckingham Palace, that she was, indeed, in the early stages of labour, and at hospital.  It's a first baby, and so like many other first time deliveries, it is unlikely to be swift.

It won't be long, in once sense, before the world will get to see the long-awaited "Royal Baby".  How quickly will there be the comments along the lines of "Isn't he/she like her mother/father?" We always like to be able to catch a glimpse of a particular parent in a child.

I don't know about others, but in our family we often get remarks about how much our children look like a parent.  More often than not, they see them looking like Daddy, and his side of the family.  Sometimes, they will see them looking like me, or as I looked when I was a child.  Sometimes they look like cousins, or how an aunt or uncle looked when they were wee.

This first picture is of Robert (on the right) and his brother, Edward, and his sister, Anna.  I can certainly see some family likeness here, especially with Anna, more than with Robert! I can Simeon in Anna!

My sister dug out some of our old photos recently, and I can see family resemblances quite clearly.

This Angela, David, Stephen and I. (from L-R)

(Angela, Stephen and I, from  L-R)

I can especially see Elijah looking like Stephen, in the photo above.

For those who know my children well enough, you can make up your own mind!  One thing is for sure, when my children looked at them today, they all knew who their Auntie Angela was!

But, thinking about family resemblances, got me thinking about something else.

We all want to think our children look like us - you long to see little traits that are like yourself, reflected in your children.  Eye colour, smile, dimples....

But what about how they BEHAVE?  Is there a family resemblance in CHARACTER?  Certainly, there are little things that we can chuckle about.  The same way the boys can't find things, just like their Daddy. The same way the girls "talk" with their hands, just like their Mummy.  What makes them smile and laugh. When you notice that Simeon says "hiya" and he says it because that's what I say every time I get him out of his cot. The little things that wind them up.  They just seem to somehow be "inherited" sometimes - like it's a built in character trait.

Then, there are the resemblances that make us laugh in an awkward kind of way.

When we notice them getting frustrated about things - and see that it's the the same things WE get frustrated about.

When we hear them use the same expression of annoyance with their siblings, that WE use with them.

When we hear them shout at each other over things that really don't matter, just like WE do.....

Seeing BAD things in our children, that resemble our own sinful and weak behaviour.  Not so good. No smiles about that.  Only a sad despair, that we are not passing on the right "traits" to our children.

It's so challenging.

So convicting.

So awful.

To see or hear them mirroring our behaviour.  The not-so-good behaviour.

There is good news, though.  They are still young.  With God's grace, those negative traits can be turned into positive.

It takes effort.  It takes diligence.  It takes time.  It takes us to be patient with them, and to persevere in the training that is required to guide them in right ways.

It's not just effort with our children.  It's effort in our own hearts and lives.  If our children are reflecting negative traits from us, then *WE* need to work to hammer out those imperfections in our OWN behaviour, so they are not reflected in our children's. We need to daily seek to stamp out the "old man", and seek God's help to nurture what is good and right. Firstly in ourselves, and then in the lives of our children.

Remember, God is gracious with us in our failings.  If we come repentantly, seeking His forgiveness and mercy, He is gracious.  Remember that we need to show that same grace toward our children, as they grow and learn as well.

This week, I will endeavour to make sure that the family resemblances that I see in my children, are reflected from the image of Christ that is seen in me, and not in the sinful character that I need to stamp out, by God's grace.

"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
1John 3:18  

No comments :

Post a Comment