Thursday, September 22, 2011

#234 - Gifts

Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 31:25b - ...she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
Have you ever just looked at your child and thought, "Wow, they would be great at ________when they grow up!" As they develop you begin to see some of their natural giftings towards art or music, sports, interacting with people, making friends, making people laugh, being organized, being funny, being helpful, being good with animals, and the list could go on!

Here in Proverbs 22 verse 6, the amplified version gives us parents a bit more instruction and direction in "training up our children." Not just what we typically think of from the Proverbs as it relates to discipline, but also in steering our children in their giftings. What are they truly good at? As a parent, to me, this is talking about beginning the process of steering Tyler Junior towards where he is shows some natural gifts. Being that he is not even 2 yet, we will continue to introduce him to activities and new things, but as a parent, you begin to see some natural leanings pretty early on. For example.... Tyler Junior is a HAM! He most definitely a people person. Everywhere we go, he is interacting with people, making others laugh, smile, talk to him. He has a way of drawing people to him. Yesterday, we met Tyler for lunch, and as ladies were leaving the restaurant, Tyler Junior was saying directly to them, "Bye bye. Bye!" And then he proceeded to blow them kisses. These three women stopped, talked to us for about 5 minutes, commented on his pretty eyes, and Tyler Jr just "carried on a conversation" with them the best a 22 month old can! That is everyday and everywhere!

His natural bent? His natural gifting? So far, it is something with people. He lights up when he is around people. He loves making friends. As a parent, it's my responsibility to steer him towards his natural giftings. I know a lot of times parents may have a tendency to want to steer their children towards their own unaccomplished goals or dreams. It may or may not be a "natural gifting" of the child, but the parent has regrets for never fulfilling that dream, so they steer their child in that direction. We'd love Tyler Junior to pursue Track & Field when he gets older.... but, we will need to be cautious that we are not just trying to push him to fulfill some of our dreams if it is not his natural, individual gift.  A politician? Maybe! I could definitely see that in Tyler Juniors future.

Check out the Proverbs 31 woman in verse 25. She is rejoicing over the future. She knows that her family, all her children are ready for it. As she has raised them, she has most likely found gifts, talents and abilities that each of them possess. One child's gifts & talents is most likely different from the next child's gifts. As she recognizes her children's talents, she is able to point them out and begin to encourage them in that area. Then each child is not wanting maybe the older brother or sisters gift, because they know they possess a gift that is unique to them. Here would be some examples and ways that we will try to encourage our children (& future children) as we begin to see gifts they possess.
  • "Wow Tyler, you make friends so easily! You are so good with people! You may just be the President of the United States one day. Maybe you'll be a politician. Your love for Jesus and ability to be so good with people, our country could really use someone like you. I'm so proud of you."
  • "Trinity, you are such an amazing athlete. You are so good at so many sports. You could go on to be an amazing coach one day, or you could go to the Olympics! You are such a great little athlete! I'm so impressed Trin!"
  • "Timothy - wow! Your ability to play music is amazing! Your ability to just pick up an instrument and play is such an awesome talent! Your knowledge and desire to learn is also amazing. Tyler Jr could really use someone like you to help him in politics! You two could be an amazing duo!"
  • "Taylor. Wow! You have such an amazing talent at dance & art. You are so funny and easy going! What an amazing spirit and gift you have! I can totally see you helping little girls dance, and find joy, and find Jesus!" 
Finding ways to encourage and steer our children is important. The Proverbs 31 mother knows that her children are ready for their future! They have developed their gifts. They KNOW their gifts. As they get older, they are not like the "aimless wandering" high school and college students that don't know what they want to do. The children of this Proverbs 31 mother KNOW their gifts and talents, so their calling is more evident. A light has been shined on their calling and their gifts.
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
I encourage you today.... find an area you can encourage your child. What is their gift? What is their natural talent? Can you speak into their life in that area? Can you encourage them with their gift? If you do, when they are old, they will not depart from it! Train them. Teach them. Encourage them. What a world this would be if ALL CHRISTIANS were actually walking in their calling and not just what would pay the bills! Begin today. Encourage your child in their gifts! :)

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