Over the past few weeks Elijah has really gotten into people's full names, and who they are in relation to their family.
So now instead of introducing himself as Elijah, it is Elijah Luke Whiting, and then he goes on to introduce his brother, Judah Benjamen Whiting. He loves to explain to me how I am his dad, and so and so is his friends dad, and Pop is my dad...you get the picture.
What I find fascinating about this is that it is such a clear picture of what we all are wanting: a place to belong, a sense of fitting in. He wants to know who he is, and he wants to figure out where everyone goes, and we all are seeking that. Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo teach in "Growing Kids God's Way" that one of a father's most important jobs is to implant a sense of belonging and purpose. That really struck me. My sons need to know where they belong, and they will find it. Whether I teach them or not. The problem is, if I don't take the task myself, the person who teaches them may not be someone I would like. It could be their friends, or a TV show, or any number of other people who will fill that void and that is just scary.
So I have started being very deliberate in calling out not just who Elijah is as a person, or as a man of God. But calling him into who we are. As a Whiting family, and as members of the family of God. It is fun to be sitting there with Elijah and Judah and be able to say "Whiting men don't complain, we are thankful for what we have!". Sometimes they seem to get it, and many times they don't. But I know that their little hearts are soaking it up. And one day that sponge will pour out, and they will be confident of who they are, and where they belong...and that will make all the difference!