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Parenting Insight: S-L-O-W Can Be G-O-O-D During Change

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Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

“Mom, you are taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to decide!”

As you’re considering different options for your child, others around you may be forced to wait. And they may not be happy about it.

But there may be a good reason why God has wired you to be careful and deliberate in order to raise your particular child.

Here’s an Insight

Your Predictable approach to change can be a parenting strength.

thinking womanIt is one thing to procrastinate, putting off a decision and never moving forward. But if you’re the type of person who is willing to make a decision and act on it – once you have information – you don’t fall into the “procrastinator” category.

You’re thorough. You’re systematic. You’re methodical. In your own life, you plan for transitions. Naturally, this “Predictable” approach to change spills over into your parenting. You’re the parent who is accused of being overly-cautious, whether it is checking a babysitter’s references one-by-one, carefully preparing your child for his transition to middle school, or reviewing the family rules point-by-point before he drives a car.

But your detailed approach also gives you freedom. Once you’ve considered the many different angles associated with a transition and make a decision, you generally feel good about it. That’s because you’ve methodically considered the best way to proceed.

There may be some around you who favor quick decisions. They may get impatient with you. But before you give in to a faster pace, consider how your slow-paced approach can be a big plus for your child’s future.

One Parent’s Approach to Managing Change

But by all accounts, Jesse (1 Samuel 16) was not a dynamic or impetuous man. Instead, over time he had worked hard to accumulate wealth in his sheep farming business and had garnered respect in the community as an elder.

So when the prophet Samuel came calling and asked to meet Jesse’s sons, the proud father easily fell into his habitually steady patterns. Jesse introduced the young men one by one, in birth order from oldest to youngest, not guessing that Samuel was internally vetting each for the kingship.

Unbeknownst to the players in this tableau, Jesse’s unhurried, steady approach provided benefits for each of them.

  • Jesse’s slow pace allowed time for Samuel to hear God’s voice regarding each son.
  • Jesse’s slow pace allowed the other sons to know that their futures were individually considered.
  • Jesse’s slow pace meant David could be assured of his special calling.

There are people who consider all options but don’t intend to make a change.

But Jesse reminds us that step-by-step, cautious deliberation is not akin to foot-dragging.  Predictable strengths help you make an informed decision about your child’s future and allow you follow through with conviction.

Slow can be good. For everyone around you.

Now How Should I Live?

  • God told the prophet Samuel to seek out a new king among the sons of Jesse. Read the story in 1 Samuel 16:1-13.
  • Why would this incident signal to Jesse that he would need to manage change?
  • How did God use Jesse’s parenting strengths in this story?

More about Parenting From Your Strengths

Parenting: There’s Strength In Numbers When Verifying Information

Pushy Parenting: Is It a Strength?

Know Your Strengths as a Parent