Parenting “moments”

upset parent

There are moments in the lives of your children that are “clues” to their future.

The Bible gives at least two instances of this:

Jacob and Joseph

(Background: Genesis 37)

The boy Joseph had dreams of greatness. In these dreams he, the next to youngest of 12 boys, was the ruler over ALL of them… AND their parents too! He shared these dreams in an inappropriate and offensive way and TICKED OFF his entire family!

His father however, even as he chided him for his youthful indiscretion, “kept these things in mind” (Genesis 37:11).

Jacob (the dad) saw something more than a kid foolishly, arrogantly spewing a dream of greatness. He saw a seed of greatness through the fog of immaturity.  He had a “moment.”

Mary and Jesus

(Background: Luke 2:41-52)

At age 12, Jesus should have been in over his head with the kinds of theological conversations he was having with the leading theologians of the day. He wasn’t. In fact, the scholars he was in conversation with were “amazed at his understanding and answers” (Luke 2:46).

He had skipped out on the family trip back home from Jerusalem in order to engage in these theological discussions. His parents were… well, let’s just say “concerned.” When they finally found him in the temple engaged in deep conversation, they chided him for not staying with them, but his mom, Mary, had a “moment.” She saw a seed of greatness through the fog of “immaturity”. In the midst of all of this chaos she “treasured all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51).


  • Both parents saw the seed of greatness at their point of greatest frustration. The clue to your child’s greatness might present itself when they are aggravating you the most.
  • Neither parent necessarily connected the dots completely in the moment. They just made a mental note: “Hmmm… Joseph had a dream of greatness and wasn’t scared to share it. I wonder….” “Hmmm… Jesus really had the attention of his elders when he was talking about theology. I wonder….”

A couple of applications:

  • When my kids are irritating me the most, a clue to their greatness may be in the fog of aggravation. Don’t be so angry in the moment that you miss the moment. Take a breath. Get a clue. Make a mental note. Process that note and other observations you may have made, when you’re not so hot!
  • You’re ability to connect the dots from “moment” to “moment” will play a HUGE role in determining how well your children live out their potential greatness.
  • Why don’t you read through these passages and share your insights with the rest of us. What happened in “the moment?” How can we parents best help our children achieve their full potential?

3 thoughts on “Parenting “moments”

  1. Wow, what a great post!! I’d never thought about it from that aspect before. Maybe Brennan’s incredible arguing “skills” will lead to his “greatness.” Hmm. What a thought. Consider it pondered.

  2. Yes, but Jacob was a trixter who cheated his brother out of what was rightfully his. I can’t remember the whole story. Something about Jacob tricking his father by pretending to be his hairy-armed brother at the side of his father’s death bed.

    That’s what I don’t get about the Old Testament. Many of the “stars” were of questionable integrity.

    What do you think?

    (I’ve been reading up, man. I’ve even started writing about The Bible on my blog)



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