Christian Devotionals
Direction For Our Children

Aim Them In The Right Direction (1)
"Train up a child ... in keeping with his individual gift or bent." Proverbs 22:6 AMP

As a parent, you either accelerate or stifle your child's giftedness. They will spend much of their life benefiting from, or recovering from, your influence. "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." That doesn't mean 'If I put my children on the right path, they'll never leave it'. No, salvation is the work of God (See 1 Co 3:6). So what does this passage teach us? To view your child as a book - not to be written, but to be read.

The Amplified Bible reads, "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." Note the word 'bent'. You hold the bow, your child is the arrow. Aim him (or her) 'in the way he should go'. God prewired your infant. He preprogrammed your toddler's strengths. He set your teen on a trajectory. God gave you an 18-year research project. Ask yourself, 'What sets this child apart?' Childhood tendencies forecast adult abilities. Read them. Discern them. Affirm them. Encourage them.

Look at Joseph. At 17 he saw dreams and envisioned himself as a leader (See Ge 37:2-10). As an adult he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and led the nation (See Ge 40-41). As a boy David displayed two strengths: fighting and music. He killed a lion and a bear (See 1 Sa 17:34-37) and played skillfully on the harp (See 1 Sa 16:16-18). And what two activities dominated his adult years? Fighting and music. Think about it!

Aim Them In The Right Direction (2)
"Train up a child ... in keeping with his individual gift or bent." Proverbs 22:6 AMP

Raising your child 'in the way he should go' means recognizing four things:

(1) Strengths. At two, Van Cliburn played a song on the piano as a result of listening to teaching in the adjacent room. His mother noticed, gave him lessons, and the child from Kilgore, Texas won the first international Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow.

(2) Topics. John Ruskin said, 'Tell me what you like, and I'll tell you what you are'. What do your children like? Numbers? Colors? Activities? Study them! The greatest gift you can give them is not your riches, but revealing to them their own.

(3) Optimal conditions. A cactus thrives in different conditions than a rose bush. What soil does your child grow in? Some children love to be noticed. Others prefer to hide in the crowd. Some do well taking tests. Others excel with the subject, but stumble through exams. Winston Churchill repeatedly failed tests in school. We each have different optimal conditions. What are your children's?

(4) Relationships. What phrase best describes your child? 'Follow me, everyone ... I'll let you know if I need some help ... Can we do this together? ... Tell me what to do and I'll do it.' Don't characterize loners as aloof, or crowd seekers as arrogant. They may be living out their story. What gives your children satisfaction? What makes them say 'Yes!' Do they love the journey or the destination? Do they like to keep things straight or straighten things out? What thrills one, bothers another. Parent, resist the urge to label before you study. Understand the uniqueness of your child!

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