Development as a dynamic system [is] a perpetually ongoing process, extending from conception to death, that is molded by a complex network of biological, psychological, and social influences.
-Laura E. Berk
Jesus became wiser and stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to God and to people.
Developmental science touches on many facets of personal traits and change throughout the lifespan. The children you encounter from birth on up are experiencing profound, rapid and amazing changes. Our local culture and community shapes them. How can you influence the culture around you to help shape children in Godly directions?
Some influences are out of our control, such as genetic make-up or where we were born. Other influences we can leverage for greater effect such as the intentionality of our engagement with children and the timely words we use.
From the time a child is born, he is being constantly shaped. He is rapidly taking in new information and making new neurological connections. Every encounter with another human being provides new connections and leaves lasting impressions.
A parent has many, many opportunities to shape their child. Volunteers at church have limited, yet significant opportunities to reflect the heart of God and impress on children the value of a not-so-perfect church community coming together and relying on God.
Parents, tap into your child’s caregivers or small group leaders. Get to know the key people in your child’s life and find ways to build on that relationship.
Volunteers, seize those moments with parents to encourage them and reinforce the strengths of their children.
Lord, I marvel at the children you created! Their development is astonishing. Help me to provide strong stepping stones on their journey toward you.