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The Need for Parental Affirmation

In this stage of parenting, I hear one phrase as much if not more than all other phrases: “Dad, look at what I did.”

Even if it is Baby Gloria babbling at me and pointing to something she knocked over, my children desire for me to recognize their accomplishments.  I am constantly being called to look at pictures drawn, letters written, towers erected, holes dug, siblings tied up, and so much more.

Deep down, each child is in need of parental affirmation.  They want to know that the ones they look up to the most, with whom they find the most security, think that who they are and what they can do is special.

Psalm 139 was written by David.  This psalm paints a beautiful picture concerning how much intentionality and care that God spent on creating each one of us and knowing each one of us.  Both God’s majestic qualities and intimate traits are highlighted.

Read Ps. 139:1-6 below and listen for key phrases:

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

It is reassuring and overwhelming to comprehend that God is acquainted with all my ways.  He is also acquainted with all my children’s ways.  If I really want to get to know my children, my best bet is to get around the one who knows them best.

Now read Ps. 139:13-16:

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

Your child was handmade by God.  He knit each child together before we ever laid eyes on that child (Ps. 139:13).  The individual intricacies that distinguish each child were God’s ideas.  His eyes saw your child before there was anything to actually see (Ps. 139:16)!

For what are you most thankful for the way that God designed your children?

God has already written down every day of your child’s life in His book before they have even happened.

I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.  I appointed you a prophet to the nations.  -Jer. 1:5

Your child has “been remarkably and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).  They are special, unique, one-of-a-kind.  Who they are and what they do is remarkable.  What specifically can you point out to your children about the way that God has made them?  How can you ascribe value to their life by pointing out the beauty of who they are?  Regardless of old your children are, they still want to hear you think they are special.  And if they hear it from you, maybe they won’t be as desperate to hear it from someone else.