I have always been amazed by how early in life children begin to display the unique personalities that God has given them. As parents, you’re probably aware that some infants sleep peacefully in their cribs while others constantly cry for attention. You’ve also observed that some toddlers happily play with their toys while others run you ragged in the midst of their explorations.
These early behavioral differences that youngsters exhibit are just the tip of the iceberg!
From the start, it’s clear that no two children are alike. Each child is an individual with a distinct personality and an exclusive blend of gifts and talents that make them uniquely qualified to carry out the special plans that God has for their lives. When you combine these innate traits with their unfolding life experiences, it’s clear that God has created them with a purpose that only they can fulfill (Jeremiah 29:11).
God places great value on each unique person He created.
He sees individuals differently than the world does. That’s why it’s so important that we as parents, teachers, mentors and role models help our children understand just how special they are in God’s eyes!
Here are a few important Scriptures to share with your children to help them understand just how much God loves them and how much He values their unique gifts:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart… – Jeremiah 1:5
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
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 139:13-16
Every good and perfect gift is from above. – James 1:17
How Can We Encourage Our Children To Develop Their Unique Gifts?
Part of our jobs as parents is to help our children identify, nurture, and express their gifts in ways that bring them joy and bless their families, churches and communities.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Here are a few important things we can do to help our children recognize and develop their God-given gifts:
- When our child expresses an interest in certain activities, we can provide them with opportunities to explore them!
- When our child shows an aptitude or gift in certain areas, we can help them develop it!
- When our child invites us to participate in activities they love, we can make spending time with them a priority!
As we watch our children develop, we can make a mental note of the things that that they excel at — the things that they seem to have a natural aptitude for — and the ways in which they naturally express their gifts. We can watch how they interact with others and listen for confirmation from others about the things that we are observing.
The clues we uncover when they are young will help them discover how they fit into the body of Christ and how they can best use their spiritual gifts to serve the church as they grow!
Please Avoid These Pitfalls (Even If Your Intentions Are Good)
Sometimes well-meaning parents fall into the trap of putting undue pressure on their children to live up to expectations that God never intended them to live up to! Here are a few parental behaviors we should avoid:
- Comparing our children to others – especially friends and siblings – no matter how well-intentioned those comparisons may be! It’s so important that we treat each of our children as the unique individuals that they are. Comparisons only breed resentment, jealousy and rivalry.
- Trying to experience the things we missed out on in our childhoods by pressuring our kids to pursue things they have no aptitude for or interest in! Each of us has one life to live. We mustn’t try to live our lives through our children but instead help them to live their life to the fullest!
- Pressuring our children to follow in our footsteps! We may dream of passing down the family business or seeing our child attend our alma mater – but isn’t it more important for us to raise children who are pursuing the path that God has placed them on?
As our children mature and follow Christ, we can help them to discover their spiritual gifts and to use them to strengthen, encourage, and build up the local church.
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
Raising children who recognize their unique gifts and enjoy sharing them with others is a blessing that everyone benefits from!
Share Baby Wren And The Great Gift With Your Children
If you are looking for an inspiring children’s book that will help you introduce your young children to the concept of how special they are and the unique gifts that they have, I can think of no better selection than Baby Wren And The Great Gift, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Jen Corace!
For a glimpse at the book’s beautiful watercolor illustrations, watch the following book trailer!
Watch the Video
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How old were your children when you first began to notice their unique gifts? How have you seen their gifts develop over time? Please share your stories in the comments!