On a dining table, a number of tableware was placed, there were spoons, forks and knives on the table. A curious boy asked his mother “Mom, which is the spoon?” His mother replied, “This is the spoon, this one with the rounded end.” The boy then continued “Which is the fork?” His mother then replied, “This one with the sharp head that branches into several narrow and slightly curved tines.”
A simple conversation at the dining table attracted my interest to get to know more about how we recognize a spoon or a fork. We can easily distinguish them from visible physical attibutes. The spoon is designed with the round end asit is used to hold food while the fork has branches with several protruding ends to pick up food.
Like the spoon and fork in the illustration above, God also equips our children with a variety of uniqueness that can be easily seen, such as personalities, interests, abilities and many others. This uniqueness will be used by God to carry out His mission in the world.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesian 2:10, KJV)
The above verse clearly states that nothing happened by chance, because God created us for a clear reason from the beginning. As a parent, how should we help our child find the purpose of their creation? This is not an easy matter as it requires patience and a long process.
Rick Warren in his book “The Purpose Driven Life” mentions several things that can be the concerns of parents to help children find their purpose in life:
• Spiritual Gift: Spiritual gifts are an important part in shaping our child’s character. Spiritual gifts are given by God to each of our children to be prepared to do God’s missionary work. This gift will grow in our children after they believe in God. Various kinds of spiritual gifts are used by God to continue His mission in the world such as the gift of teaching, the gift of saying wisdom, the gift of healing, etc.
• Heart: Heart or in other word, interest, is the driving force to do everything. As a parent, you can recognize your child’s interest from what he likes, what he speaks enthusiastically and what makes him happy when he does certain tasks. Interest is used by God to clarify what your child’s calling is.
• Abilities: Abilities are natural talents that God has given since they were in the womb of mothers. Each child has a different talent; this is what distinguishes one child from another. Just like the spoon that has a different characteristic over a fork. Encourage your child to discover what his talent is and persevere.
• Personality: According to Allport’s definition, personality is “a dynamic organization of the psychophysical system (body soul) in an individual who also determines a unique (typical) way of adapting to his environment.” Personality is one of the parts that make up everyone. Personality is a benchmark that influences how and where a person can use spiritual gifts and abilities. For example, an IT personnel requires someone who is detailed and pays attention to small things, unlike a marketing personnel, who requires an easygoing and persuasive person.
• Experience: The last thing and no less important, is the experience God has placed in the lives of our children. Unpleasant experiences are usually used to shape a person in an extraordinary way, the one that God allows to happen for a purpose. Experience is used by God to sharpen one’s character and calling.
Finally, we really hope that the above can help parents to continue encouraging children to find their goals in life. May our children continue to grow in the way God has prepared for them from the beginning.
by Bunga, S.Psi