As parents, we get a front-row seat to discover our children’s gifts and talents. Among my seven children, I have enjoyed noticing the diversity in the talents they have been blessed with. Some talents seem to run in the family, such as musical ability or artistic talents. I have also noticed things they’re not so good at. These could be called un-talents.
I recently had the thought that some of the choices my grown children have made that I don’t necessarily agree with can also be seen in terms of talents and un-talents. You could substitute the words strengths and weaknesses, but I like thinking of them in terms of what they’re talented at and un-talented at. For example, maybe one child is un-talented at making good friends. Maybe another is un-talented at resisting certain temptations. Another may be un-talented at thinking carefully before making important choices. That’s just not their gift. It’s extra challenging for them, and may not be for another child. It doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a parent. It just means they’re learning about and experiencing their strengths and weaknesses. It’s all part of their journey.
When I think of the choices my children make in terms of talented and un-talented, it helps me to consider that we are all sent to this planet with things we’re naturally good at, and things we’re not naturally good at. It also helps me to consider that the things my children are un-talented at can be learned and improved upon. Talents can and should be developed. Weaknesses can be turned to strengths. This is an important part of why we came to earth. This is what repentance is for.
Thinking in these terms also takes a lot of potential judgment out of the circumstance of my children’s choices. I can view them with more compassion and understanding.
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