A CHILD’S INDIVIDUAL GIFTS
Date: August 6
"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."
This is a classic Bible verse. Many people have quoted this verse in sermons. This verse in the Amplified version really captures the true meaning of this text. It says here in verse 6a, "Train up a child in the way he should go…" That shows that teaching children as much as we can is absolutely vital. We should be the primary teachers in our children's lives, not the television or the media, not their peers, and not even their schoolteachers. We, as parents, are their number one teachers.
Not only should we teach them but we should also train them. Training requires hands-on experience; it requires action. For example, when we teach our children to do their chores, we have to show them how to do it first. When we teach our children from the Word of God, we also have to live according to that Word as well. Training requires action. The Word of God is the most important thing we can teach our children. When our children leave our homes, we want them to leave with Jesus in their hearts. But in addition to teaching them the Word, we also need to teach them life lessons. They need to learn how to read, write, and count, how to speak politely, how to interact with people effectively, etc. Through those social skills, our children will discover what their gifting and talents are. Once they discover that, they need to perfect those talents so that they can make a contribution into society and bless themselves and others around them.
It says here, "Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent]…" That is very important. A common mistake for parents is to try and build their children up into their own image rather than allowing their children to discover their own talents. Or sometimes parents, who failed to achieve something in life, try to achieve it through their children. That's not right either. This verse specifically states that we should train up our children in keeping with his/her own individual gift or bent. So we should create an environment for them, which is conducive to their inclination. In other words, we as parents should be students of our children. We should learn what their interests and talents are, and then we should create an environment for them that will nurture and encourage those talents.
Parents are here to help their children realize what they're good at. Then they are to support, nurture, and help their children strengthen that gift. A parent is not here to superimpose their children. Each child has been uniquely created. God has imprinted upon them a certain personality trait that separates them from their siblings and other children. In the same way every adult is different, every child is different as well. As parents and as teachers, we are to apply a method that is conducive for that child.
Then the rest of verse 6 says, "..and when he is old he will not depart from it." That's why most children, who had their talents nurtured and encouraged by their parents, are successful pursuing that talent as a career. And many of them pursue it for the rest of their lives. Our parents have a tremendous impact upon us. The things they say or think about us can have either a positive impact or a negative impact. So we as parents have a tremendous impact on our children. That's why it's so important to be students of our children and learn what their skills are. Then speak and do things that are beneficial to them. Train them to keep with their individual skills and when they are old, they will stick with those skills and be successful in them.
So let's be students of our children. Let's help them discover their gifts and talents and let's be supportive of those gifts. If we train up our children in the way they should go while nurturing their individual gifts, then they will strengthen and perfect those gifts. When they are old, they will not depart from them. This is a command from God and it is a promise from God! So let's be God-pleasing parents and train our children in their gifts. When they are older, we will see the benefits our training has had on them.