Inspirational Writing

Recognizing Spiritual Gifts In Your Children

What are your spiritual gifts? Everyone has at least one. According to 1 Corinthians 12:7 “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.”

The purpose of a spiritual gift is two-fold: glorify God and edify or help the body of Christ. Our gifts are very special. They make us uniquely qualified to touch the lives of those around us for Christ’s sake. That means that your gift is necessary for the upbuilding of the kingdom but also because without it, a portion of the body is lacking. 

But how does this work with our children?

While I’m on this subject I can’t help but think about my own children’s spiritual gifts. I’m always wondering how God will use them, how will their character develop, and how will their particular personalities draw others to Christ.

The bible doesn’t necessarily differentiate our spiritual abilities based on age. I’d even go further to say that because of what Jesus said and how God related to children in the Bible, that we should in fact expect the Holy Spirit to bless our children with many gifts as they grow.

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14 NLT

“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” Joel 2:28

So how do you recognize Spiritual Gifts in Your Children?

Begin by paying attention to their patterns, habits, and ideas. This is the hard part of parenting at first. We spend the first years of their lives trying to get them to walk and talk, then we spend the rest of their childhood telling them to sit down and shut up. {Cringe} I know I’ve been there too. But being in their presence, unfiltered, uninterrupted, really listening, and taking in the essence of who God created them to be will leave you with some pretty invaluable insight.

I’ve learned some major lessons from doing just this in pursuit of understanding my own children’s spiritual gifts. 

My oldest child is a big thinker like her mom and a natural problem solver even if you don’t ask her opinion. She can analyze and reanalyze a situation until there are no more possibilities. She builds, designs, creates, takes apart, and puts together. Once she started reading it was on! Her reading list on any given day can range from Barbie to Discovering world religions. Her mind is knowledgeable beyond her years; how can such a thing be possible? Coincidence? No I believe it’s a gift from God. So I call her Creative.

My middle child is a limit pusher. She’s known for challenging the status quo and thinking outside the box. She’s emphatically NOT a tattle tale, and won’t even out her sisters if they do her wrong. Her heart is so forgiving and her ability to read a person or a room is spot on. Is this a headache for me? Absolutely! But I’d be lying if didn’t say the Lord has convicted me of not embracing this as a natural gift. She’s the type of person that can change the world with just a few words; she’s fearless and a fighter. What better combination of characteristics for a soldier in the army of the Lord? So I call her Warrior.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8

See, I’d much rather have an obedient child than a limit pusher. Thankfully, God’s ways are not mine and he’s coming back for a church without a spot or wrinkle and my little limit pusher is just the one needed to kick folks into high gear. (And boy will she do just that)

My youngest child has displayed the most interesting and unassuming gift of all. She touches people. I mean she really has a way with people. From the moment I brought her home from the hospital, and even now at 5 years old this little girl has the ability to completely captivate those around her. 

At first this was a bit off putting as a parent. I mean really, everywhere we went we would be stopped by people. I’m not talking about 1 or two people I’m talking 10 in one outing. People just love her. They like to touch her hair, talk to her, try to get her to show off that infectious smile; it just goes on and on. 

Right before my big bad mama bear protective instincts got the best of me, the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that God placed something on the inside of her that miraculously draws others to her. This gift would one day be used to bring multitudes to Christ. WOW. Here I am, mad because I can’t just run in the store to get milk, and God is giving my daughter the gift of reaching his people. What an honor! 

Spiritual gifts are no laughing matter. God takes them seriously and as parents we should too. Most often your child’s gift lies right in the middle of the most challenging aspect of their personalities. You can help your child embrace their gifts by becoming a voice of acceptance in your home. Accept the purpose behind their personality flaws as God’s future testimonies, use words that build them up even as they stumble. Pray over your children for all the ways the world will try to make them feel ashamed or embarrassed about themselves, and point them to Christ for all the rest.

So, have you ever thought about your own gifts? There are tons of inventories and surveys to examine what your gifts may be. Today I’m linking a great spiritual gifts survey tool from Lifeway. Take the survey and discover your gifts or your loved ones gifts. God wants to use them in miraculous ways!

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