“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~EPHESIANS 2:10

For the first 12 to 14 years of life, I believe you should regularly tell each of your kids, “Son…daughter…you can do anything you set your mind to.” That kind of statement helps them see the unlimited nature of the universe and challenges them to consider the many options they have to serve the Creator of that universe.

But as the high-school years approach, you’ll want to change your encouragement strategy. About that time, they begin to realize they cannot literally do anything they set their mind to. Doors start to close. And that’s okay. Young teens are the ones doing the closing. At that age, my daughter knew she was not going to be the next Monet. At that age, my older son knew he wasn’t going to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright. At that age, self-aware kids begin to realize they’re just not cut out for certain careers.

All of this means they are beginning to discern their true gifts and abilities. And Dad, that’s when you can turn to a wonderful passage of Scripture that calls them to identify those gifts and commit to them with diligence and excellence.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully (Romans 12:6-8).

That’s also when you can start saying, “Son…daughter…I can’t wait to see how God uses your gift of (fill in the blank).”

What about you?

The promise found in this verse from Romans is quite useful for those seasons when your child is feeling giftless. The first four words confirm that “we have different gifts.” Dad, it can be quite a fulfilling adventure for a father to join his child as they try new things and explore new worlds in that quest to identify their unique and valuable gifts.

Adapted from: One-Minute Devotions for Dads. Copyright © 2012 by Jay Payleitner. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

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