On Valentines Day, we make special efforts to recognize our children's giftings and talents. We remind them of all the things we love best about them. How often do we remember to remind them of those wonderful things on all the "normal" days of our lives?
As mothers and fathers, it is so easy to get distracted by the details of our lives. We have so much to do! We must feed our children well and take care of their health. We must oversee their education and their training to make sure they will be able to take care of themselves and live in a civilized society. We train them in righteousness so they may understand how God wants them to live. We try to relate to them in mature ways and help them learn to have healthy relationships.
Yet often, I think, we get lost in these multitudinous tasks that rule our lives, and we lose sight of the underlying purpose behind all these tasks, which is to prepare our children to go into the world and make disciples for our Lord.
Jesus promised that he would be with us. He also promised that he will come back. It is to him that we will have to give an account of how faithfully we sought to pass on his message and his commission to our children.
Giving our children the gift of inspiration—helping them understand their spiritual purpose, which is to glorify God and to make him known—is one of the most crucial tasks of Christian parenting.
Our children long for purpose in life and when they feel this purpose, they are much more likely to stay fast to their faith, because they feel a part of it. It is when faith is just rote and dry and merely something they "do" but don't engage in, that they are more likely to fall away to more secular beliefs. To give them a sense of their purpose in serving our King, Jesus, in His kingdom purposes, fulfills their desire for having a life that has meaning through all their years.
From the time the first man and woman turned away from him, God has sought to redeem us back to himself. His plan for accomplishing this task has been to use real people, made in his likeness. Jesus, of course, was the culmination of that plan—God's actual presence in human form. But since then each of us, including our children, has a part to play in that ongoing story of redemption.
Each of our children has been given a specific personality and a particular set of circumstances that will give shape to God's purpose for his or her life. It is our privilege and responsibility as parents to help our children understand their particular fit in God's plan.
This means pointing out special skills and talents. It also means helping children realize that God didn't give them such skills and talents just to use on themselves, but to glorify him and bring others to him through the stewardship of their lives. In other words, we are to help them see themselves and their potential and then to inspire them for God's purposes:
"Joel, you are so musical. Maybe you will write great music that will encourage others to worship God and to want to know him!"
"Nathan, you are so friendly and outgoing, I know God will use your personality and skills as a magician to reach out to many and to make a bridge for them to understand the gospel."
"Sarah, what an excellent writer you are. You are also so artistic. I'm eager to see how God can use your work to encourage others to understand him better or to appreciate the beauty and design of his creation!"
"Joy, you are so compassionate. I love the sweet cards you make! I can see the Lord using you to comfort and encourage many lonely or hurting people."
As mothers, we have the hearts and the trust of our children from the earliest moments of their lives, and they need us for so many reasons. They naturally look to us for physical sustenance, protection, affection.
Deep in their hearts, however, they also long for a special place to belong, a place to feel their worth, and they need us to help them find it. These precious children were designed to fulfill a purpose for God by bringing his glory to bear through their lives. They were designed to be his hands, his voice, his heart and mind through the various kinds of work they undertake in his world.
When we remind our children of their eternal significance, using everything from lullabies to bedtime stories to simple phrases such as "I wonder how God will use you in the world?" we help fulfill the deepest need of their hearts to be a part of a kingdom that is much greater than they have ever seen or known. As we seek to give our children the gift of inspiration, we will find ourselves being pulled down the road of our own purpose and significance, and we will intuitively verify the importance of God's design for motherhood.
Get a copy of Different to understand more of how to love and affirm your children with their unique differences and personalities--to motivate them to become all God designed them to be.
A part of this post was taken from the Ministry of Motherhood.