Controlled Growth

It was one, among several, of the company’s strategies for achieving success. And I have to admit, it was the only one I didn’t understand. After all, if the purpose of a business is to prosper and expand influ­ence, why would you want to control that growth? Why not just let it be free to flourish?

Well, those company days are behind me, and many homeschooling days lay ahead. While I’ve shifted professions for the time being, the business strategy remains a part of my philosophy for success— and it finally makes sense. Because nothing threatens successful growth—in any area—like the inability to handle it.

You see, creativity is something God’s given to all of our kids—and to all of yours. It’s part of being made in the image of a creative God. And it’s our goal to help our kids discover their gifts and use them to build God’s kingdom. But in order to do this we’ve got to be guardians of their growth and allow them just as much freedom as their maturity can responsibly handle. Otherwise, we jeopardize everything.

God set the best example of this with his own children. Just before the people of Israel were to enter the promised land—the land of freedom—God said this: “I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land” (Exodus 23:28-30).

God had set His children free; that was undeniable. And He had pre­pared a place where they could enjoy that freedom and serve him. That too, was undeniable. But He had the wisdom to know that they would need time to grow into the full measure of all He was giving to them. Over time, they would be strong and capable enough to tend the whole land He set aside for them. Until then, others would do it. And in this way, God guarded his children and his gift from ruin.

It’s no different for us. We must encourage our children in their creative growth, but not by setting them free in as many directions as they want to go all at once. Instead, we must allow them pursue what they are able to handle with self-control. And as we do, we’ll watch them grow to maturity and continue to pursue their passions for the glory of God.

To encourage you in practicing controlled creativity, try implementing these helpful tips.

1. Narrow it down

Instead of choosing as many things as possible, help your child to nar­row down their creative pursuits to one or two at a time. Talk through what your child loves best and appears to have natural skill or strengths in; help them to discern the way they should go, not just the way they feel like going. Narrowing down options and settling on a decision they can handle are life-skills your child will thank you for later.