I have always been fascinated by the uniqueness of God’s creation. Each day, as I walk through my neighborhood and soak in the beauty of the trees, the flowers, and the wildlife around me, I am awestruck by God’s unlimited imagination and His vast creative powers.
In a similar fashion, when I think about everyone I have ever met in my life and all the people that God has created since the beginning of time, I cannot help but marvel how He has never created any two people exactly alike. Even “identical” twins are one-of-a-kind!
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7
The world is fascinated by identical twins because people love conformity – they like to focus on the similarities that exist between individuals. But, research has shown that even “identical” twins are physically unique individuals with different fingerprints, different retinal patterns, and even different DNA variances at certain points in their genomes!
Just as God created each of us with distinguishing physical characteristics, He also created each of us with a unique plan and purpose for our lives. We are not accidents and God’s plans are not random assignments. The Bible clearly states that God envisioned us and His plans and purposes for us long before we were ever born!
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. – Jeremiah 1:5
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:16
As parents, it’s essential to raise kids who know how much they matter – not only to us, but also to God and those He has placed in their lives from the moment they are born. Because we live in a world that does its best to tear our children down and erode their sense of worth, we need to affirm to our kids just how valuable they are until these truths are written on their hearts:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:10
Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
In the midst of experiencing the daily joys of living life with our children and watching them grow from tiny toddlers into tenacious teens, it’s important to monitor their interests to see where their natural talents and spiritual gifts lie.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6
One way we can help our kids find their calling in life is to give them ample opportunities to explore new things, and then encourage them to pursue the areas that they are most interested and gifted in!
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God. – 2 Timothy 1:6
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10
Another way we can help our kids succeed in life, no matter what their gifts are or where their interests lie, is by teaching them how to persevere in the face of adversity.
As you’ve pursued God’s plans for your life, have you ever encountered obstacles and challenges that have felt so overwhelming that you’ve considered walking away from the very things you love? If so, then you know that quitting isn’t the solution to our problems. The only way to achieve our goals is to stay focused and press forward, even when it’s tough.
We can teach this lesson to our kids and instill this type of fortitude in them as well!
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:14
Finally, having the proper attitude in everything we do will take us far in life.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31
God does not want us or our kids to be conformed to this world. He wants us to be shining lights that sparkle and shine above the crowd!
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven. – Matthew 5:15-16
I recently came across a wonderful book by actress and New York Times bestselling author Candace Cameron Bure entitled Candace Center Stage that tells the story of a little girl who loves to dance but quickly realizes – when her mom signs her up for ballet lessons – that she is no ballerina.
Candace is more interested in doing shakes and shimmies than doing pliés or pas de bourrées. She simply moves to her own tune! Although her classmates get frustrated because Candace seemingly can’t do anything right, Candace ultimately saves the day when disaster strikes… simply by being herself!
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What special gifts has God given you to reflect His glory in the world? When circumstances bring you down, how do you press forward? What advice would you give to a creatively gifted child to help them sparkle and shine? Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments!