God created each of your children with unique gifts, interests and
characteristics, knowing they would also have unique opportunities and experiences that would all work together to prepare them for the good works He wants them to do.
As a parent, one of our assignments is to help our children discover and develop in all of these areas and then teach them how to find and do the good works God has planned for them.
What are the best ways to do that though, when it seems like you already have so much to do in Christian parenting? It will take some intentionality on your part, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.
1. Watch for natural gifts and talents. Don’t worry about the spiritual gifts in Corinthians for the moment. Focus instead on talents. Don’t forget those talents we don’t necessarily associate with serving God like organizational skills or intelligence.
2. Encourage them to explore topics and activities that interest them. Obviously, older kids don’t need to be in 80 different activities with long term commitments. Neither should they be allowed to begin a long term commitment and drop out after a couple of weeks. There are plenty of opportunities in most areas though to try out something at a retail outlet that sells the materials needed. Or someone at church may be involved with the activity and be willing to share some tips with your child. Libraries and YouTube videos (monitor carefully) can also provide a peek into a new area of interest. Often these little tastes of an activity can confirm a possible gift or help your child realize it doesn’t involve what they thought it might.
3. Let them drive their academic careers within reason. Obviously, you want them to be educated enough to be able to be financially stable as an adult. Pushing a child who should be a mechanic to attempt to attend an Ivy League school however, may not be in their best interest or in God’s Plans for them. Likewise, if they want to take German instead of Spanish, it really doesn’t matter. Give them the freedom to explore academically, while also helping them understand the potential impact on future life choices of taking or not taking certain classes.
4. Have a lot of discussions about gifts, God’s Plans and the good works He has planned for them to do. Talk about how you discovered your gifts from God, developed them and use them to serve Him. If you don’t know your gifts either, make this a family journey of discovery. Help your children be creative about ways to develop their gifts and use them to serve God. Encourage them when they see an opportunity to serve God using their gift, but are worried they may be “too young” or “not ready” to serve God in that way.
Obviously, becoming a man or woman of God is God’s first priority for whom He wants your kids to become. Just don’t neglect this important part of that journey – helping them take the unique characteristics, gifts, experiences and opportunities God gives them to be ready to do the good works He has prepared for them.