The child has a certain way, which means a certain bent by virtue of how guys designed them, and the child is trying to express that bent, go in that way.
And so you train that child up according to their bent so that when they're older, they will live into that bent. We want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson. And I'm Dave Wilson.
And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. So if I give you a season of parenting, I'll give you one word. You give me your first thought.
Okay. Baby stage. Tired. Toddler. Training. Great school. Fun.
Really? Middle school. Questions. Teenager. Love. Loved it. High school.
Loved it. College. Oh, sad. They're gone.
And now adults. Awesome. Oh, how about this? Grandkids. Amazing. Yeah, we just spent four days, five days, six days with four of our grandkids. And let me just add, I could have had so many more words.
Like each one of those stages is beautiful and brilliant and incredibly hard. All at the same time. But when you said fun during the teenage years, I knew you had boys. Really? Yes. Is that pretty true of parents with teenage boys?
That's pretty tough with girls. Just saying. Oh, what would your word have been? And you've already heard, yeah. Let me, by the way, tell you who just jumped in here. Bev Hendrix Godby is with us with her brother, Bill Hendrix, who wrote a book called So How Do I Parent This Child?
We actually talked about it yesterday. It's fabulous what you've written in this book. And just you're helping coach us how to see the giftedness in not just our kids, but in every person. So welcome back to day two of Family Life Today. Yeah, so I mean, obviously, you know, we're talking about our own kids.
But as you think about your kids, and even the different stages that we just talked about, anything come to your mind when you're thinking of, you know, from babyhood all the way up to adulthood? And let me add Bev and Bill both have three daughters. Three daughters. Right. But there's a difference in the dad and the mom. I'm sorry, but there is of girls.
Okay. Because the monument in the backyard is for the dad. You know, the father was perfect. And they love him to pieces. That's from the girl's perspective.
Yes. But it's hard when they get into those teenage years, and they're being their own person. And someone did tell me that, and I'm holding on to it, that it may be true is the stronger you are as a mom, the more they have to react to you, because they have to be who they are. And then one day, they'll come back when they have their own children.
So that kind of is proving true. So I'm with you on amazing with the grandkids. I have a friend with three daughters, and we've raised our kids at the same time. She would say those exact same words, whereas I was delighting in these teenage years with boys, like it was so fun. She was like, it was a wrestling for her a little bit more. Absolutely. And now her girls are all adults, and they really have all just come back.
She is the hero, and there's a monument for her at this point, as well as the dad. Yes. But I think that it's so tough in those years, if someone could just say, it's gonna be different when they get a little bit farther down the road. Bill, what was it like for you? And let's say, too, you've had a unique experience because you lost your wife, the mother of your three girls, when they were how old?
Yes. My first wife passed away when they were 15, 13, and 8. So it was right at that stage there where Bev's talking about, at least for the two older ones, where they're entering that contentious period. But because their mother was ill, they dialed it back, I think, as much as they could. Then she passed, and now it's my job to raise them.
And girls don't seem to do that with daddies. And so we didn't have those knockdown, drag-out fights in my house. So Bev, there was a monument in his backyard to him. Absolutely.
With his girls, especially if he became the father and the mother for those girls. Yeah. Somehow we survived. They're doing fine today. I'm still sane. So, you know, God was gracious.
For the grace of God. Well, talk about, you know, we mentioned yesterday, I mean, you directed the Global Center for Giftedness, which is seeing the wonders, you know, seeing the giftedness in your children and others. And we spent a whole day talking about how to parent that way. You talk in your book about, as a parent, you're a steward. You've been given a stewardship.
What do you mean by that? Well, first of all, you don't own these children. You don't own this child.
That child belongs to God because God made that child. And then for mysteries I don't understand, handed it over to you or to me. And so you've been given a trust. And stewardship means that you take that trust and you want to ultimately hand that trust back to the person that gave it to you.
It's a very utilitarian term, transactional term, but with a return on investment, which means that trust has a certain potential of what God purposed into that individual, that person. God wants to see that person thrive and flourish and make a contribution to the world. And the best way that happens is that you as a parent help that child begin to wake up to who they are, which really means in large part their giftedness, that which God has given them by which to cause the world and its people to flourish. And you celebrate that and you help them celebrate those strengths and begin to lean into them so that by the time they leave at 18 or whenever, they've got a sense of confidence about their strengths and who they are.
They've got a sense of direction about how they can contribute to the world. And we play a vital part in this with our kids of seeing, as you said yesterday, where they find their energy, their passion, that those are things we should be observing. I love the story you told about your dad and a teacher.
Talk about Mrs. Noe. When he told this story, he totally lit up. And let us say your dad is Howard Hendricks, and a lot of our listeners probably know that he was a seminary professor at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Many of us have known. Well, he was gifted to the task of teaching. If you look in the dictionary under teacher, you would find his name because he was born to teach. He loved to teach. He said, I live to teach.
Really? This was a great story for me because he was in his 57th year of seminary at that point, just starting. And I was asked to speak to a group of teachers. And the topic I was supposed to teach, how do we make this just not another year? And I remember the look on his face of puzzlement almost when I said that to him because he said, oh my goodness, no year is ever like any other year.
I mean, these guys, they're all different and they have all new questions. And he just came even alive in that moment. But he told me the story of Mrs. Noe because he had a teacher, Miss Simpkins, and I think it was fifth grade. And she hated him and he hated her just equally. He was the worst kid in the room. He did everything that you're not supposed to do. He was always, he said, I knew every corner in that room.
I had stood in them. And so a terrible year. The kids loved him. He'd get everybody going and everyone would be doing throwing spitwads and stuff like that. And she knew exactly who it was. And so he was always in trouble. He said, and then I got released from jail. Summer came and he's having a great time, but then he has to come back. And he said, I'm in sixth grade. And I'm thinking, oh, here we go. So he walks into his sixth grade teacher and she calls Roll and she gets to Howard Hendricks and she said, oh, I've heard of you. And he goes, here we go.
Here we go. And she said, I don't believe a word of it. She said, I think you're exactly who we need in this room this year. He just was floored. And he thought, well, this won't last. But it did. And he said, I became like her favorite person.
I would do anything for this woman. And he said, we were lining up in the hall one day. Ms. Simpkins walked by and gave him this really dirty look and then said something to her I'm sure that was derogatory. He heard her say, oh, no, he is my best student.
He is model student. And the lady was just saying, she said, I was just nasty enough that I turned around and just shot her a look. Well, talk about that based on our discussion yesterday.
Well, you think, how could this be gifted to us? He's like so bad in one room and so good in the other. But you see, his giftedness was about getting a response. And Ms. Simpkins would not give him anything but a negative response. And he's like, okay, bring it on. He's getting a positive response from all his classmates. They think he is everything.
And so that's what he does. The next year, Ms. Noe had somehow, I wish she was still living. I would love to ask her, what did you see in him? Because she saw something in him and thought, I can turn that around. So she said, here's who you are.
Here's who I believe you are. And he lived up to it. So how does that work as a parent if you've got a son or daughter that's sort of acting out for whatever reason? That's a good question. It's a cautionary tale in many standpoints, not the least of which is to channel the giftedness in a positive direction. Instead of shaming it. Which is often the parent's first response.
Right. You guys, we just talked yesterday and I'm thinking we were talking about video games. I was recollecting how many times I walked into the room when our son was playing video games. I said, this is the biggest waste of time.
You're going to amount to nothing if you do this all day. And then I'm like, oh, I really did that wrong. We say develop a positive language for what it is that they do, what it is that they love to do or incline toward. And I say this with a lot of regret, but one of my twins was very, very quiet. And I used to refer to it as slow to warm up, which is kind of negative. If I had only been able to say she takes the time she needs to feel comfortable.
Now I've described her in a positive way and I have really affirmed she knows the time she needs in order to feel comfortable. And those are the kinds of things a child with a lot of power, for instance, packed into them can get a lot of nicknames that are not positive. It didn't feel positive when they're completely blowing through your house and they're on their 15th tantrum for today. But there is something about that power that has been packed in that little body that they can't handle yet.
They don't know how. And so to channel it into some alternative thing, I have my oldest grandson has a lot of energy. I remember watching him one time and I thought, this house is going to explode. It is. And I said, sweetie, you're going to have to go out and run around the block.
I said, we just need that right now because I don't think we can really I don't think the house can take the house is going to explode. Yeah. And he went out. He goes, OK, Nana. And he went out and he ran all the way around the block and he came and he goes, do I need to go around again?
And I said, yeah, I think I think we need that. You know, he loved it. We have a son that was very much like that growing up. Lots of energy, a leader. He'd cry, he'd yell.
And I think the first time he preached at our church, I think he was 19, and he was doing all those things on the stage. He's crying. He's passionate. He's yelling.
I had tears in my eyes and I turned to Dave. I'm like, it all makes sense now. There you go. And that's what you're saying.
We're looking, we're discovering, we're watching. In a sense, is it? And I think I remember reading this in your book, Proverbs 22 six, train up a child in a way you should go. And when he is older, he will not depart from it. That has often been taught in a very different way than what you're describing it right now.
Explain that. Well, the verse, if you get it through the Hebrew, the idea is opening of the child's way. The child has a certain way, which means a certain bent by virtue of how guys designed them. And the child is trying to express that bent, go in that way. And so you train that child up according to their bent so that when they're older, they will live into that bent.
It's really almost like a farmer that's got a plant or a tree that they're trying to slowly over time groom to be what it was meant to flourish so that it will bear the fruit that it was meant to bear. Bill, talk about making a cake at five years old. I was kind of fascinated by this, actually. She actually read it out loud to me when she read that. Like, what in the world? And may I say that the editor of the book did not believe this was a true story.
Yeah, me too. No five-year-old could do this. No one's going to believe that. And I will tell you that he did do this. I said the same thing to Dave.
Like, how is this possible? Go ahead, Bill. Tell us about it. So the story is that when I was five, my mom was going out one day and I was going to be home for the afternoon. I didn't want to be bored. I said, is there something I can do while you're gone? And I had been watching mom cook since I was born, so I actually already knew my way around the kitchen for a five-year-old. At five years old.
Yeah. And she said, well, your dad's having his birthday party tonight. We need to make an angel food cake. So why don't you, you know, mix it up and put it in the oven?
Sounds good. So she leaves. Okay, Bill, you're five, which means you're reading.
I guess. Anyway, I go out to the kitchen. And I pull down my mom's mother's home companion cookbook. And I look up angel food cake. And I get the eggs out and the flour out. And I separate the whites and then beat them up, mix all this stuff together, put it in the pan, put it in the oven. You know, when the time's up, I pull it out. In those days, we had Coke bottles and you'd put the pan on top of the Coke bottle to let it cool.
And so my mom comes home and I'm back in my room playing about three minutes after coming home. She comes into my room going, Billy, how did you make this cake? And she's holding a box of Duncan Hines angel food cake mix, which had apparently been in the cupboard and I just didn't notice it. And to me, in retrospect, we've looked at that as kind of an example of my own giftedness trying to express itself. But it's important to say that he didn't grow up to be a baker.
Yeah, I didn't grow up to be a baker. But what was it in him that could do it? Like, what was the gift? What do you think, Bev? Be in control, be in charge. He was going to do it. So if he had responsibility, he's like, well, yes, but it was an idea that he had in his head and he's going to make it happen. And he is very good at doing that. And he'll own it and kind of figure out how to do it. He doesn't ask a lot of questions. He's very independent in terms of how he works. And so he just he didn't ask anybody.
He just did that. I'm just going to say I've made an angel food cake. Yes, they're not easy. They are not easy because you have to whip those egg whites to the point where they're stiff.
And almost nobody would know that unless they've baked for a while. Well, in retrospect, I would point out this was in the days before electric beaters, too. So you're talking the hands.
You did the hand beater. I think so. Yeah, I must have. And we don't really remember how it turned out either. Just saying.
Well, it's interesting. I'm sure it was the best cake ever made. It had to be incredible.
I mean, you listen to that story and you think you would become Wolfgang Puck. But it wasn't about that, right? Right.
That was part of it, but it was bigger than that. See, the giftedness is not in the activity. It's in the person. Right.
Yes. So you can do a wide variety of activities that many of which bear no relation whatsoever to each other. And yet when you look at what's driving that behavior, you find a very consistent pattern. Which is why when we tell parents to observe, which is really about being mindful and aware of what kids are choosing to do and what they love to do, what they prefer to do. And that is what you're paying attention to. But don't make conclusions about that. Just observe it. Take note of it.
It's a great idea if it's an unusual thing to write it down because it'll probably occur again. And then you can over time, they'll have more language and more ways to help you see what that giftedness could be about. Now, what happens to a child when the parent sort of judges it or shames it or critiques it? It could be a simple comment like, that's a stupid thing to waste your time doing. You know, when you're when you're making the observation, but you make the judgment that it's not what I like or what, you know, they're not becoming like I thought they would. And you judge it or you shame it.
What happens to that child? You're listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks Godbey on Family Life Today. We'll hear their response in just a minute. But first, I wanted to let you know about how you as one family can make a difference. There is a community of heroes really called Family Life Partners who believe in our mission and give financially every month. And thanks to some of those generous champions who have come alongside us as a ministry. Right now, if you sign up to give monthly, you not only receive all the benefits of our partner program, but your donation will be matched dollar for dollar for the next 12 months to help families strengthen their relationship with God and each other. So that means if you give twenty five dollars a month, the impact is actually fifty dollars a month. And on top of that, when you give this month, as our thanks to you, we'll send you a bundle of resources, including two books, one by Gary Thomas called Lifelong Love and one by Kristen Clark and Bethany Beale called Not Part of the Plan. So become a monthly partner, have your gift doubled for a year, impact families for the glory of Christ and get a bundle of books. You can give right now at familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in family, L as in life. And then the word today.
Now back to Dave and Anne with Bill and Bev. Now, what happens to a child when the parent sort of judges it or shames it or critiques it? It could be a simple comment like that's a stupid thing to waste your time doing.
Nothing good. I'll give you the illustration. There's a kind of a giftedness we see of a person who wants to be part of a team. Like whatever we're going to do, I want to do it together.
We're going to join hands here and collaborate, right? So this little boy who's made the team is born into the family of a very rugged, self-made, individualist father, okay? You know, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.
Well, you can almost see the train wreck that's about ready to happen, right? Because whose team does this kid want to join more than anybody else's, right? Daddy's. So he keeps coming up and trying to join up with Daddy. And Daddy, with the best of intentions, says, Son, you got to do it on your own. You're never going to get anywhere in this world unless you can do it on your own. Nobody's going to help you.
You got to make your own way. And keeps pushing the kid away. Well, you know, that cycle happens several hundred thousand times by the time the kid's 20.
I mean, they're like an annuity for a psychologist, right? I mean, because the kid always thinks, wow, I'm never going to be the man my dad is. I'm a failure even.
I'm a failure. And the truth is, no, you're not going to be the man your dad is because you're made to be somebody quite different. But he has a sense of shame about that. And he cannot not do that behavior because that's who he is.
But now every time he wants to team up with people, there's something wrong with me. Why can't I just do it on my own? Now, what would you say to the parent? Because I'm sitting here thinking, I've done that a few times. Yeah, sure. We all have.
Maybe way more than I even know. What do you say to the parent that realizes, I blew it in some areas with my son or daughter. What do I do?
How do I rectify that? Or can I? You go and you ask for forgiveness. You own it. You help them see that I am the person in power and I can ask for forgiveness.
I can come to you and say, I did this really badly. And kids will forgive you if you love them. They know they're being loved and they will readily almost forgive you. They may not get over it quite as fast. But I think for you not only to say it to them, but then live that out and go a different direction with them. I think it's never too late for our kids.
It is never too late. I think parents need to hear that. Have you had to do that? Sure.
Absolutely. I'm sorry and ask for forgiveness. Say, you know, I just didn't recognize it and I did the wrong thing there. This gets into an important layer for parents. Before you can help your child discover their giftedness, you really ought to start working on discovering your own giftedness. Because if you don't, at some point your kid's going to go, wow, thanks for helping me discover my giftedness, dad. By the way, what's yours? You don't want to go.
I have no idea. I think that's really important for parents. Because if you understand your own giftedness, A, you have a framework of here's what's going to affect my own parenting. And you also have a basis of comparison and contrast. Wow, my child does things really differently than I do. And it's okay.
That's a beautiful thing, yeah. That's David Ann Wilson talking with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks-Godby on Family Life Today. You can get a copy of Bill and Bev's book at familylifetoday.com. It's called So How Do I Parent This Child? Discovering the Wisdom and the Wonder of Who Your Child Was Meant to Be. Again, you can find that at familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-358-6329.
That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Now, if you know anyone who needs to hear today's conversation, you can share it from wherever you get your podcasts. And while you're there, it'd really help us out if you'd rate and review us.
You know, God cares much more about our fruitfulness than our success, our finances, or what job we're doing. And tomorrow, David and Ann Wilson are going to be wrestling through that idea with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks-Godby, along with the important realization that you can't parent kids towards their giftedness if you haven't discovered your own. That's coming up tomorrow. We hope you can join us. On behalf of David and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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