Parents: Understand Your Child’s Uniqueness (1)
As a parent you either accelerate or stifle your child’s giftedness.
The Bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ (v. 6 KJV). That doesn’t mean when you set your kids on the right path they’ll never leave it. No, salvation is the work of God (see 1 Corinthians 3:6).
So what does this Scripture mean?
The Amplified Bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]’. Note the word ‘bent’. As a parent you hold the bow, and your child is the arrow. So pray for God’s help in recognizing your child’s strengths and giftedness and aim them ‘in the way [he or she] should go’. The fact is God pre-wired your infant, pre-programmed your toddler’s strengths, set your teen on a trajectory, and then gave you an eighteen-year research project! So ask yourself, ‘What sets my child apart?’
Childhood tendencies often forecast adult abilities. Read them. Discern them. Affirm them. Cheerlead them. Think about the life of Joseph. At seventeen he saw dreams and visions of himself as a leader (see Genesis 37:2-10). And as an adult he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and ended up leading the nation (see Genesis 40-41).
As a boy David displayed two strengths: fighting and music. Later he killed a lion and a bear (see 1 Samuel 17:34-37). And he played skillfully on the harp (see 1 Samuel 16). Fighting and music dominated David’s adult life, and are largely what he’s remembered for today.
So strive to understand, appreciate, and channel your child’s uniqueness.
‘In keeping with his individual gift or bent.’ Proverbs 22:6 AMP