Whenever I think of expressing yourself, I think of one of two things. Madonna and breastfeeding. I know, I know. It’s an odd combination. When I began writing this post, it was truthfully the best way to describe what I wanted to talk about so maybe now I’ll think of three things. We’ll see!
I was talking to a friend the other day about Emma and how much she dances. I’m not talking about a little move here and there. She seriously bounces off the walls dancing when she hears music she likes. We have dance parties at our house regularly and she is always the last to leave. It wears me out. Truthfully, I’m not much of a dancer. I love the idea of dancing and have the desire to dance, I’m just not very good at it. Maybe one day Emma can teach me? Anyways, my friend was telling me about her daughter and how she lets her express who she is and finds an outlet to let her do so. For example, there are lots of routes Emma can go with when it comes to dancing. If I tell her, “don’t dance!” sure enough, she’ll go out and start dancing on a pole in hopes to prove that she can “do whatever she wants”. This is the last thing I want for her. I don’t want to stifle her and keep her from doing what she loves. I want to channel it in a positive light. I want to teach her that she can be herself in a way that Christ is able to shine through her life. In this scenario, everyone wins. Here are some things that we will be considering as Emma grows up and finds out who she is. I got these from Mark Driscoll and thought they applied greatly to her life and what we would do as parents and I wanted to share this with you as well!
Receive. This means what is happening is good and honors God. For example, if Emma is a dancer that is doing it to glorify God then it’s all good. It doesn’t mean she dances at a church. It can be almost anywhere as long as she honors Him with her body and mind. We can receive several things in life that Emma wants to do and recognize it’s benefit in not only her life, but how she honors God.
Reject. This means what she is doing is completely against God. There is nothing good about it and it needs to be removed from her life completely. At this point, we don’t have much to go on here with Emma. The main thing I can think of us is her selfish behavior at times. She gets in a “mine!” state of mind from time to time and there is nothing godly about this, nothing good that can come from it. We have to reject this attitude all together. After all, God gives us our personality and it’s permanent, not our attitude. Our attitude can always be changed to reflect Him.
Redeem. This means that something is being used for bad but can be used for good. This can come back to my example from earlier about pole dancing. I can’t believe in my mind as a believer and especially as a parent that dancing like that brings any honor to God or to her own body. There is nothing good about using your body for anything other than glorifying God and this doesn’t cut it. This would even include other things as simple as how you dance with someone of the opposite sex at a high school dance. If your mind and body are not honoring God, then it’s wrong. Bottom line. However, dancing itself is not the sin. It’s the way it’s done. Dancing can be redeemed.
The great thing about these three things is they can be applied to all areas of our lives, I’m just choosing to use them with Emma. I would encourage you to use them with not only your kids, but with your entire life. It’s a great way to make sure what we’re doing is what we should be doing. I love finding stuff like this that makes my life as a parent, wife, and believer just a little bit easier. I hope you enjoyed it, too!
What are you doing to allow your kids to express themselves?