Children are not possessions of a marriage. From the moment a child enters into a couple’s life, the mutual goal of the parents should be to prepare the child to eventually leave home as an independent, well-rounded, and self-defined individual. Every child deserves his or her own personhood.

While a child bears the genetic signatures of the parents, each child deserves more than becoming a clone of the parents. Every child is the parents’ opportunity to contribute a unique individual to the world, not just a duplicate of themselves or a fulfillment of their own unmet dreams.

If parents are committed to the goal of helping their children develop into their own personhood, then parents must be open to the influence that time, talent, and circumstances will have upon the plans for their children.

Being committed to the process of parenting rather than the outcome of parenting will be one of the greatest gifts you give your child. When you are committed to the process, rather than the outcome, you acknowledge and create the needed space for possibility and discovery. You also help encourage and appreciate the uniqueness of the child.

When it comes to the responsibility of parenting, faith, not fear, should always drive your actions. Nurturing a child in a way that honors personhood will produce an outcome in adulthood that both fits the needs of the child and honors the efforts of the parents.

Every child is the parents’ opportunity to contribute a unique individual to the world, not just a duplicate of themselves or a fulfillment of their own unmet dreams.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.