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It’s the deep desire of our hearts, isn’t it, moms, to train our daughters to be skilled, accomplished, lovely, able, using their gifts for the Lord…and as one friend put it, for them “to stand on our shoulders” when they begin their marriage and future life, that they may be so much better able to succeed and live Godly lives than we were.
God gives each of His children gifts, and at salvation, each of our children will receive at least one. From a very young age, though, we often see our child’s bent, or how God has wired them. Psalm 139 clearly shows how God has carefully designed each one in the womb.
Your Child’s Natural Bent
Our daughters have strengths and weaknesses which God has given them. They have natural talents, interests and aptitudes. They can improve in their weak areas and learn skills, applying discipline and hard work, but you will all agree that there are tendencies, leanings, and a hereditary makeup which is clearly present in our daughters (and all of our children) which they will never get rid of. God had a plan when He made our daughters!
It is up to us as parents to try to see what God has given and encourage and develop it in each child, strengthening the strengths and weakening the weaknesses. But, sometimes, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two. And sometimes, what is a strength can become a weakness when pride comes into the heart.
We Must Teach Their Hearts To Be Humble
As we help our daughters learn skills, grow and mature, we must teach their hearts to be humble. It’s important for them to recognize God is the giver of all gifts and everything they have comes from Him. Whatever gifts our daughters have been given, the purpose is to bring glory to Him. You’ve all heard the phrase, “I think we’ve created a monster.” There are times we regret encouraging something in our children, because they take it to the extreme! We must encourage, without encouraging pride.
“A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.”
Misusing Their Gifts
As we see their bent, interests and spiritual gifts revealed, we will also see the negative tendencies and misuses that go with them. We have to steer them away from the natural pitfalls and misuses of their gifts. For instance:
- Though servers tend to be able to work hard and are there for you–sickness and pain don’t tend to stop them–they have a tendency to unwisely push past their limitations, sometimes to the neglect of their health, sometimes also neglecting or frustrating their own family in order to help others.
- While exhorters may be able to encourage and explain the precise steps you need to take to overcome sin and grow in your spiritual life, they also may be critical and harsh with their tongue and may give up on a person who they don’t feel is willing to take the steps which they’ve suggested.
- Givers may be generous to a fault, willing to live in extreme hardship themselves in order to give more to God’s work, but they may become stingy. They may also set themselves up as the standard and become condescending of others’ choices, not thinking others frugal or giving enough.
Pride lurks at the door of every heart. We must wisely train our daughters to use their gifts and give the glory to God, being careful not to become prideful ourselves of who they are becoming and the “wonderful job we are doing.” (Or become dejected if we are not seeing the finished product yet! If I clearly am not finished yet, why should I expect perfection of them?)
I’ve been guilty of trying to shield my children from failure, yet both success and failure are necessary in life. Though we don’t need to go looking for failure, we need to see its value for our children’s sake, and be prepared to help them respond to it Biblically. There are times to fight harder, and times to accept failure as from the Lord, and humbly quit.
How Can We Know What To Do
As we train our daughters, how can we know what to do?! We’ll definitely make mistakes, and probably every day, but we must pray for wisdom at each turn, pray for our children (have I mentioned this never ends?) and trust that God loves them more than we do, wants a relationship with them personally and has a purpose for them and the way He has made them.
His Hands On Ours
The Potter who created them has His Hands on ours as we continue to mold this child, shaping the clay to become the vessel He intends, unique and useful, beautiful. It requires that we be sensitive and let Him move our hands and direct us, being observant to see when we need to make an adjustment.
We need to constantly observe the character of our child in light of Scripture. As we pray for specific character to be present in their lives, and for God to change them into His image, God will bring to our minds what He wants us to do. He will show us through His Word, and bring the people and influences He knows we need. May we lead them by example, prayer and training to develop and use their gifts to bear much fruit for God’s Kingdom and His glory.
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