I’ve been praying for years about my quiet and careful child. I’ve had to work on seeing his quietness as a God-given asset, not as an abnormality that must be fixed. I’ve learned I can’t force communication. I’m learning ways at encouraging conversation, and becoming interested when he’s ready to talk about everything except the things I want to discuss. Most of all, I’m still praying that God will give me insight into his soul, and learning to trust that the God of all secrets is faithful to reveal them in his perfect time.
The last several months, I’ve seen a number of conversations that are an answer to my prayers. I’ve been delighted to see that the conversations I want are developing along with the inches and ability to understand fractions and decimals.
A few weeks ago, I asked my son if he was interested in doing the Bible reading plan that our pastor was talking about in church. He said not really. I asked if her knew why. (Do you know why is a lot easier than just why, I’ve learned.) He wasn’t sure. I asked if he was interested in doing something else, or if he was interested but afraid of starting something that big. He quickly said he wanted to do the plan, but was afraid, and he didn’t know why. Okay. I poked a bit, but didn’t learn anything. We talked about some other things and left off.
This morning, I had an idea. I asked David if he thought listening to the Bible plan was something he could do. He grinned. “That would be easy,” he said. Of course. He has listened enough to know that he could go through the Bible pretty quickly by listening for a few hours each night. He’s done it before. I asked him what he thought of doing the plan, just a few chapters each day, by listening carefully to those chapters only. He smiled, gave a noncommittal answer. I asked again, “Is it still scary to try something that big?” Affirmative.
I realize that God made him to naturally think through all the details before making decisions, and even then he is concerned that he’s missed something. I want him to understand that the feeling of fear can be safely ignored when he’s thought through a decision carefully, because it’s impossible to think through every possibility for every decision.
One of my long-term goals is to help my children understand how they think (called metacognition– thinking about thinking). I want them to love how God made them, and look for ways that God wants them to use their abilities and strengths and even weaknesses for his glory. So we talked about how his carefulness was such an asset, and also how it can sometimes get the better of him when it stops him from making decisions that have already been thought and prayed over.
I want David to simply become aware that the slight feeling of fear when a decision must be made isn’t a bad thing; nor is the feeling a warning that more thinking must be done before deciding.
Again, the Bible reading plan discussion was tabled. I asked if we could talk about it later. He nodded. I asked if I was lecturing too much. He grinned and said, “Yes!” When I looked at him in amazement, he laughed and said, “Not really. I was just teasing you.” He stayed next to me for awhile without any talking at all, comfortable to be close without words.
Perhaps he was just teasing. I’m just enjoying the increased comfort of our discussions of things that matter. Another time I think we’ll bring up this discussion again. I’d like to talk about some of the verses that show the dichotomy of our efforts to plan, and how we trust God when we finally make the decision, knowing we cannot possibly plan for everything. I want to talk about biblical decision making. Hopefully I can do it without lecturing too much!
Thanks! Introverts don’t understand why extroverts always want to change us into extroverts. Especially, when we are content to let extroverts be extroverts if that’s the way God made them. 🙂 There is a book out recently called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I haven’t read it yet, but a lady in my church did and said while she had some inaccuracy regarding Biblical history, she did have interesting insights into introverts and extroverts. There’s also a great children’s book called Bartleby speaks.
Sharon, I love that we are parenting opposites! Your perspective as a quiet believer is quite important to me! I have read Quiet. It is an excellent book (And I really appreciated the chapter on introverts in the church. It’s obviously a secular book, but the discussion was thought provoking.) I’ll look for the children’s book too!