New babies usually arrive with unprecedented joy. In fact, weeks before the baby’s arrival, the ‘hospital bag’ which would have been stacked with beautiful dresses and other essential requirements is usually positioned in an easily accessible place in the house. On arrival, new babies are immediately cleaned up, and adorned with colourful and sparkling clothes, and then wrapped with either a bright coloured blanket or one of the best suitable wrappers from the mother’s wardrobe. The baby is finally crowned with a cap and would usually give the impression of the arrival of a queen or king from a distant kingdom. But unlike such kings and queens, who would wear stern looks as a result of the pressures of rulership, babies come from an internal system whose equilibrium is maintained by God. So they initially exude peace.
The perception of parents differ at such occasions in line with different circumstances of birth, but all seem to indicate such feelings as the peace which the child exudes, joy at the arrival of the child, and gratitude to God. Many parents would actually perceive the new born baby as a bundle of joy. Hence, some babies are out rightly named joy, peace, praise, favour, blessing, and so on.
The euphoria aroused by the arrival of a new born baby usually obliterates the other aspects of the child which may not be as rosy as the more visible ones. With time it would be noticed that the child’s unique disposition is actually controlled by the interplay of certain components, each striving for expression at any particular time. Such components include the Adamic nature, the unique nature of the child, and the divine nature of God.
The Adamic Nature
The seed of Adam in man translates the whole human body into the body of death (Romans 7:24). The implication of this is that from birth, the child is dominated by a high propensity to sin. This manifests as foolishness in children (Proverbs 22:15), and seeks immediate satisfaction of desires and needs without minding limitations, the costs and consequences of actions, as well as guiding rules and regulations. This, in fact, lays the foundation of indiscipline which parents struggle with.
A child that is dominated by the Adamic nature places little or no reliance in God, but relies solely on his or her own self-effort. If this seed of sin is not dealt with in childhood, it would result in spiritual rebellion in adulthood. This explains why no one devotes time to teaching evil acts and wrong behaviours to children, yet such negative behaviours are usually the first to be learnt and exhibited by them. This is because the child’s body is very receptive to the negative signals from the environment, through various agents and media of evil communication. Since such children make no provision for divine delivery out of any difficult situation, their sole trust in self-effort usually produce disobedience, rebellion and other evil acts. Parents of children who are ruled by evil thoughts tend to batter and punish them in all sorts of ways without any enduring success.
The Child’s Uniqueness
Another important aspect of the child which careful parents observe even from the womb is the child’s uniqueness. This aspect transcends the physical to include the whole essence for which the child was created by God. A child may be a boy or girl, tall or short, slim or fat, an introvert or an extrovert, tardy or hasty, talkative or reticent, playful or serious, fair or dark complexioned, etc. This aspect is not learned by the child, and so it is almost closed to training and cannot be changed!
If a child’s uniqueness is identified, encouraged and developed, the child would usually acquire positive confidence and concomitant potential and drive that would lead him or her to stardom. Parents who fail to acknowledge this fact usually compare children unnecessarily with each other, and would end up creating tension-filled family relationships. More so, attempts to suppress the uniqueness of a child usually produce a dislocated individual bereft of self-identity and easily manipulated by external forces, and who may never achieve real success and fulfilment.
The Divine Nature of God
The divine nature of God is in every child from birth since God created human beings in his own image. (Psalm 127:3) For anybody to achieve real success and fulfilment in life, the divine nature of God should moderate his or her thoughts and actions. This nature of the child, which unfortunately is repressed from birth, is the part that creates the desire and positive drive in the child to take right actions and decisions. Children whose spirits have been rejuvenated are always keen on acquiring wise counsel on how best to resolve difficulties without recourse to evil or rebellion. This implies that a child that is saved from the rebellious predispositions of the flesh would be dominated by the obedient divine nature of God. No wonder Joseph said in Genesis 39:9 “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (NIV).Parents of such children would not need to talk, or shout too much or batter them in order to achieve obedience to instructions.
- Never attempt to change the unique nature of any child because it is an effort in futility.
- In parenting, give recognition to the prominent role God plays in the output of conscience-driven actions in righteousness.
I am sure we are wondering at this point how the nature of God will be made to come alive in a child. It will be addressed in our subsequent devotionals.
– Uchenna N. Nduka