I love my kids. That’s nothing new, most people love their kids.
But I actually like my kids. I like being around them. I like them as the awesome little people God made them to be. Each of them is so different from one another.
This strikes me as odd because we had all four of them within a short five-year span. As a parent, I feel like our philosophy has stayed true though each new addition to the family. Our parenting style has stayed consistent with each of our children.
But one of our kids is not like the others. One of them dances to the beat of his own drum—actually he is playing the banjo, out of tune, while the rest of the children are playing the drums. Our third child, Cyrus, is just a bit more … um … hectic, than the others. Everything he does is at 110%. He can be wild, destructive, act without thinking, and he is loud. So so so loud.
About a year ago God really challenged us to change our mind-set regarding the way we label Cyrus’ (ahem) less desirable qualities. I’m not saying we began to praise poor behavior or unwise decisions. But, instead of “wild” we would say “carefree,” instead of “destructive” we would say “strong,” instead of “acts without thinking” we would say “brave,” and as far as loud … well, he’s just loud.
We wanted to affirm the unique way God made him, without giving him a negative perception of his traits. Or even worse, helping him form his own identity around negative labels. We wanted to change labels the world says are weaknesses, into strengths.
We started telling him stories about a little boy named Byrus (so clever, I know). Byrus is a lot like Cyrus—he is strong, brave, and loud. All the stories celebrate those God-given talents, and Byrus uses his talents to follow Jesus, to serve others, or to save the day.
Byrus is strong and has used his strength to stop elephants from trampling villages.
Byrus stands up for his friends getting bullied, even if he has to stand alone, because he is brave.
Byrus is LOUD, and one time he met a family who didn’t have a home to live in or food to eat. He stood in the middle of a street and shouted for people to help the family in need. The whole city heard his lone loud voice, and the family was saved.
Byrus is an earth changer and he uses his weaknesses to positively impact the kingdom.
It’s no coincidence to us now that God gave us Joshua 1:9 as a life verse for Byrus—I mean Cyrus. We speak this Scripture over him most nights before bed, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Cyrus is strong, brave, and loud because he was fearfully and wonderfully made, and he is backed by our almighty God!