The Gingerbread Man is a classic story. The baker makes the gingerbread man and, just before he can taste to see if it’s good, it jumps off the sheet and goes running.
When I think of a Gingerbread man I think of the very predictable shape and design of that type of cookie. They all look pretty much the same. You need a cookie cutter to make a gingerbread man. That’s what gives it’s shape.
Sometimes we approach parenting like the baker. We pull out that cookie cutter and we fit our child into the mold that we’ve created for them. We shape them and push them into what we think they are supposed to be.
Each of my children are very different from each other. They have their own interests and abilities that are very unique to each of them. They each have their own dreams. Then they have the vision that my husband and I have for them, and of course, the vision God has for their lives.
The problem is: our children are not cookies. They have a will of their own. They don’t always want to conform to the cookie cutter image. Really, they shouldn’t have to.
For years I have struggled with the need to please others. I have acted and been what others wanted, even at cost to my own identity. The roles I played hurt me deeply. This is not a struggle I want to see in my children. I want them to fight their mold and my mold for them. I want them to run from conformity to this world and stay true to who they really are in God.
Romans 12: 2 (NKJV) says “ And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and perfect will of God”.
Teach your children to obey you, but to conform to God and to God alone. It’s His image they need to copy, not yours.