Once upon a time, when I was a young teacher, I had a parent-teacher conference looming. For a point of clarity, these meetings are just as nerve-racking for teachers as they are for parents. I was praying for wisdom because I needed the parents to understand some key points about their child. As I prayed, God brought to my mind a verse, Luke 2:52.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

I was familiar with this verse, yet I was unsure how to make it applicable. So, I continued to pray, and then it came to me. In that verse, there were several areas of growth for Jesus. 

Wisdom, His mental; stature, His physical; favor with God, His spiritual; and favor with man, His social – the bar graph image was born in my mind. Jesus was probably the only child to grow equally in all areas of His life. 

My kids and my students are not like that. No child is. Their bars grow at different rates. As parents and teachers, it is our job to watch those areas and help bars that are not growing or are lagging. For example, the child whose bar of sociability is high will probably struggle in academics because they would rather talk to the person next to them or plan who they will sit by at lunch or what activity they will play rather than listen to the teacher or concentrate on the work in front of them. Conversely, the student (or parent) that only emphasizes grades while their academic bar will most likely be high, but they will have a lower social bar. A lagging social bar will show up as struggles with the child resolving issues, like play yard disputes, with other children. It will be difficult for them to see another point of view. 

As parents and teachers, the challenges of raising and training children abound. We must be observant of each metric of the child’s bar graph. I believe there is a danger in comparing one child to another, for each is uniquely designed by our Creator. While you should not compare children to each other, there should be growth, for when there is no growth, there is a struggling child, which is always heartbreaking. So, I ask you, how is your little bar graph doing? Are they growing as Luke 2:52 describes in the areas of wisdom – mental; stature – physical; favor with God, their spirit; and favor with man, social?  

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Miriam Chung, Christian School Teacher

Mrs. Chung grew up around the work of the ministry and now has the privilege of teaching at the North Valley Baptist Schools. She and her husband faithfully teach young people and are a vital asset to the ministry of NVBC.