Train up a child in the
way he should go;
and when he is old,
he will not depart from it.
This is one of those important verses one hears over and over again as a parent. I always took it to mean training your children in the Scriptures (Ephesians 6:4), teaching them right from wrong, and most importantly encouraging them to trust in their Creator and walk with His Son. And I think that is the most important meaning.
But one day, I saw it with a different emphasis...
Train up a child in the way HE should go.
Not the way His dad or I, friend, or brother should go.
We have all been given such unique gifts and personalities to glorify the Lord with haven't we? We are not meant to have the same life as those around us. We don't all have the same mold.
My son Josh has a very unique mold. He is thoughtful and sensitive. Dogmatic and logical. Creative and scientific. All at once.
I was once talking to a treasured friend, and she was telling me how she sometimes felt like she was bragging when she told other people about her daughter's unique traits and abilities. Her daughter was literally writing a period fantasy novel while she was still in grammar school. Yes, it would be a bit difficult to humbly speak of her gifts without seeming boastful and inciting comparisons.
But you know what I realized, she said. My daughter has this brilliance and these giftings, and if I am trying to hide them, I am really putting a bushel over God's glory in her. I want to celebrate how God has made her and rejoice in it without being arrogant.
That made so much sense! Celebrating God's glory in other people, especially our children. Permission granted.
So I wanted to take a moment to tell you more about Josh... not in a boastful way, but in awe of the person God has made him to be. The way he is going as I train him up in the Lord.
Josh has an incredible mind for science, which can only come from the Lord, because it certainly doesn't come from his parents! In the last couple of years, I have seen him grow in this capacity. He internalizes scientific language and concepts with little effort, especially in the realm of physics, engineering, and technology. It almost seems as though he has photographic memory in this realm.
We are trying to keep up with him and give him the assistance he needs to grow in this area. Practically, one of the things we did recently was to take an old entertainment armoire and transform it into a Lego creation station. He has taken to using Legos to build simple machines, such as candy vending machines with levers, mechanisms, combinations, and keyed locks that actually work. He spends hours perfecting his machines and inventing more complex designs.
We also enrolled him in a Lego NXT Robotics class over the summer, and he learned how to build and program robots to complete tasks and compete in battles. While it is hard for me to begin to comprehend what he is doing, his enthusiasm and understanding are boundless. His eyes light up and I can almost see the wheels turning within his head.
I am beginning to see that we will need to provide him with the exposure and opportunities to grow in these and other scientifically related areas. This is only the beginning.
So some questions for you, friends...
Do you have any ideas for me? What programs should I look into for an engineering 11 year old with a highly scientific brain??
And what gifts do your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews have?
How does God's glory shine in them?
Permission granted to share freely!