It's been quoted, "When they are little, you want them to grow up. When they are grown up, you want them to be little again." As a parent, there are moments when you believe your kiddo will never grow up. From outgrowing their pacifier to sleeping through the night, you wait for those milestones that make life a bit easier. The irony is, you miss those precious memories of your child being little as the years roll on. The lesson to be learned here is, don’t wish to fast-forward through life, after all, each stage is “just a phase,” and it will go by quickly enough!
THE FIVE PHASES OF LIFE
There are FIVE phases of a child's life - which ones are you experiencing in your own family?:
PHASE ONE: CATERING (from birth to 2 years old) - this is the phase where you do everything for your child. You cater to every one of their needs. It can be a stressful time for parents, especially first-time parents. It may feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down--- it's all about your son or daughter.
PHASE TWO: CONTROLLING (2 to 10 years old) - this is the phase where you micromanage your child's life, giving direction and making decisions to keep them safe. It's where rules and boundaries are created for your child to help them establish moral thinking and healthy habits.
PHASE THREE: COACHING (10 - 15 years old) - this is the phase where you begin allowing your child to make decisions while giving them direction and feedback. You no longer set playdates or choose their friends; instead, you coach them on it. You become the voice described by God in Isaiah 30:21, where it says, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, our ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” It’s a smart idea to embrace an outside voice - a reliable voice (not yours) that has a Biblical worldview and can reinforce the values/morals that both home and Church are trying to impart. Your child needs a mentor, a relationship that extends beyond Sunday.
PHASE FOUR: CONSULTING (15 to young adulthood; High School years & beyond) - this phase is where you take the "training wheels" off. They make decisions themselves, and you have to trust that coaching pays off.
PHASE FIVE: CARING (College and Beyond) - this phase is where your day-to-day parenting is complete. Here is where you mainly cheerlead and encourage. It's time to kick back and enjoy the fruit of your labor as you witness them become adults and begin their own families.
THE GOAL OF PARENTING
The Bible encourages you to train up a child with the end goal in mind. It says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Every parent must ask a fundamental question: "Am I parenting by circumstance and chance or on purpose with a plan?" I bet you can guess which direction we recommend! As you raise up the next generation, make a commitment to raise your children with a plan so that they can become mature, faith-filled adults who love Jesus, others, and you! And we pray you enjoy the process - remember, it’s just a phase!
"Cherish the small insignificant moments. They become the lasting memories." - Anon.
For additional related content from Liquid Church, check out the resources below:
- This article is a snapshot of Pastor Tim's message “Raising Up The Next Generation.” Click Here for additional inspiration from the full message.
- MESSAGE: For the entire message from Liquid Church's "World Changers," Let's discover how to rally behind this generation, understanding that they are indeed world changers. Click here