I’m so thankful that there is not one ideal personality that pleases God most.
Whether you have step-children, biological children, or adopted children, each one is fitted with a unique personality and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to communicating with, disciplining, encouraging, or training them.
Try as we might, there’ll be no squeezing all of one’s children into a mold one has made for them.
Child #2 will not be like child #1, etc.
I remember blissfully reading stories to my firstborn. She would sit and listen contentedly to all the words, point at the pictures, and then ask for another book.
I would put board books in her crib so that if she woke up “too early” from her nap, she could entertain herself with books.
Child #2 had to be strapped into his highchair with a tray of cheerios in order for me to read to him.
I sat close enough to show him the pictures, but far enough away that he couldn’t grab The Pokey Puppy and chuck it like a live grenade.
He wasn’t a “tough child” or any more difficult than his sister, just different.
I have often tried to be different, in a different way than I already am different.
I have tried to be more outgoing, tried to be more excited, tried to be more small-talky and brave about meeting people and less self-aware and timid.
It hasn’t really worked very well, or at least it hasn’t stuck.
Honestly, there are things about me that I attribute to personality which are really just sin, and Jesus and I are working on those things.
And how many times have my own children shown a personality trait they picked up from me? How many times have I tried to discipline it out of them?
The flip side though, for my children and myself, is that God has an infinite imagination and He shows it in nature and in the unique people He created.
Trying to fit everyone into a cookie-cutter mold won’t work.
If I had 15 more children they’d come with at least 15 more personalities, and at the sight of each one I would think that is my child.
And sure – some personalities are more compatible with others.
Having a child with a decidedly opposite personality from yours can make you work harder in that relationship, but I’m pretty convinced you would still scratch the eyes out of anyone who tried to hurt that child.
Our children’s personalities may be God’s way of shaping us, as parents.
They may be a trial we learn from or a delight we rest in at times.
I don’t know what the technical line between personality and habitual sin is, but I do know that there is no formula or list or stone-tablet-way to be more pleasing to God.
There is no way to be more acceptable to a perfect God who sees Jesus when He looks at me.
We can just rest in being made in His image and work on accepting others, who may bear a different aspect of His image.
Child #2 will not be like child #1