In considering the concept that “Children are born persons” we naturally have to consider the ways in which we perceive the children in our lives. There is a natural tendency to see the them as a groups: the big kids, the little boys and so on and this can be helpful at points. Or we may see them in terms of their attributes and behaviors: the diligent kid, the lazy one, the one who can fix anything. Again these can be a helpful way of seeing the children at times but they are hardly a way of seeing the individual persons, and if we cannot see the individuals how can we educate them in terms of academics suited to their uniqueness or form them spiritually with an eye to particular tendencies towards vice or virtue.
Do we see our children as persons or as collections of abilities, faults, gifts, problems and behaviors?
In other words:
Do we see them? Each child as the unique person that they are?
I think before we can see each child we need to ask if we see ourselves.
Recently I posted in our Mother Culture Group; asking each person to post the first three things that came to mind when they thought about themselves. Many of the women posted either three things that were negative or that they expected others to see as negative. “Too loud” rather than ” I have a big voice and am exuberant in nature.” The expectation seemed to be that the negative aspects of personality and character were more definitional than the positive aspects of those same traits.
There is definitely a place for being honest about our faults and weaknesses- we are broken creatures in a broken world, BUT we are also God’s handiwork from before time began each with our own, unique vocation of good works prepared for us before all time so that by His grace we might participate in the unbreaking of ourselves and of the whole cosmos.
Sit with that for a moment.
Created as God’s Handiwork
Before all time
With a unique vocation from before all time
To participate in the unbreaking and redemption of the cosmos
Does it change how you see yourself? How you see your weaknesses?
Does it change how you see your children?