Jan 6, 2010

The Way

Remember when you were a child people started asking you what you wanted to be when you grew up? This of course was to refer to what job or career path you would like to take. A child may or may not have any thoughts or ideas about these things, but God was thinking about it long before they were ever born.

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

Since God has already thought about the plans He has for our kids, then we should also be thinking and praying about it. The bible even tells us to train them for it.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

The Hebrew word used for "way" in this scripture, is derek. Vines Bible Dictionary defines it like this. Path, road, highway, manner, conduct, condition, destiny, undertaking. This word connotes how and what one does, a manner, custom, behavior, mode of life. Derek is applied to an activity that controls one, one's life-style. It can signify the overall course and fixed path of one's life, or his "destiny".

So how do we begin training them for what God will call them to when we don't know what that call is? In addition to teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart, we need to study them to learn how God is equipping them. We should seek to discover the things they love the most, the things they are naturally good at, and the things they are naturally drawn to. These will be used in the skills and talents that God is developing in them to equip them for His plans.

Ask your kids questions about the things they love. Not vague "What do you like? and What's your favorite color?" questions but focused questions like "What do you like better x or y?" They will enjoy the focused attention and interest you have in them while you do this, and you will learn how God is shaping them. Keep a journal on them to document what you discover. Don't discount anything no matter how insignificant it might seem to you at the moment. Everything has a purpose.

For example, my middle grand-daughter has always been drawn to tiny things. I began noticing this when she was about three years old.
  • Once as we were walking to the car, she stopped in her tracks and squatted down to intently watch an ant that was walking across her path on the sidewalk.
  • On another occasion, she found a very small bead on the floor. She picked it up and exclaimed with delight, "Look! A little ball! There's a little hole in it." Then she studied it intently for several minutes. Knowing how inquisitive she she is, I could just imagine the questions she was wondering at that moment. "I wonder what that hole is for. I wonder if there's anything in that hole. I wonder what I can put inside that hole. I wonder how it got there."
  • One day we played the "What do you like better?" game and one of the questions I asked her was "What do you like better, big or little?" Her answer - little. Next question - little or tiny. Her answer - tiny.
Since then I have discovered through her painting, drawing, and speech that she adds a lot of details. Her draw toward things tiny is the indicator of her attention to detail.

As you discover more about the way God is equipping your children, you can then begin to train them by providing the supplies that will encourage growth in those areas. Not to over do it. It's not necessary to go out and pay for expensive music lessons if your child shows an interest in an instrument. The next time you are purchasing a gift for that child, make it an age appropriate guitar or drum set. If they love painting, get them some basic artist supplies. My youngest grand-daughter loves things on wheels and technology, so for her birthday I got her a remote control truck. My oldest grand-daughter has a great love for animals so one year I got her a Zoo Vet computer game. These will be the tools that will help them to hone the skills God is developing in them.

As they begin to think about what they want to "be" when they grow up, you will be able to point out some of the skills and talents God has given them and encourage them to ask Him what He has in mind. When they reach an age where they are thinking more seriously about their career path, you will have trained them in the way they should go and can present them with a journal filled with information that could help them take the next step.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

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"A girl needs to be so lost in God, that the guy is going to have to seek HIM to find her!" ...Maya Angelou


Irritable Mother said...

I'm on my way over there now! *grin*

Beverlydru said...

Happy New Year! Just read your full post over at Titus 2 in Action and loved it. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

My ADHD Me said...

whew, glad you didn't leave me hanging until a different day :D

I'm on my way now.

P.S. When I was young I used to tell people I was going to be The Statue of Liberty when I grew up.

P.S.S. Love that Jeremiah verse *smile*

Yolanda said...

I love that God is a God of second and third chances. As I didn't train up the two children that were in my home (my husband's children)God's way, due to not being a Christian; God is giving me that second chance through our Grandchildren. While ours do not live close as yours do (what a HUGE blessing for you!), I still can pray for them, and love them, encourage them, train them in the ways of God when I'm in their precense as well as them seeing my actions. PRAISE HIM!

Love to you,

My ADHD Me said...

Hi. Just got back from Titus 2. Wow. I loved it. I don't think I lead my oldest very well. I'm pretty sure he'll be fine but who knows what could have happened if I had been a better leader. Well, we never are too old to learn and he's only 18. Time to pray a little harder. Praying for his future and that I will be a better leader for my youngest.

Andrea said...

Blessings and hugs,

Greg C said...

Edie you need to show me the way to get there. I am kidding I have already been there several times. I think it is a great message.

Jody said...

Happy Thursday Edie.

Melanie said...

'Wanted you to know I was here today.

Connie Arnold said...

That's great! Thanks for sharing, Edie.

Nancy said...

I always tried to encourage my children in the direction I felt they were headed, where God was already revealing gifts and talents.

I am new to this blog. Andrea sent me here. She thought you could help me with a problem.

When I do a new post and it is part of my story, I put in spaces for paragraphs, but they aren't there on my finished blog. When I do a newsy blog, no matter how long, the spaces stay in. I can't figure out what is going on. Any help would be appreciated.

LisaShaw said...

I love and appreciate your caring and sharing heart dear friend.