Today is Ellison’s last official day at preschool. Last week she brought home the portfolio her teachers have been keeping for the past three years. It’s hard to believe that you can fit three years of learning into these six little pockets.
I sat down and looked through the pictures and read the progress reports and learning narratives the teachers included. I saw a great pattern emerge: the teachers had a definitive strategy for my daughter’s education that not only taught her but allowed her to remain herself in the process.
She went in as this verbal, dramatic, happy little girl who was scattered all over the place.
Three years later, she has emerged that same happy girl full of life and drama, but she now has a fire within herself to learn, ready for kindergarten and whatever comes next. They didn’t change who she was but rather allowed her natural personality to thrive.
If this is important for our kids at school, how much more important is it for our kids and how we help them learn more about Jesus?
The proverb is so familiar…
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Our role as parents (and as children’s pastors) isn’t to create carbon-cut-out Christians of ourselves. Rather, we meet our kids as they are and make space for their faith to flourish. We create relational environments that allow the Spirit to move within their lives as they become the best person God created them to be.
Honestly, sometimes I wish we could just create robots. It’d be so much easier. But our kids are fearfully and wonderfully made children of God. Our responsibility is to do the difficult work and care for each of our children individually as they come to know their own place in the kingdom of God.