ORANGE TIP: Growing Up, Up and Away!
At CrossLife we regularly speak of ‘Walking Arm-in-Arm”, with God, with each
other, with the world, and in intentional discipling relationships.
The balance we maintain in each of these ways of walking is important.
As a parent I am aware of three responsibilities I have that will allow healthy growth in my kids;
I need to nurture them.
Meeting their physical, emotional and spiritual needs is foundational. Feeding, connecting, encouraging, comforting and protecting are all ways we generally understand are important for their health and growth.
I need to equip them.
Training, preparing, educating and resourcing our kids is, again, something we widely recognise as important. This responsibility can be daunting for many of us but it is vital in their growth.
I need to send them.
We are largely less intentional about this responsibility and, I think, we see it as something that happens rather than something we do. It involves releasing, empowering, trusting and challenging our kids in a certain direction. Intentionally sending our kids can be painful and challenging both for them and for us. It involves separation, independence, endings and new beginnings.
As much as we expect, and try to fulfil our responsibilities to see our children growing, learning, maturing and through the different stages of life learning to stand on their own two feet, physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, financially and relationally; so God’s word encourages us to mature (Hebrews 5:13-14).
What stage are you in right now?
Do you need nurturing, equipping or sending?
While we may move back and forward through these stages there is an overall pattern of maturity that mirrors our family life. Just as maturing children move through these three stages with the greater need moving, over the years, from nurture through equipping to sending, so we should be maturing.
By definition, it is most comfortable to stay in the place where we seek constant nurture – but it may reflect an immaturity if we get stuck there.
Are we taking on intentional learning, training and preparation? Or perhaps we fall into the trap of forever preparing for something? There is danger in either avoiding the work that true learning requires or in getting stuck filling ourselves with knowledge or constant rehearsing but never performing.
Allowing ourselves to be sent is challenging. Seeking and following our God-given vocation to participate in His kingdom can be scary – it can take us to places we are afraid of going and ask us to leave behind our comforts and safe places. For others though the sense of adventure and independence can overtake and we forget that we continue to need nurture and equipping.
Just as we strive as parents to allow our kids to grow healthily so we need the courage to honestly assess our own lives, relationships and choices and allow God to nurture, equip and send us as He – the perfect parent – directs and leads.
*What is ‘Orange’? Orange is a visual reminder that to help our kids follow Jesus the church and families need to work together.
If RED represents the love and heart of families for their kids…
And YELLOW represents the light that the church should be in the world…
Then ORANGE is when we come together, work together and guide our children together.*
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