My children are now 31 (Kim) and 29 (Nick) years of age, but when they were young, I fostered their music talents and encouraged them to learn a musical instrument.
Being a music teacher and an over enthusiastic mother, I had this wonderful vision of the three of us forming a trio and playing music together for others to enjoy. Flute was my major instrument, so I thought it would be perfect for Kim to play harpsichord (she was already learning piano and flute) and for my son Nick to play cello. If you know anything about music, you will understand what a beautiful combination these instruments would make and you are probably already humming some well-known repertoires from Bach or Handel.
Well it worked for a little while, especially as I was their music teacher at school. Both children exuded musically - but my dream was not their dream and my desires were not best for them.
I made Nick persevere with cello – but for some reason he hated this divine instrument. It wasn’t until I found out that his cello teacher used to hit him over the knuckles with her bow and yell at him, that I allowed him to give up. He took up guitar (his own choice) and thrived. Kim stopped playing the flute, but continued to learn and play the piano which she loved and excelled in. Alas, the “Wansbrough Trio” playing for weddings and soirees never eventuated.
Sometimes I believe we need to encourage our children to ‘have a go’ and persevere, but we must be careful not to put our own dreams and goals onto our children (like I did).
Our children are different to us and one of the most important tasks we have as parents is allow them to grow and be who God wants them to be, not what we want them to be.
If our children are continually moulded into what we want, they will eventually fail (through discouragement, anger or just inability to live up to what we desire). When we allow our children to truly be who and what God created them to be, they will thrive and blossom.
The most important thing for parents to do is pray! Give your child to God; help them to discover the unique gifts and talents they have been given and allow God to work in them and through them for His glory and His kingdom.
Philippians 4:4-8 (NIV)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Blessings on your week,