We recently spent two days at a hands-on science museum, where the special exhibit was a collection of “treasure” recovered from shipwrecks. We studied the artifacts, read the information about them, and watched documentary clips that showed the care and time taken to bring them up from the depths, where the previously-lost treasures could be put on display in various locations for the world to enjoy.
Some of the items we saw were what the world considers real treasure: silver cob coins, gold bars, and minted silver coins from the U. S. Civil War era. Some artifacts were of historical value, like the children’s tea set, dominoes, chess pieces, medicine bottles, and school supplies (slates and inkwells). Still other pieces were of scientific value, like the coins and spoons that had become concreted together from the effects of 100+ years in saltwater combined with the sediments that filtered among them on the ocean floor. Some artifacts were much more attractive than others, but they all had a purpose. There was continuity and flow to the exhibit, so there was no question about why each piece was there.
Later, I had a chance to reflect on everything we had seen. I realized that our children are much like those artifacts.
To help our children realize God’s purpose for their lives and reach their potential, we have to spend time with them, talking to them, finding out who they are and the way they’re “bent”—their God-given passions, talents, and abilities.
As we discover these, we can begin to help our children find activities (lessons, books, courses of study) that will develop those talents and abilities so that God can use them to accomplish His purposes.
As homeschooling parents, we spend countless hours with our children, but we can miss the treasures buried deep within them as we deal with everyday life unless we make it a point to look for them. It may be hard for us to see how God can fulfill Kingdom purposes using the very traits that make us crazy, but He can. Just like the person who designed the museum exhibit had a vision that gave every artifact a place of importance, no matter how small and unattractive, God has a vision for history that is bigger than we can ever imagine. Only He knows how each of us fits into His grand plan. As parents, our job is to help our children find and pursue God’s purpose so they will be ready when He calls them to step up!
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16 (NIV)
How do you help your children discover their purpose?