Mining Diamonds: Finding and nurturing gifts in your child.


Rough_cullinan_diamondIn 1905, a man named Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth’s surface, performing a routine inspection in a mine owned by Sir Thomas Cullinan.  While working, Wells looked up and caught a glimpse of light.  This glimmer buried deep in the earth turned out to be the largest diamond ever mined to date – known today as the Cullinan.  Talk about some guys having all the luck!

Soon after this amazing diamond was unearthed, it was sent to a master diamond cutter named Joseph Asscher.  Asscher spent 6 months simply studying the diamond, planning how he would approach the detailed cuts that would need to be made in order to transform this rough diamond into a masterpiece.  The pressure of working with such a rare find was so great that Asscher fainted after making the first cut – a cut that fortunately created the perfect result he had hoped for.  At completion, the Cullinan diamond had been divided into 9 large stones and about 100 smaller ones – altogether worth millions of dollars.

Why this bit of historical trivia?  Because it shows the value of mining and craftsmanship.  Inside our children are gifts that have been placed by God, just waiting to be discovered, polished, and put on display for His glory.  It is our job as parents to keep our eyes open to these “glimmers of light”.

It may be easier to spot these “diamonds in the rough” than you think.  Does your child always walk around the house (and store, and backyard, and in the car…) singing?  Mine that diamond!  Do they love to write stories or create art?  Catch that glint of light!  Do they seem to have a gift for speaking, sharing, or teaching?  Don’t overlook that gem!  Do they have a noticeable compassion for those who are hurting or in need?  Take notice!  Just as Wells had a trained eye for spotting diamonds in a mine, it is our job as parents to spot the God-given gifts and talents in our children.

But dad, it doesn’t stop there.  Simply pointing out a talent in your son or daughter isn’t enough.  If Wells had spotted the Cullinan but left it buried in the mine, it would have never been enjoyed by the world.  If he went a step further and had it carefully removed from the surrounding stone and set on display, it would have indeed been the largest diamond ever found, but it’s potential beauty would have never been realized.  It was only after the diamond was studied and crafted by a master that its true worth and beauty was released for all to see.

When you discover a talent in your child, take time to point it out.  Praise them.  Make a big deal about it!  In doing so, they will know that you are in their corner, supporting and admiring them.  Then, do what you can to help them develop their talent.  Guide them, but be sensitive to let them set the pace (see Colossians 3:21).  Provide the prayer, resources, opportunities, and encouragement that will help them push forward and develop their gift even when the going gets difficult.  Ultimately, it is The Master who will develop the gift in your son or daughter in a deeper, spiritual level and provide the opportunity for them to display the beauty of what He has done in them.

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else does.  You are in the best position to notice and promote the development of the gifts in them.  Further, God has given us the responsibility to intentionally raise our children to know Him, love Him, and live a life that honors Him (Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:6–7).  As we remember that our children are a gift from God (Psalms 127:3), and that the gifts in them were placed by Him, it will help us to see these talents as the true treasure they are.

Now go mine those diamonds!

– Rick

 

Scriptures

Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”  

Proverbs 22:6   “Train up a child in the way he should go;  Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  

Deuteronomy 6:6–7  “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Psalms 127:3  “:Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb a reward.”

 

Reference

H. (2009). World’s largest diamond found. Retrieved November 05, 2017, from http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/worlds-largest-diamond-found

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10 Traits of Highly Effective Dads


I’ll start off by saying what you already know.  There is no silver bullet or magic potion when it comes to making great dads.  I wish it were that easy, as it could have saved me from many painful fatherhood fiascos.  Yet, we can gain great insights from Scripture and from gleaning from some godly fathers that have gone before us.

Over the past decade, I’ve been blessed to serve alongside men doing all they can to be the best dads they can be.  While each one of these men have their unique styles, they definitely share some common traits or focus points that make them effective within their fatherhood roles.  I have personally been blessed by being around these men and want to share some of the insights I’ve gained.

Some of these should be no-brainers.  However, if you’re like me, we sometimes need reminded of the basics.  My dad was great in driving this point home.  He often related this truth to sports.  However, the veracity of this maxim holds true in almost any area of life:  If something isn’t going well, make sure the fundamentals or basics are getting done.  Too often during life’s chaotic times, we forget the basics and pay the price.  As a matter of fact, I’ll go ahead and include this fatherhood truism within our 10 Traits of Great Dads.

10 Traits of Effective Dads

  1. They keep their lives de-compartmentalized.  They are the same man, husband and father regardless of where and when.  This directly connects to the character of these men.  None are perfect, but I would trust everyone of them with my kids.
  2. They realize that their manhood and fatherhood is directly tied to their relationship with God.  This means time in God’s Word, time in prayer and time with God’s people is an essential part of their lives.
  3. If still married, they uphold their wives as their number one friend and co-worker in life.  They realize that loving their wives is one of the greatest things they could ever give their kids and they protect their marriage like it’s their life.
  4. They practice the discipline of meekness.  They exemplify the combination of humility and strength.   Men need to be strong for their families not at their families.  These great dads get this idea well.  In these homes, yelling and abuse of any kind is never tolerated.
  5. They’ve tied their hearts to the hearts of their children.  There is a very special God-given bond that they cherish and cultivate on a daily basis.  This means they are always looking to create heart-moments with their kids, especially when it comes to sharing God’s love and truth with them.

[Click here to read the rest of this great article by JT Waresak]

 

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How your environment – good or bad – shapes your life and the life your family.


waiting to hear from GodWhen you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you like the man looking back at you? Do you like his attitude? Do you trust his judgment?  Is he a good father and/or husband?  Is he who you dreamed he’d be?

There are probably some things you like and other things you wish you could do away with. Whatever your thoughts on the man you see, there have been many things through the years to help form the package you are – many of them were even out of your control.  For now we’ll refer to these experiences as the environment we grew up in.  To help explain how our environment plays such an important role in our life and in the lives of children, let me share the following:

“There is a story told of a farmer who took a small pumpkin and placed it inside a glass jug.  The pumpkin grew.  When the farmer broke the jug, he found that the pumpkin had become the exact size and shape of the jug.  The pumpkin had been molded by the jug!  What has molded you into what you have become? The far more important question, however, is, what is now molding you into what you will become?”

This is an excerpt from the book “How to Become a Great Man of God” by James Stone and it’s an excellent illustration of how our environment shapes us as children and continues to shape us in our adult years.  What are some of the things that helped shape you into the man you are today?

  1. Your parents and/or others who raised you.
  2. Your childhood friends.
  3. The community you grew up in.
  4. The church you attended (or did not attend).
  5. The circumstances and experiences you were subjected to as a child and into your teen years.

These things and more make up the “jar” you grew up in and shaped you into the man you are mentally, spiritually, relationally, and even physically in some cases.  Can you see why it’s so important for us men to create positive environments for our children and other children around us?  We can’t always control the neighborhood we live in or the school our child attends but we can control the environment of our home.  Is it positive? Encouraging?  Loving? Fun?  Are there clear rules for behavior and interaction? Do you share God’s word with your kids through family devotions and prayer?  Being intentional with our family and the atmosphere of our home will allow us to positively impact our kids – not just for the day, but for life.  For LIFE.  Take a minute to think about that.  What we do today affects who the men and women our sons and daughters will grow to be and how they will perceive the world around them.

We have a big job, guys!  That’s why it’s so important for us men to surround ourselves with positive, godly friends and mentors.  The environment we surround ourselves with significantly impacts our view of the world as men – just as our home environment does for our children.  Who we take advice from, what we watch on television and internet, what music we listen to, and what thoughts we dwell on all create the frame through which we view the world.  And the way we see the world, the advice we take from others, and the quality of our relationship with God all affect our family.  You can hopefully see the importance of being intentional with our own environment as much as that of our kids!

Neither being a godly man nor providing a positive, encouraging environment in your home will come by accident.  It comes only by decision – intentional manhood – and that comes only through the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit each day in our lives. We will still fail at times.  We’ll still have some regrets.  But the successes will far outweigh the failures and in future years our children will look back and appreciate the man of God they call Daddy.