Within the last two weeks alone I can think of three specific instances where we have had conversations about how we are all different from each other and that is how God made us. One person has red hair, another has brown. You like chocolate, your sister prefers sour things. The favorite friend in your Sunday school class has darker skin than you, but you are taller than her. Are any of these preferences or characteristics bad? No. They are just differences in how God perfectly designed each of us.
The younger our children are the easier it is to teach them to accept the differences between themselves and others. The first time I was asked why someone was different was actually pretty amusing as my child inquired, “Why doesn’t she like chocolate?” As unimportant as it sounds, this innocent question gave me a great opening to talk about how God made us all different, even in our taste buds, and all those differences are part of His plan for each of us.
Sometimes I think these lessons are to help teach children to accept the differences they see or experience in others, and at times I think these lessons are to help them also accept and embrace the God given differences they discover in themselves. Children need to be secure in liking the activities, foods, and clothing styles they prefer as opposed to trying to change who God made them just to ‘fit in.’
While my children are young, I freely rely on outside help to teach these lessons and am ever so thankful when trusted resources like Hermie & Friends address these difficult topics. In Hermie & Friends: Stanley the Stinkbug Goes to Camp, Stanley the Stinkbug has a hard time fitting in with the other bugs because of his differences. The more the other campers try to change him the more Stanley changes who God perfectly made him to be and the worse he feels.
The God who made us also makes each little snowflake unique and different. A celebration of His creation on such a small scale is a wonderful reminder that the uniqueness we see in ourselves and others are also part of His perfect plan.
For more great resources like the above mentioned Hermie & Friends DVD you can follow along at the Hermie & Friends website and Facebook page. Because, as much as these lessons are geared for our kids, sometimes they are timely reminders for us as well.
How do you encourage your children to embrace their uniqueness and the differences they see in their friends and loved ones?