Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential

Gifts to Help Kids Reach Their Godly Potential - Parenting Like HannahGift giving to kids always fascinates me. There are the families who encourage their kids to ask for donations to charity instead of gifts for themselves. There are families who have a three or four gift limit. There are grandparents who shower kids in presents. There are uncles, aunts and friends who purposely seek out the most annoying gifts possible for your kids in order to amuse themselves.

My theory is that if you want your kids to reach their godly potential and become mighty men and women of God, there are special gifts you should give them. Don’t worry. Many of them are actually more fun than those plastic toys with a million pieces (although some of these are probably also plastic with a million pieces…). Yet these gifts have a secondary purpose. They are gifts that make your kids think or help them discover some of the gifts God may (or may not) have given them. Hopefully, they will point your kids towards who God created them to be.

So what are these gifts? In the list below, I have given you categories, but also a link to an example in that category to start your thinking. (I am not endorsing any particular company, brand or product including the website to which the link takes you. I merely want to give you a visual of the types of things I am suggesting.)

  • Fiction books written from a Christian perspective. If your kids love reading, why not make at least some of the books have authors who are trying to portray characters who either live a godly life or show negative consequences for ungodly behaviors? While not all Christian fiction books are created equal, there are picture books and series any child would enjoy. (Be aware there are one or two series like Left Behind that have questionable theology. Most though promote beliefs and actions with which any Christian would probably agree.) My daughter and niece enjoyed the Christy Miller series when they were younger. There are several other series by various authors available – particularly for girls. Max Lucado is one of several authors who write beautiful picture books for children with godly messages. (Non-fiction Christian books are also available for kids who prefer those types of books.)
  • Arts and craft kits or supplies. This can be a very inexpensive way of encouraging your kids to experiment and discover or develop the gifts God has given them to serve Him. There are so many options from sewing to origami to building. Be prepared to experience the craft with your child – although some prefer to figure it out independently. Remember, not every kit will uncover a gift in your child. That doesn’t mean though that you can’t enjoy the process of discovering and doing something together.
  • Kits that involve growing things. Whether it’s an indoor garden, a bowl of crystal rocks or even a chia pet, growing things can teach your kids a lot about God. As you watch things grow, talk about how they have grown and what God wants for their futures. Ask them about their dreams for the future. Talk about how God is giving them opportunities to grow spiritually as well as physically and mentally. You can even use growing projects to serve others or admire God’s creation.
  • Kits that involve cooking. I’m putting this in a separate category, because there are so many things you can do with your kids with this type of gift. Talent discovery or development, serving others, Bible parables in action (yeast) – even traditional Bible food tastings. Pretty much every kid likes to cook – if you make it fun for them.
  • Books, games, food and/or toys from other countries. Want your kids to be missional in their Christianity? Want them to develop empathy for others? A great way to start is to have them learn about other countries and cultures. Remember though, it’s as important for your kids to discover what they have in common with kids from other countries as it is to discover what their differences may be. It’s also crucial to teach them to appreciate what others enjoy (as long as it’s godly) – even if they can’t imagine enjoying the same things.
  • Science kits. I know this area can be a bit controversial, but I think its benefits can be important. Science is from God (when done without the presumption God doesn’t exist). There are actually many Christian scientists. Science also shows your kids the amazing intricacy to God’s creation – a fact that often leads them to reject atheist claims. At the child level, there is rarely anything controversial, except perhaps dating issues in some geology kits. If you have concerns, Answers in Genesis has many science resources written and created by Christian scientists.
  • Books and games that help them learn another language. Studies have shown, the earlier a child begins learning a second language, the more fluent they will easily become. Have your kids shown an interest in a particular language? There are so many things available now that weren’t available even a few years ago. Don’t be afraid of obscure languages or forget about ASL – those are often particularly valuable in missions. (Language learning is often best done by reading children’s books in that language according to studies. Don’t just limit yourself to language learning books.)

You get the idea. Have fun with it. The next time you have to buy presents for your kids though, think about first buying gifts that will help them become the godly men and women He created them to be.

 

 

 

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)