We have come to accept a lot of behaviors from children because, well, they’re “just being kids.” Let’s face it. This is a great excuse to explain why your two year old has a fascination with the dog’s water dish, or your elementary school student refuses to let you pick out her clothes--even if she can’t match them properly.
However, there are some behaviors and patterns that we choose to ignore. After all, they are just kids, and we can’t expect a toddler to act like an adult. But the fact is, there are a lot of behaviors we see in ourselves and in our adult friends that we choose to ignore as well.
There is a standard of normalcy that the world promotes that just doesn’t line up with the standard the Bible sets for us as Christians. When we find ourselves falling into negative thought patterns or ways of living, it is often because we developed these behaviors when we were younger, thinking they were normal!
Our role as parents and leaders of kids has to be to show them that the world is never our standard for what is normal. All of our teaching on normalcy and the way we choose to address or ignore behaviors has to come out of the Word of God. Consider where you would be if you had been taught at an early age that God desires to give you joy in all situations or that you don’t have to wonder about your future because God has already planned it!
By raising not normal kids, children who go beyond what is permissible and attain what is good and prosperous, we will see a generation of Christians who are firm in their identity in Christ and will see God at work in their life from a young age!
So what are the characteristics of a “not normal kid”?
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 29:8
Whether it’s the monster under their beds or the fear of failure, children will face fear at some point in their lives. And, while some of this fear is healthy such as the fear of strangers, most of it is detrimental to their growth and can cause stress on other family members.
Thankfully, as Christians, we have unlimited access to the peace and wisdom through God! As we teach our child the Word of God, we can give them the tools to live a fearless life.
Will fearlessness be immediate? Maybe. But more likely, as your child develops their ability to reason through their emotions, they will be able to put the tools of God to the test and resist fear! By treating fear as something that should not be a part of a Christian life, you help your child establish healthy patterns for dealing with conflict and uncertainty that will benefit them for years to come.
Focused and Driven
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Many people struggle to figure out what they want to do with their lives, so they struggle to apply themselves to what they are doing.
By teaching your child that God has a purpose and a plan for their lives, you give them a sense of direction that many people do not have. You help them understand that everything they does has importance and that God cares about the details of their life.
Sure, it may be "good enough" for your child to get by in school or in the activities that they do. But part of living a not normal life is doing your work with excellence! Working with your older child to see everything they do as for the Lord will set them apart from their peers and make them an example to the unbeliever.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
As you walk around a store or a mall, it’s easy to find people that look like life has beaten them down. Even Christians have difficulty walking in total joy. But the peace of God gives us the ability to be joyful in any situation!
Having joy doesn’t mean your child will be happy all the time, but rather joy is the ability to walk in peace in difficult situations. Teaching your child to choose joy is more than just teaching them a Biblical principle. It’s something they need to see modeled out and something they need to be talked through. They need to be shown how to choose joy and resist the temptation to give in to fear and frustration.
Even for adults, it is easy to write off a bad attitude or grumpiness as a normal part of life. It does not have to be! God's joy can triumuph in any situation, and it can help your child's life be a testimony of the goodness of God!
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it shows you that what most people think is normal doesn’t have to be the case for your child! Your child can be different from the world and be a testimony to the people around him or her from a young age!
So how do we help them live out a not normal life? First, no two children are the same, so what works for one child may not work for others. Resist the temptation to get frustrated or to assume it isn’t working. Like plants, each of the seeds you sow into your child’s life will produce fruit. Some seeds sprout quickly, and others take longer.
Find rest and joy in knowing that our responsibility is to sow and water. God is the one who makes the seed grow (1 Corinthians 3:7). As your pray into your child’s life, ask God to make their hearts into good soil that will produce a plentiful harvest (Matthew 13:23).
This week, take some time to pray and ask the Lord what areas of your child's life He wants you to speak into. Find some scriptures and stand on them as you believe your child will go against what is normal and permissible and live a supernatural life!