I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you… ESV 2 Timothy 1:6
We spent part of Sunday at Six Flags, which means we spent part of Sunday night processing Six Flags. I love debriefing with my kids about their day and helping them navigate future situations (another blog post in itself). Anyway, Sunday night, as we processed Six Flags, a lot of what I focused on with my son was helping him understand who he is. If he can learn how God has uniquely created and gifted him, he can maximize that and embrace all that God has given him. Each of my kids are unique. One can write funny (but can’t tell jokes). Another can tell jokes and get people laughing (but their writing isn’t very funny). Another is more cute than funny. Each child makes me laugh in unique ways and part of parenting is helping them discover their strengths and weaknesses.
Apparently Paul felt the same way about Timothy. Perhaps Timothy was wrestling with fear, and Paul felt compelled to remind Timothy of the strong faith he received from his mother and grandmother. Beyond that, Paul had given Timothy a unique spiritual gift, and now Paul encouraged him to fan that gift into flame. The Holy Spirit had placed it there, and Timothy needed to embrace his unique faith and giftedness and live confidently for God’s glory. Paul goes on to remind Timothy we haven’t been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control. As we help our children embrace their God-given strengths and gifting, we help them embrace their identity, enabling them to live confidently for the Lord Jesus.
How has God gifted your children? Are they emotional or stable? Are they athletic or artistic or studious? Are they introverts or extroverts? Leaders or followers? What things do they uniquely struggle with? What are their weaknesses? Where might they give into temptation? What unique strengths do they have? Helping your children identify and live in these areas uniquely sets them up for success. Leading them to understand and thrive in these things is actually a part of their own spiritual formation. As their parent, help them get to know themselves and fan into flames the unique gifting God has given them. It’s part of your spiritual formation, and a task worth undertaking.