As a mom, I feel a huge part of my job is to be an A+ student of my kids.  And this isn't my original idea, I'm copying my heavenly Father as the best parent out there.  He knows every detail of every kid of His (Psalm 139).  So as I study my kids, I find it helpful to find a Biblical character to match them up to, and then see how God deals with them.  

Stephen is a "Paul type".  :)  He's a by the book kind of kid.  Type A, competitive, spirited, quick to learn, quick to speak - and will push, push, push.  As an example, I asked him to set the table the other day.  

Stephen:  Mom, what do we need?
Me:  Forks.  Just forks tonight.
Stephen:  I think that the adults might need knives.
Me:  Yeah.  Ok.  2 knives.
Stephen:  And the kids will need spoons.
Me: No.  We don't need spoons.
Stephen:  Well, I'll just set them out.
Me:  I said no spoons.  
Stephen (after a while):  Spoons would be just right for this dinner.
Me:  No!  Stop asking about the spoons!
(a while into dinner)
Clara:  Mom, I really like to eat my rice with a spoon.  Can I get one.
Me:  *sigh*  Go ahead.

So when I look at how God dealt with Paul, it is spectacular.  He hit the guy with a blinding light, spoke to him with conviction, sent him to one he might have persecuted before to be healed.  Sheesh!  But look at Paul.  He got it.  In a major way, he got it.  He turned his life around completely - in 3 days! 

Since God has not given me the power to make a blinding light, we use flashlights.  Just kidding.  It is apparent that Stephen needs quick, decisive, reasoned answers to his questions.  That the right parenting for him would be to directly assess his heart issue and speak to it clearly and with purpose.  Anything else frustrates him and he swiftly looses his sweet and tender spirit.  

The other parenting tip Brian and I have gotten from God's dealing with Paul is to be sure that Stephen is being taught truth.  When Paul was Saul, he was taught truth with a twist.  All the truth of God, and the elimination of Jesus as the fulfillment.  Saul seized the twist and became one the most eager persecutor of Christians ever ... to the point of watching and ordaining stonings.  Saul makes me tremble in fear as a parent.  Brian and I are diligent watchers of what Stephen *thinks* he knows, helping him to process the millions of pieces of information thrown at him every day.  

Of course there is not a 1 to 1 match up for our kids with biblical characters.  It's just a tool we like and helps our story orientated minds.  We're still learning ... and as soon as we get it, they change!  Here's to trying!

Coming next ... Clara.

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