One Friday morning earlier this month, we made the trip to an area arts and academic meet for our oldest son. He had been chosen to participate in a math competition as well as have his artwork displayed at the art show. The fact that he was doing well in both math and art at school really got me thinking about the gifts God places in our kids and how unique they are for each child.
As a mom to three growing boys, I have a front row seat to see these gifts being revealed in each of my sons. It is quite the show and I’m realizing I am not a passive viewer in this situation. God has a role for us as parents in helping our children discover and grow in the talents given to them by Him.
As my oldest is only 10, I don’t have any expert advice for you, but I do have real-life experience, right now in the trenches with you, and I’ve observed these ways to participate in this process without taking over the lives of my kids.
I have learned so much about God’s design for my sons by watching them play and interact with others. It’s hard for me to slow down enough just to sit and watch them, but that time spent observing has been so valuable to understanding their personality and gifts.
One such instance involved Legos. As I watched my older boys play with Legos at the same table, one was very focused on designing and building structures and even whole communities, while the other was immersed in imaginary play with only mini-figures. In that moment, I saw one son focused on engineering and one focused on dramatic play. I didn’t know I could learn so much about their personalities from an afternoon of Lego play! Take some time to watch when your son plays or works on something he loves and make notes of what you observe, asking God to reveal His purpose in what you see.
Whoever told me my boys wouldn’t open up about their school days as much as girls would was very mistaken. When they get in the car after school, the talking and sharing about their days is nonstop until we get home…and then they share some more once we get there! They definitely get their gift for gab from their mama, but it can be easy for me to tune them out when the words go on and on. But I fight this urge because when they talk, I find myself getting a glimpse at what matters to them. I believe God’s purpose for our children is unveiled in bits and pieces starting at an early age. Before they get in the car and start spilling all the words from their day, I want to ask God to help me find those gems that reveal what He wants to do in their lives with the gifts He has given them. Let’s pray that every day our boys want to talk with us!
We can help our boys discover their God-given talents by getting out there to explore and try new things with them!These have been the most eye-opening experiences for me – trying a new sport or creative activity together, getting out in nature to hike or bike or swim, watching a movie or reading a book and discussing it as we go. I’ve loved to see new worlds open to my boys when we try new things together!
This is the most important step. Once you have watched, listened, and explored together, as the parent, you are able to provide the resources and opportunities for your son to take the next step. This may mean lessons, classes, sports leagues, trips, and more, but I like to start with resources that point to the source of their gifts.
A great boy-specific bible or devotional can help our sons keep the right perspective as they pursue their purpose. These are available for boys of all ages, and I’m excited to share a new one with my oldest son when he gets into those teenage years. Young & Beardless is a brand new book from John Luke Robertson, the oldest son of Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson. The book is all about searching for God and a life full of meaning and purpose. I love how John Luke mixes his life experiences with Scripture and books that have influenced his life. The “Think About It” sections are crucial for helping boys apply what they’ve read to their own lives. It’s great to have guys that are a little further along in their journey sharing what God has taught them with the next generation!
I like to think of myself as a lighthouse in the life of my boys, but only with the help of Jesus. A lighthouse can’t steer the ship, but it can help point the ship in the right direction by shining light on what is ahead. This is how I want to help my boys – watching, listening, exploring, and providing in order to help them see their gifts, purpose, and future in the light of who God made them to be. Through it all, I pray that each little piece of personality and talent God placed inside each one of them will bring Him glory.
P.S. If you pre-order the book now, you’ll receive bonus gifts with proof of purchase! Learn how here!
How do you help guide your son as he’s discovering his God-given purpose?