Nature or Nurture

Isabella had her Kiddie City graduation ceremony last week. (Kudos to Marion High school for such a great program.) These two pictures completely depict both of her parents. I have watched Brittany sit like this many times with this exact same expression on her face. Bella’s Dad is the youth minister at our church. I think that says it all for picture two. He cannot sit still for very long, and finds ways to entertain himself.

I know that Bella’s birth parents’ DNA are what gave her her beautiful skin tone, her pretty brown eyes, and her thick dark hair. When Bella was a baby it bothered Brittany in the beginning, when people would say she even looks like Will. She said why do people feel the need to say that, she can’t look like us. I think I disagree. What are babies, and toddlers, and children all about? They are about imitating. That is how they learn. Bella looked like Will because even as a baby they imitate our facial expressions. She may not have his eyes but she has his expressions.

Nature or Nurture is all about how much of who we are comes from DNA and how much comes from our environment? There are times when I look at Brittany and Chris and I see Brett or I in their actions. Sometimes that is good and sometimes that is bad. How much of that is because of their DNA and how much of it is because they grew up in the house with us?

I am sure you can make an argument for both sides. But from watching Bella grow up, I vote for nurture being what influences who we are and who we become. She is such a combination of Brittany and Will. I love my son-in-law, but we are total opposites. I am a tight type A and he is a creative loose personality. There are times Bella does something and I am like girl that was your Dad through and through. But I love when I see that side of her, because I know God is using Will to mold her to be just the young lady he wants her to become.

I know that God used two peoples DNA to create what Bella looks like on the outside. But, I am also confident that he is using Brittany and Will to create who she is on the inside and who she is becoming. I am so grateful that I get to watch that transformation from baby, to toddler, to preschool, to kindergarten, to grade school, to high school, to college and beyond. I am so grateful she has the Daddy and Mommy she has to nurture who she is. I am grateful that they are trusting God to guide them in that. Because looking at these two pictures they are going to need help.

Thankfully for us our God is about nature and nurture both. The Bible tells us He creates each of us in his image. Just like children imitate their parents, Paul says we should imitate him, just as he imitates Christ. And as much as Will and Brittany love Bella, and want to help her be her best, God loves Bella more and wants her to be the best she can be in him. He wants the same for each of his children.

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