If you don’t say anything, it is insulting. If you give too many compliments, it seems like you are trying to cover up the fact that you think their child looks like Yoda. Luckily, there is a universal “get out of jail free” card when it comes to talking about babies. It’s called: “Who does it look like?”. (For the record, I am adamantly against calling any human being “it,” but the he/she replacement just didn’t fit here.)
“Aw, she looks just like her mommy.” “Wow, he has his daddy’s eyes.” Even if these things are blatant lies, they are always considered compliments and are usually safe. But if things are still a bit awkward at that point, I always throw in a “What color is your mailman’s hair?” just to lighten the mood. I’m batting about .500 with that one, by the way. You might want to make sure the grandparents aren’t in the room.
Anyway, why is it so safe to compare the child to a parent? Quite simply, it usually has some bit of truth in it. Before I “decided” to double my weight and lose all of my hair, people used to tell me I looked just like my mother. Both of my children look exactly like their mother’s family, aside from that beautiful cleft chin I gave them.
So what does that mean for us spiritually?
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV)
Just as children resemble their earthly parents because of their DNA, we should also resemble our Heavenly Father because He created us in His image. Now, I for one do not interpret this scripture to mean that we are physically created in the image of God. I believe it is referring to our characteristics, our abilities, and the fact that we are eternal, spiritual beings. We resemble God in our ability to love, to make decisions, to connect spiritually to God, and to be creators ourselves. While we are certainly limited in our capacities, God has blessed us by making us like Him.
If somebody were to look at you as God’s child, how would they say you resemble Him? Do you think they would say that you love people in a Godly way? Would they talk about your passion for connecting to God and other believers spiritually? Would they say you make sound decisions based on God’s word? If we are called to be like Christ (and we are, by the way),
How do you resemble your Heavenly Father?