How Has Your Life Been Defined?

Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me. Psalm 119:133

Parents and caregivers give children definition. That’s a lot of power to hold in your hands. Children are born as empty canvasses. Comments made to them define how they see themselves for years to come. They can be rightly defined, wrongly defined, or in the absence of interaction, not defined at all.

It is the role of a parent to see how his child is naturally bent in order to reinforce the ways in which God uniquely created them. Their spoken observations define. “You really like the color red, don’t you!” “I’ve noticed that you can’t wait for a chance to dress up in something pretty!”  “You are always the first one to help others.” “You must be a leader because others quickly follow your great ideas.” Think of how many observations are given to children in just one week. Compile these over the course of their formative years and you have set up a child to know himself and have a vision for the future.

Just as good comments set up a child positively for life, bad comments set them on painful detours. Because children believe what they’re told, they may never have another opportunity to really know themselves as God created them unless they allow His Word to correct all the previous bad messages. God will also be gracious to send them new truth tellers.A child was born to dream and he quickly discovers if his dreams will be affirmed or criticized. If it’s the latter, if he believes his dream is stupid or inappropriate, he will drive it underground and never bring it to the table again for consideration. Because a child wants to please, he will morph into what gets him love and approval. How many doctors should have been teachers? How many teachers should have been musicians? I’m convinced that precious few find their calling.

The only thing worse than wrong definition is no definition. Adults believe that children should be seen and not heard. At family gatherings, children are relegated to a children’s table; not because of space, per se, but because there’s no perceived value in interacting with them. In this parental void, children have no idea who they are. Their lives consist of obeying a set of rules while aching for real relationship. They become doers with no sense of being.

I am one who grew up with a beige internal world. My soul resembled a model home where everything was painted a neutral color. But here’s the thing ~ the walls of a purchased home aren’t meant to stay that way. At some point, someone will buy the house and make it their own. Rooms will be personalized. Artwork will be hung. Beautiful colors will accent rooms. A child without definition can’t decorate his life.

The life of a child of God is rich with definition and color. David says that God keeps our feet steady and that the iniquity of others words and actions need not shape our lives. At the end of the day, no matter how much damage has been done, God steps in at our spiritual birth to assume the role of Father. He heals any disfigurements. He whispers away false accusations. He redefines, recolors, restores, rejuvenates, realigns, and puts our feet on the path for which we were created. Our lives have rich purpose – both externally and internally. We end up doing what had been the point all along ~ each of us living a life that gives glory to God.

I am bound to You and You father me perfectly. Your Word gives me more definition than I’ll ever need in this lifetime. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, Amen



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