While growing up, I was involved in lots of different sports. In high school, my interests began to swing toward music, and I got involved in band. Regardless of what I found myself involved in, I could rest assured my parents were behind me 100%. I honestly can not remember one event in my life when I looked over to the sidelines and didn’t see my parents there rooting me on. There were occasions when both might not be able to make it but at least one of them was always there. And, more times than not, both of them were there screaming and hollering like I was playing in the Super Bowl or something.
They have always been my biggest fans. Their enthusiasm was never a result of how great I was or how good I performed. They cheered me on the same if I had a rotten game or a great game. They weren’t fickle fans who were on the bandwagon when things were good and off when things were lousy. They were true, die hard fans.
Your child, like every other child, needs fans. They need parents who are on the sidelines rooting for them. Whatever it is that they throw themselves into, they need to know that you’ll be cheering them on and encouraging them every step of the way. Maybe it’s not athletics, but I guarantee you that there is something that your child will excel in. Maybe they lean toward art or music. Perhaps, they really excel in academics. Maybe its photography, drama, poetry, or prose. Whatever it is, they need to know that Mom and Dad see that gift and that interest as valuable as any other.
When I was young I never understood why some kid’s parents where never there on the sidelines. And, at age 40, I still can not understand it. As a youth pastor, I have seen countless numbers of teens who have so much in them that has been buried so deep inside of them because no one has recognized the treasure and helped them release it. I make it point to look for that treasure in all of them and then create a venue to help them step into that gifting.
It really takes two very easy steps. Recognize what it is your children are gifted at and then determine to be their biggest fan. Talk to them about it, encourage them in it, and if their gifts place them at a venue where there is a sidelines or auditorium, make sure you’re there cheering them on. Trust me, they’ll be looking for you.
Tim Stone is a veteran of youth ministry with over 15 years of experience in that field. He currently serves as youth pastor at Freedom Fellowship Church in Magnolia, TX. He is also the founder of EquippingParents.com, a website designed to inform and equip today's parents. For more tools and resources go to http://www.equippingparents.com