Differences within the Family

Today is a big day within the Buchman family, as our youngest son graduates from college. We have had at least one son in college for the past 17 consecutive years. I remember when the oldest was approaching this age that I did the math as to when and how old I’d be when the final one finished. And this is the day. Those costly years went by quickly.

Here in this series of 15 devotionals from three decades ago is this fourth one in that series, and it talks about learning styles ….

Experts in the field of education tell us that there are various categories of learners. Some people are visual learners (learning by what they see), while others are auditory learners (by what they hear). And then there are those who are called kinesthetic learners. These are people who accumulate information by what they do and physically experience.

It is interesting for Diana and me to look at our boys and see how they are different in learning tendencies. Nathan is an auditory learner for sure. He remembers anything he hears. So we try to provide a lot of tapes of Bible stories and music for him.

Aaron is either like Nathan, or he might be a more visual learner. He can sit for long periods of time and look at pictures in books.

But Benjamin, yes, Benjamin is the perfect example of a kinesthetic learner. Listening takes too much time and looking at pictures is boring. Instead of reading about war, he’d rather make it! He simply cannot prevent himself from touching and handling everything – for that is how he learns. When Diana is baking, Nathan is asking questions, Aaron is moving benches from one end of the kitchen to the other to be able to see, and Benjamin is getting his hands slapped for touching and tasting everything in sight.

We went for a hike in the woods recently, and their tendencies were immediately obvious. Even though we emphasized quiet, Nathan is talking, talking, talking. Aaron is walking along looking at everything but the rocks in the path. And Benjamin is lagging behind collecting samples of nuts, leaves, ferns, etc. When we got back to the car, his pockets were full of small objects, and had both hands full of large leaf and fern specimens to take home to rot on the garage floor.

We enjoy the diversity of our boys’ personalities, although Diana is not sure about how she is going to handle Benjamin in a classroom setting.

Diversity adds spice to life. And just as the differences in our boys enhance our family, so does diversity in people and personality enhance a church family. But for some reason, Christians are often less willing to tolerate different people in church than anywhere else. But God wants the church to be diverse. It is healthiest when it is. This the whole idea behind the illustration of the church as the “body.”

The need of the day is not to dislike another because he or she is different, but rather to appreciate them as God’s gift to you, to minister to you and make you better in areas of deficit.

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed multiple hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and have been a sportswriter for various publications and online venues. My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with the Antietam Battlefield Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

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