Before we get to today's program, this is David Robbins, President of Family Life, and I have with me my wife Meg, and we just wanted to take a moment and thank those of you who are giving to Family Life and helping this program go into truly hundreds of thousands of homes across the country every day. Yeah, I know how deeply impacted I am when I get to listen to the program and there are things, just even as a mom, just trudging through the realities of daily life that are full of highs and lows. But sometimes it's just such a lifeline that I need myself, but it's also such a gift to be able to share it with my friends and just to hear stories of people whose lives have been totally impacted and transformed. So we are so thankful for each of you who are listening, those of you who have been a part of giving and making this possible for so many people to hear this around the world. Yeah, and we have a great opportunity this month. Any gift you give is doubled because of some generous friends of Family Life that have come together and have given a matching challenge this month, truly fueling more ministry to more homes.
You'll hear more about that coming up or you can check out familylifetoday.com. We could be here all day talking about all the different forms of giftedness that there are. There's really as many forms of giftedness as there are people because every single human being is uniquely designed by God.
Giftedness is what you are born to do. Welcome to Family Life Today, where 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 you can think of a moment when we were raising our three boys, when you knew this is who they are, this is how God made them, what moment comes to your mind for each boy? You've got to do it really quick. I wonder if they're the same as me. Okay. First one, CJ's playing basketball, seven years old.
I'm so into it and intense. And he stops in the middle of the basketball court staring at the scoreboard. While the game's going on, the ball's going back and forth by him.
And he's all by himself standing in the middle of the court looking at the scoreboard. And I'm yelling, CJ! CJ! Get down there!
Get down there! I come from a long line of coaches and athletics and all that. So I'm like, what are you doing? And I'm laughing. I'm the coach of this team.
We're 0 and 12. And I call time out because I know exactly what he's doing. I knew, you know, it was a parent from day one. He is so into technology.
He's looking at the scoreboard thinking, how does this work? Yes. And that's what he said.
And then he also said to you at three years old, Dad, when did your head start sucking your hair back in? Yeah, he figured out the whole thing. OK, we got to do this quick. I told you quick.
So how about Austin? I got it. The pipe. When he asked for a pipe for his birthday. I was going to say the cape when he was 16. Yeah, he wants a cape and a pipe for his birthday because he's so artistic and into literature.
Into Lord of the Rings. He just wanted to sit there with his pipe. He never smoked it. He just wanted to hold it in his hand and read. It was a prop.
Yeah, exactly. And then Cody. All I remember about him is playing sports and bossing all of his friends around.
What were you going to say? I remember throwing a football to him when he was six or seven on a beach 30 yards away over a kid's head. He dove and caught it. And somebody turned to me and said, that kid's going to play on Sundays. And he did. He ended up in the NFL.
But I mean, catching a ball 30 yards away in the air, you're like, he's gifted. That's something you don't see every day. Why are we talking about this today? You know, I am so excited for today. And I'm excited for you.
Why? And especially, I am too, but you, this is your world. You love to see what God has put in a person, whether it's our kids or even a stranger, and draw out the giftedness and the unique design that God puts in each person.
I mean, I can see right now you're smiling about this. Well, we just had lunch with our guests and I could sit with them all day long because they have such a wealth of information. And they've also written a book. I think you're going to love this as adults, as co-workers and parents.
Like parents, this is going to be so important for you. Yeah, we got Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks-Gadby. They're brothers and sister, brother and sister in the studio with us. Welcome to Family Life Today. Thanks for having us. So you're sitting there smiling this whole time. What were you thinking? I was thinking this is a kindred spirit over here.
Yes. I mean, this is what I love to do. I can't imagine doing anything else.
I kind of do it whether I'm getting paid or not. I was thinking how fortunate your sons are that you were paying attention. I find too many parents are not paying attention to what is happening right in front of them with what we call the wonder of their child. Which goes along with the title of your book. So how do I parent this child, subtitled Discovering the Wisdom and the Wonder of Who Your Child Was Meant to Be? What a great title.
Yeah, and obviously we're going to talk about that in parenting, but in life as well. But let me give the listeners a little bit of history. Bill, I didn't know this. You've written over 25 books? Yes. Any written with your sister? Or is this the first?
This is the first. How did that go? Well, I think it went great. I mean, the reader will have to be the judge of how well-written it is, but we enjoyed the collaboration.
I can tell you it's a far more stronger book than if I'd have written it by myself. That was kind. Let's get two parents involved here, not just one. And another expert on giftedness.
Yeah, so you're both down in Dallas and you have the Global Center for Giftedness, which I've never heard that title before, but what a fascinating... And that's what we're going to talk about because you identify giftedness in people and in your own kids. Both had three daughters. Right.
Bev's got some grandkids. Right, six of them. Yeah, and Bill, probably the most impressive thing I'm looking on your bio is you have degrees from Harvard, Boston, and Dallas Theological Seminary. The only thing that would have been better is if Ball State was in your seminar.
That's right. My dad would say, I'm educated beyond my intelligence. And Bev, you work as well at the Center for Giftedness. Talk about what you do.
We do. We have a consulting practice where people kind of come to us because something in their life isn't working. And then we put them through this assessment and help take them back to really the best of who they are, how they do life each and every time they're motivated, and then use that to direct them, guide them, kind of be their advocate. And did you start the institution? Well, it's a consulting firm that I've had really all my career.
We did not develop the assessment process that we use. That's been around for going on 60 years, but we're licensed to use it. What drove this in you? What was it that made you think, this is important? Well, when I was 30 years old, I graduated from Dallas Seminary, as you mentioned, Dave. And your dad, by the way, was a prof there. Oh, yes, he taught there for 60 years, part of the institution, I guess you'd say. Loved every minute of the classroom, I might also say.
So he was definitely in the sweet spot of his giftedness there. And we feel like your dad mentored us. We listened to everything that he would do.
Back on the day on cassette tapes. Yeah, I bet there's thousands of people that feel like your dad mentored them. I love hearing that. Well, family life was absolutely at the center of his heart. He loved what Dennis and Barbara and so many of the rest of you have put together here.
So we're so honored to be a part of this broadcast. Family Life is an amazing ministry. And what we're talking about today is at the heart of who we are as a ministry is how to develop disciples in our own home with their own kids. So obviously, this book is about this.
So answer that question. So how do I parent this child? Where would you start? Well, you've got to start with, first of all, a conviction that that child has been handed to you by God. The dominant model of parenting in our culture is that the child is a product. In other words, you bring this baby home from the hospital, say, and now your job as parents is to do certain things, parenting, socializing, educating, etc. So that how this kid turns out at age 22, 24, and of course, turn out is a very manufacturing sort of term, right?
How they turn out is a referendum on how well you did as parents. The problem is the child is not a product. The child is a person. Believe it or not, God has already determined the personhood of that child, sovereignly gifted that child to be who they are.
And so right there on the weighing table is a little infant person. Your job as parents then is to bring that child home and to steward that infant person into the adult person that God intended them to be. And that's really your task. And so you have to start by realizing parenting is really about the child, not about you. Well, the other piece of that is that not only are you invited into this, but you're there on purpose as well. So not just that child has purpose, but you have purpose in being there. You've never, perhaps the first time you've never been a parent before and you're thinking, wow, how do I even do this?
Something about knowing that this too is on purpose. You with that child, with everything you have and everything you don't have, you're supposed to be there. Well, I was just thinking as you said that, I feel like that's really important for parents to hear because we can feel ill-equipped. We can compare ourselves to everyone else on Instagram. We can feel like we're not enough. And you're saying, no, God has hand selected you to be the parent of those children under your roof. Whether they're biological kids, adopted kids, kids from a blended family, these are the kids that God has selected.
And he's equipped you to do that. Right. In a sense, this can only happen over time, a process.
You're not going to find a book that tells you the parent you are because you've never been one before. Or the child that is because that one has never been here either. So in a way that kind of invites you into this great mystery, but is on purpose. So there's something leading this.
This isn't you all by yourself doing this. Well, it's also interesting that you said, because it's so often we think as a parent that we decide what we're trying to raise. That's where we start. In fact, we wrote a parenting book, No Perfect Parents, and we sort of said, you know, you need to know what bullseye or target you're shooting at. But you're saying, and of course that's important as well, but you're saying, no, it's sort of determined by who God gave you, who God made this son or daughter to be, right? That's exactly right.
Absolutely. My dad used to say, if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time. Oh, that's who said it. Because I say that all the time and I don't know who the author was.
He may have co-opted it from someone, but he has said that a lot. Okay, so when my dad, we have, there are four in my family, and he said to all of us, you guys are all going to be college coaches and you're all going to be leaders. Well, that was all well intended, however, we were not leaders, not all of us.
I would have a quarter twist on that one. Yeah. After doing giftedness with people for 20 years, I would say, with all humility, I think we all have leadership in us through the gifts. We lead with our gifts. If we understand that we enjoy being backstage, just getting all the costumes lined up, all the props ready for the performance, what happens if that didn't happen?
It would be a failure. So your leadership is behind the scenes and maybe a little more subtle, but it's so important. That's a great way to look at it. He wasn't intending that. He wasn't intending that. But he was thinking, I'm going to make you into this.
Absolutely. And you're saying, no, you've already been formed. And Anne, I don't think your dad was doing that in a malevolent way. He was doing it in terms of what made the most sense to him, given how he was wired, which is how most of us tend to parent.
What we're saying in the book is you've got to resist that. Your child is not you. And so what makes perfect sense to you may not make sense at all for the child.
And maybe this is a good place to throw in. Well, what do we even mean by giftedness? That's a term people throw around. Yep. Talk about it.
What is it? The simplest definition I can give you is giftedness is what you are born to do. Everybody is born to do something. One person, you look and you realize this person is born to solve a problem, never met a problem they didn't want to solve. Somebody else, they're born to understand something at a very deep level.
Somebody else, they're born to gain a response from people and influence their behavior. Somebody else is born to see potential and then go make it happen. I mean, we could be here all day talking about all the different forms of giftedness that there are. There's really as many forms of giftedness as there are people because every single human being is uniquely designed by God and placed here for a purpose.
That was so good. I think that's really important for us to understand and to grasp. I want to differentiate giftedness from talents. I'm just thinking of a parent who thinks, well, my kid is really good at athletics. You know, that's their giftedness. That's really not their giftedness.
That's a talent that they have that has been put in like singing or something like that. But giftedness is how you do what you do. So it's like the shape of a tool or the design of a tool. So if we know what that tool is designed to do, then we know how to use it well.
So we don't use one tool for another. That's an interesting clarification because I would think a giftedness would be a talent. Well, we said that about Cody being able to be great at sports. But that was a talent. And the giftedness was more what you saw.
I would want to know. So somebody, what is it about being that athlete that really gets you going? Is it a competitiveness that you want to win or is it being on the team?
I love to be part of this team. Giftedness involves not simply ability, but also motivation. Motivation.
That's what we're talking about. So, yes, you see your son in sports and then you say, well, what was satisfying to you about that? And you discover, as Bev said, for one person, it's the challenge of it. For somebody else, it's the team.
I love the team. For somebody else, it's about, well, I win. I'm the best on the team.
You can have the same sport, but all kinds of different motivation. And there's no wrong answer to that? There's no wrong answer.
Like the person says, I just want to be the best. That's exactly right. That's okay?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We don't place judgment. You can't place judgment on the core motivation.
Now, let me be clear. Every form of giftedness is inherently good. Every form of giftedness has what we call a potential dark side. So, yes, certain forms of giftedness could predispose someone to be full of themselves and arrogant. Certain forms of giftedness could cause somebody who loves to meet needs to set things up to where everybody needs them and they can't function on their own.
Those are dark expressions of an inherently good gift. So, someone that wants to be the best can always be the best. So, they can at certain things, and that's fine. But what happens if they get hurt and injured and they can no longer be that athlete?
So, that's a real struggle for them. So, that would be the kind of thing that we might work with them on. Like, where else could you use that well? You're looking at those things. Now, go back to that hammer. You talk about Harry the Hammer in the book, which was interesting. You guys explain that.
What's that mean? Well, Harry the Hammer has never met a nail he didn't want to pound on. That's what he does. But we don't want to use him for something that takes another kind of a nuanced tool, like a knife or something else that he would not be good at doing. And so, therefore, if we try to make him do that, we could do that all day long, and he might get a little better at it, but he'd never love it.
He doesn't get energy from doing that. He wants to pound a nail. Well, and Harry the Hammer is in a parable where Harry the Hammer is the equivalent, in a sense, of what your dad was trying to do in giving advice to you as his children.
Give advice based on what makes sense to me. So Harry the Hammer has a son called Larry the Screwdriver, and Harry the Hammer is determined that Larry the Screwdriver is going to be just as good at driving nails as Harry the Hammer is. But he never figures out that, you know, Larry the Screwdriver wasn't born to drive nails. And so he's not a very good nail driver, and he ends up fairly defeated. And if only Harry the Hammer had said, wait a minute, my son's not designed to drive nails, but he is designed to drive screws.
In fact, if I'll show him how to do that and find somebody to mentor him in that and give him every education in that, why, he could be a world-class screwdriver. Now, how do you convince parents to make that paradigm shift? Because we said earlier, a lot of parents are Harry the Hammer, and they want their son or daughter to be Harry the Hammer. I think it's real important to point out that they are trying to give them the best of what they know. That works in their head. And so they have a little kid and they think, I can do this. I can help them be their best. They're very well-intentioned.
We see so many well-intentioned parents that are kind of doing damage, to be honest, because what we see when we hear the stories that people tell are sometimes a person has been what we call scribbled on. There's something that wanted to be expressed, but couldn't be. You talked about a cello player.
Yep. And a dad that was, what was the dad? He was like a businessman. He was like a lawyer. He's what I call a powerful man. You know, he's in a high power job.
It's like you could see it in his eyes, the disappointment over his son who wanted to play the cello. And for the father, that's like, who would want to do that? Well, and how are you going to make money at that? How are you going to make money?
Because this guy is a day trader. Yeah. So like, this is about, we've got to do something here. That's not anything. I mean, if you want to do that on the side, that's one thing.
But that's not a career. So if I'm a parent listening and I realize, wow, I've sort of done that. I've sort of tried to make my son or daughter.
How do I step back and then be able to see the giftedness? You're listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks-Gadby 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 relationships with God and each other. Now, that means if you give $25 a month, the impact is actually $50 a month.
You get the idea. 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 Kristin 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 Jesus, 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. All right, now back to David and Anne with Bill and Beth. We talk a lot about being curious and not critical. So when this happens because you see something in the child that you don't affirm or recognize, it's not in you, and you're thinking, why are they doing that? And you kind of want to stomp it out of them, but you don't really know what else to do, ask, what is it you love about this? Get curious. Find out. What is it the child loves about it?
The child loves about it. Yeah, let them tell you. Oftentimes this comes up with teenage kids that are doing video games.
I was just going to say, my kid's playing video games for nine hours a day. Of course they did. How do I affirm this? Right, and the way that you affirm it is by being curious. You could walk in and say, hey, I want to learn this. They'll laugh. They'll think that's hilarious, that mom wants to actually do this, and they don't mind because you're going to be terrible at it, and they'll beat you. So they have you sit down, and they get you all hooked up, and then they laugh. But you also now are having a conversation with the child that you have not had a conversation with for hours. And oftentimes it's just amazing.
You actually get better at it. They may ask you to come play with them sometime. I mean, now you've got something that you can understand what they love about it. And again, if you play with them, you're set up to say, what is it you love so much about this? Doing this or this, and now you're using actual things from the game. But the subtlety here is you're not looking at the game.
You're looking at the child, the person. There's something about that activity that has engaged this person's energy. And it's that energy that you're trying to discover. And that's what you care about.
That's what you care about because that's in the person. And so again, it may be the challenge of the game. It may be the competition of the game. It may be the mental strategy of how do I get advantage over these other players. It may be the teamwork that's involved in the game. You don't know until you observe and let the child begin to both show you and, if possible, tell you what is satisfying to them. Giftedness expresses itself best when an individual person chooses the activity and how they're going to do it.
Even that as a parent, that's gold right there. To watch your kids, what are they choosing to do? How are they playing?
Do they want to play alone? You always pay attention to the energy. Follow the energy. What grabs their attention? And what you're affirming in them is home for them.
What do you mean? What you are affirming in them is what they instinctively, naturally do and who they be, as we put it. And so you are affirming that by saying, I care about that. Talk to me about that.
Like all of a sudden now you have an entrance into their heart where you didn't have that before. And so when you find that energy, power, curiosity, how do you affirm that then as a parent? What do you do with that?
Well, you celebrate it. You ask about it. You show interest in it. Maybe if it's something, let's say they're a little younger and, you know, it's something like art. You can say, hey, we could maybe get you some lessons on that.
Would that be fun for you? But again, ask, don't assume. Like, because sometimes we've seen kids who's, when they're older, they'll say everything I ever said I wanted to do. My parents were like so much energy behind it. It wasn't mine anymore.
That's really something to watch out for. I'll tell you one thing I encourage parents not to do is to give what amounts to a grade or a score to everything a child does. Oh, that's a beautiful picture. Well, now we've set up a ranking, whether I've drawn a beautiful picture or not. Much better to say, what an interesting picture.
I love the way you get lost in that activity when you draw pictures. Or you better do great in that game today. I bet you will.
Instead of have fun out there. I can't wait to watch you. Yeah, give it your best. And you guys refer to this in your book, but Psalm 139, that we have all read so many times, but I think it's just good for our listeners to be reminded of how God made us and our kids. Because in the Psalm it says, you made, speaking of God, you, God, made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex.
Your workmanship is marvelous. How well I know it. What a good reminder. Everything you're saying points back to Scripture. That we have a loving, creative God that knit us together. And we as parents get to discover what that is in our kids. We like to say that giftedness is what we call incarnational truth. Our view is that when God designs a human being, he takes some dimension of himself that he does in an infinite way. And he fashions a human being to do that exact same thing, only in a finite way. And for mysteries that we don't really understand, we serve a God who delights to see himself in human form. That's what it means to be made in God's image. And so when God designs your child, as well as you, he's put into human form a little picture of himself.
So when you do this thing, whatever it is that you do, or your child's doing that thing, whatever it is that they do, God looks down and he sees a picture of himself in human form. And he takes great delight in that because he's the only person worthy of his own delight. But you get to share in that delight. Your child gets to share in that delight.
Because when you do that thing, whatever it is, you feel a release of joy and delight and satisfaction. Some of our listeners will remember a movie called Chariots of Fire. And the main character, Eric Little, has a scene there where he takes his sister out for a walk. And he says, because he was supposed to go to China and he seems to be delaying and his sister's upset about it. And he says, Jenny, Jenny, God made me for China.
I'm going to go to China. But God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.
It's the best expression of giftedness I've ever heard. God made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure. That's true for every human being. God made me blank. And whatever's in that blank, when I do that thing, I feel his pleasure. I'm envisioning parents after listening to this, stepping back, looking at their children, whatever age, and just sort of dropping their jaw and going, wow, look at the wonder of who God made you to be.
That's exactly what we want. That's Dave and Anne Wilson talking with Bill Hendricks and Bev Hendricks Godbey on Family Life Today. You can get a copy of Bill and Bev's book.
So how do I parent this child discovering the wisdom and the wonder of who your child was meant to be? You can do 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. 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 if you'd rate and review us as well. Now, tomorrow, Dave and Anne Wilson are going to be talking again with Bill and Bev as they wrestle with the question of, how do we let go of this idea that we as parents are entirely responsible for the outcome of our children's lives? We may not admit to the fact that we asked that question, but we do, and they're going to talk about it. That's tomorrow. We hope you can join us. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. .
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