Thursday, June 21, 2012

Heart of the Matter~Studying our Children

Did you have fun last week studying your husband?  I love the responses about the peanut butter!  I have been on the hunt for crunchy peanut butter ever since then, but haven’t found any on the island yet.  I’ll have to keep looking!

Now, it’s time to study our children. This one may be a little harder for a couple of reasons: 
 1. When you’re examining your children and taking a close look at their weaknesses and strengths, it’s easy to get off balance.  I know it’s easy to start “dwelling” on all the things that really need working on in their lives. Then, we become nags…not a good quality in a mother.  But, I know the trap, so when I study my children I need to be very conscious to not dwell on the negative.  I need to make sure I’m looking for the good and praise my children 2x’s as much as I correct them. 
2. Another “side effect” of studying my children is that sometimes I see my behavior magnified….and not always my good points.  It’s hard when we see a bad trait in our child, then realize, “That’s just like me!” The negative traits that I see them copying from me can be a reminder to help me to be careful of the example I set!  

About three years ago I gave my kiddos a little quiz.  The quiz was about finding each child’s personality strength.  I learned so much!  After the quiz, we sat down, discussed it together and came up with a good plan of how to improve and use their particular strength in serving the Lord.  My husband and I learned that we needed to focus on our children’s strengths and teach them how to use them for the Lord.  We realized that we had been so intent on fixing their “weak points” and were overlooking the fact that God had given each of our children a different strength or talent that He wanted them to use for Him.  We also talked about a battle plan for their weaknesses, but we determined to focus on their strengths. 

For this “study” challenge, I want to take a look at each of my children secretly and prayerfully and to see how they’re doing.  There are two things that I want to ask myself concerning my children:

What is my child’s strength?  (Each child has a different personality strength.) How can I develop that strength and use it to honor the Lord? 

What is their weakness?  Pray and ask the Lord to show you how to help your child.  Find a Bible verse that will encourage you in this area.  Look for practical ways to help. 

Once I identify their strength/weakness, I want to look at their strengths and pray for God’s wisdom to help me in helping them build on those strengths.  For instance, I know my Elisabeth’s strength is to be very efficient behind the scenes.  During the week she is very quick to come help me in the kitchen.  She jumps right in with preparing drinks and plates that I don’t even have to tell her what needs to be done. Yesterday as I was making tortillas I turned to flip the tortilla.  When I turned back there was my Beth rolling out the remaining tortillas. What a blessing!  Her strength is to be my right hand girl and read my mind.  As a busy Momma it’s always a blessing to have someone there who wants to work beside you.   On the other hand, her weakness can be to want to be in the shadows.  When she was little we struggled with getting her to just look people in the eye and say hello.  She battles a fear of speaking in public and having conversations with people she does not know very well.  If we are not careful, she would spend all of her time working behind the scenes and not being involved with people.  Her tendency is to be our quiet child.  Once I realized Elisabeth’s strength is working “behind the scenes” I gave her responsibilities in the ministry that she can do on her own such as making the dessert for Sundays, setting out the hymnbooks, setting the table, and refilling people’s drinks.  I am taking her strength and teaching her how to use it to serve the Lord and also allowing her to use her strength to be involved with people.

Prayerfully, I need to seek guidance on how to help her be more sociable, but at the same time encourage her and praise her for the blessing she is to me when no one else is watching.  Balance is the key, and so is praising our children. 

Is it hard?  Yes.  Studying our children takes effort and dedication.  Proverbs 31:27 says, “She looketh well to the ways of her household.  I need to be very conscious of how my children are doing.  I know how easy it is just getting by in life.  Some days it seems to take all of our energy just to clothe and feed our children!  It’s important that I take the time to truly “study” my children and see how I can help them to be more like Christ.


  1. Balance is the key. Thank you for this reminder to look more at strengths, instead of weaknesses.

  2. Once again, I needed this. I have study work to do.

  3. Me again. Just saw your header and tabs. Love it!