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Recognizing and Developing your Children’s Gifts

We all love the excitement of opening gifts on Christmas morning. We have seen gifts sit under the Christmas tree wrapped beautifully; just waiting to be shaken, moved, prodded to offer a hint as to what is inside. With excitement and anticipation, we tear open the gift box so that the glorious gift is revealed that is inside. 

The gift is special, it is tucked away inside the box, layered under tissue paper, sought after and desired.  Its true purpose is only known by the “Gift Giver” and can only be discovered by the person that opens the gift box.   

Our children are one of the most beautiful gifts that God has given us. They are his prized possession offering us a glimpse of future generations and expectations of what is to come.  Psalm 127:3-4 (NIV) says,

 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.” 

As Christians and believers in Christ, we are warriors navigating the battlefield, fighting the enemy so that the Kingdom of God will be victorious. Well, God has placed special gifts inside our children that play a very specific role in the battle for the Kingdom of God.  The gifts inside our children are needed in all aspects of life, every ministry, every profession, amongst the scholarly, amongst the wealthy, amongst the poor, amongst the sick, to give hope and to inspire; all to build the Kingdom of God.  

God has called us as parents to develop each gift that He has placed inside of our children. I have learned that my children have special gifts unique to them.  Some children have gifts that are outward and can be easily recognized on the surface such as a gift to speak, sing, dance, draw, athletic ability, and some gifts are beneath the surface such as a gift to innovate, analyze, to find solutions, to figure out math equations, understanding of science, creative writing and the list goes on. 

I have one child that was outspoken growing up, said everything that was on their mind and tried to take charge of every situation whether it was school, friends etc.  Although my child received praise from some, there were certainly a fair share of principals, teachers and others that saw the challenge, but not the gift.  However, God revealed to me my child’s gifts of confidence, determination, drive, insight, leadership. I noticed that this child displayed courage in everyday situations, never needed assistance with homework and learned to ride a bike in two days.  I began to seek God for ways to develop and encourage my child’s gifts, exposed her to various youth programs in the church as well as other leadership and educational opportunities in the community.  This child went on to complete college at her dream school and is determined to be a doctor and currently preparing to submit medical school applications. 

I have another child that is quiet, analytical, and introspective, never really engages in conversation unless spoken to, mild mannered and that never speaks an ill word of anyone.  There have also been a fair share of principals, teachers and others that saw this as a challenge and did not always see the gift.  God revealed to me that my child has great kindness and care for others, is innovative, is skilled in science and math, loves to take things apart and put them together and although quiet is a great speaker with lots of ideas and insight.  I encouraged this child to actively participate in Church youth programs and ministries as well as math, science and leadership programs in the community.  He has become a star student, been accepted to several prestigious science and math programs, and has dreams of working with NASA.  I am continuing to seek God to help develop each of their gifts for what may be very different purposes; God is still writing this story. 

We must realize that our children are really God’s children. He has given us stewardship over them so that we may help prepare them both spiritually and naturally to impact this world for Christ.  With this said, we need to understand that others may not see their gifts, however we have been called to seek out their gifts and encourage their God-given gifts and talents.  We should do this with the same fervor that we tear open a gift box on Christmas day.   We must observe them, talk with them, train them and take the time to expose them to new activities.   Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 (NIV) says,

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”. 

There will come a time when we will shoot our children out into the world like arrows in the battle for the Kingdom, so that they can make their mark on this world for Christ.  It is up to us to pray and seek God to reveal their gifts and talents and help them to develop and take their rightful place in the Kingdom.  The kingdom of God needs to dispatch warriors into the boardroom, in science, in technology, in performing arts, in music, in politics, in the pulpit, in ministry, in corporate America, in the hospitals and across the world. 

As parents, God has entrusted us with the job of developing their gifts to make an impact on the world for the Kingdom of God.  Let us please God with how we develop our children. 

BY LASHREE OBEE