Last week we began looking at the three inner needs of a child. Actually, we mentioned that each of these needs are hard wired in all of us. Today we will look at inner need number 2.
Inner Need Number 2 – Every Child has the inner need to know they are significant
Every person and every child desires to know they have a purpose in life. Purpose provides intrinsic value. Each of us desires to know why we are here and why God put us on this journey of life. Again, three words will provide a solid foundation for this need to be addressed.
Generous doses of affirmation must be served up for every child. As a parent or grandparent, you should always be on the lookout for those gifts, talents and skills that explode out of the water of your child’s life. If you are close enough, you will spot them every time. Let me warn you, don’t give false praise for things you do not see. Affirmation, if not true, will only lead a child down a road that God didn’t pave for them to travel. Praise them for what you do see so that they can begin to discover how God has uniquely gifted them toward His purpose for their life.
A child in a grace-based home also senses mom and dad’s attention. If you are paying attention to their world as the parent, you will know their fears, frustration, friends and failures. You will know what is on their heart emotionally and what they love and hate. All of this tells a son and daughter they are significant enough for you to be interested in their world and stay connected to their heart. The by-product is that each of these kids will have a mom and dad who are noticing how God has created them and offer suggestions to the direction He may be leading them in life.
Now the last word that comes to mind to help a child discover their significance is one you may not think about – admonished. Yes, we all need this from time-to-time. The Scriptures are used by God our heavenly Father to help us develop those character qualities and attitudes that reflect Jesus Christ. Sometimes that means He admonishes us in areas we are not doing so well. Just as God graciously admonishes us as parents, so we need to do the same for our kids. Even though your kids may not see it at a young age, it is admonishment that says you care. Your kids are significant and you love them too much to leave them the way they are. A wise parent helps their child correct the wrongs and not walk down a road of sin that will keep them from discovering God’s purpose for their life. It is out of love that grace based parents admonish their children to stay on the right path toward a significant purpose (Psalm 23:3).
Once again, if you seek to meet this need as a parent in a grace-based home, you will pave the way for your child to find their true significance in Jesus Christ. You don’t want your children to find significance in popularity, recognition or the applause of others. Jesus died for your child. He gave His life for them because they are significant. He gifted them and desires for them to be all He created them to be. As they live in a home where mom and dad convey grace by addressing this inner need, they will begin to see how Jesus also sees them as significant.
Let’s put it into practice:
- How are you practicing each of the three areas mentioned above so that you are addressing the inner need for significance for each of your children?
- Where are you strong and where do you need improvement?
What practical steps can you take today to meet this inner need in your children?