Wednesday, June 12, 2013
North, South, East, West by Sandra Timmons
NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST
One of my favorite Bible passages is Psalm 139:13b-14—For Thou [God] hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise Thee [God]; for I [and my children!] am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Thy [God’s] works; and my soul knows that very well.
This is a passage that all moms (and dads!) need to memorize. My husband and I reared two daughters who are now adults—hallelujah; thank you, Jesus; praise the Lord!—and, if I do say so myself, they are wonderful Christian leaders, wives, moms, etc. However, when they were growing up (21 months apart) and I was a stay-at-home mom, there were times that I needed to be reminded that they were “fearfully and wonderfully made” and that they were the “marvelous works” of my God!! Cute? Of course! Saints? Not so much, and part of that, I am sure, was my fault because I didn’t know anything about how to handle two very different children in two different ways! How I wish that along the way someone would have explained to me why our daughters were “daylight” and “dark.” No one explained to me that when God created them, He “wired” them differently; therefore, they handled life completely differently and, of course, in a manner that was totally opposite from each other. I made a lot of mistakes, I’m sure, because I thought that discipline and rearing children was a one-size-fits-all sort of thing.
Not until they were in upper elementary school did I start hearing about and studying the different temperaments and discovering why they each handled the same kind of situation so differently. (If I had known about the various temperaments, I would have also understood my husband better, and the first ten years of our married life would not have been the challenge that could have easily ended in divorce. But that’s a different blog!)
There are basically four different temperaments—Melancholy, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, and Choleric. Most people have many of the traits of one main temperament, and most of us also have a few traits of one or two of the other temperaments. Just to make life really interesting, just as we have the opposites of north and south as well as east and west, the temperaments are basically opposites: melancholy and sanguine as well as phlegmatic and choleric. Are you starting to get the picture of why life can be so “interesting” when you and your spouse (who is probably your opposite!) decide to have that first darling little baby? From the moment that infant exits the birth canal, he/she has an opinion—no real problem; but then the nurse hands you that sweet little thing to take home, and that opinion becomes louder, angrier, and you don’t have a clue what to do! Even at that point in life, one infant may not be really bothered too much by a wet diaper. But another infant has one little damp spot in the diaper, and he/she wants it changed—an hour ago! And the challenge of learning your child has just begun!
(And, as I think I mentioned in a previous blog, don’t think that just because you skipped those two known gene pools and adopted your children that none of this applies to you. God has such a sense of humor!)