Rearing Well-Rounded Children–Like Jesus

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In my post about letting children blossom at their own speeds, I included the verse about Mary and Joseph watching Jesus grow, become strong, and increase in wisdom. That verse reminded me of what Jesus did after He and His parents returned from the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem when He was 12 years old, but first let’s back up to what happened when His parents started home.

When the feast days were over, Mary and Joseph began walking home. They thought that Jesus was in the crowd with their relatives and acquaintances, but discovered that He wasn’t. After three days, they found Him sitting in the midst of the teachers in the temple. He was listening to the teachers and asking the teachers questions. Everyone who heard Him was amazed at what He understood and what He said in reply to their questions.

Naturally, Mary was not only astonished. She was upset. She told Jesus about the anxiety that she and Joseph felt. Jesus responded with His famous words:

“Why is it that you were looking for Me?
Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
Luke 2:49

I have shared this illustration of Jesus and Mary from the Library of Congress before. I like its joy and how it depicts the personalities of Jesus and Mary.

Mary and Child Jesus in Nazareth by William Hole,
Courtesy Library of Congress.

This is an illustration of a much younger Jesus. I think it is beautiful and hope you will enjoy it, too.

Mary Meets a Shepherd Boy, engraved by French-born Henry Wolf
who lived and worked in the United States.
Original painting by German artist Josef Scheurenberg.
Smithsonian American Art Museum,
Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

As you teach your children during this school year, remember what happened next in this story about Jesus and His parents. As your own children continue in subjection to you, think about how you can help them to increase in wisdom and in favor with God and men.

And He went down with them and came to Nazareth,
and He continued in subjection to them;
and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature,
and in favor with God and men.
Luke 2:51-52

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