What Do I Tell My Child / A Person Who Has a Deformity?
I am in a group on Facebook for Amniotic Band Syndrome (the syndrome that caused my grandson to be born with fused fingers, a cleft lip, a club foot, and a band wrapped around his right leg). The question that gets asked often by parents in the group is: “I am afraid that my child is going to be bullied for their ‘differences’ as they get older. What do I tell them?
This is the answer that I posted this morning. It is true for ALL of us, because all of us have ‘differences’ on the outside and the inside, and all of our bodies are subject to deterioration, and death. I hope you read it entirely and are encouraged.
We live in a broken world that is under the effects of the curse because of Adam’s sin, but has been redeemed by the sinless atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And while the effects of the curse are still seen and felt, God has given us hope to look forward to the time when Jesus Christ will return and rule the people of earth and restore all things. In consideration of that, we are to instill faith, hope and love into our children and grandchildren.
So what do we tell our children / grandchildren that have a deformity? The truth:
Who we are is on the inside. Our body is not who we are, but a temporary part of us that is subject to the broken nature of this world. Who we are on the inside is really what matters most.
We were created by God to reflect His love, mercy, kindness, justice, and goodness. Not everyone is brought up to know or believe this, and as a result, they only look at the outward parts and treat people based on this. But we who know better and who have been taught and believed the truth can make a difference in their lives by showing them the person we are on the inside and teaching them through our actions and words who they are meant to be also.
David, a friend of God and a man that knew the heart of God and the love of God wrote this for our understanding: “You (God) created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together… Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days determined for me were written in your book (the Book of Life) before I came into existence.”
Jeremiah, another young man chosen of God for a special purpose was told by God (and recorded it for our encouragement): “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (for a special purpose)…
Instill in your child that he or she was formed by God for a special purpose, and although something about them on the outside is “different”, God doesn’t make mistakes. In spite of their differences, He made them special on the inside, to show others who we really are in love, mercy, kindness, justice, and goodness. And that through faith in Jesus Christ, when it is time, each of us will receive a new beautiful body that is just like His and we will leave behind these bodies that deteriorate and are affected by the curse that will be removed at His glorious coming.
It is written in Thessalonians that Jesus “will appear in the clouds of heaven and we will be caught up to Him and will ever be with Him”, and in Philippians it is written that Jesus, “by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, WILL TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODIES SO THAT THEY WILL BE LIKE HIS GLORIOUS BODY.”
Encourage and build each other up in this truth, and don’t let how others treat you defeat you, or take away your joy, faith and hope in these things.