spirit-led child is a child who goes to the full extent of deploying their God-given potential. This is not someone who is just doing the bare minimum that is required of them by the cultures and traditions of the day. The spirit behind this series is the fact that increasingly, many people are becoming adults while absolutely clueless on how to approach life. The recipe of life that has been given to them no longer makes sense. The aspect of pursuing a form of life that will culminate in "making it in life" no longer serves everyone.
The Nature of the Spirit
Come to think of it. The nature of the spirit is overflow, not even abundance. This means that if you approached life from the angle of the spirit, you will realize that everyone has a chance. This chance is not just to "make it in life" as it were. If you pursue a life based on the dictates and tenents of the spirit, you will realize at one point in time that "making it in life" is a side-effect of the life that you pursued. If not, you will realize that you can actually "make it in life", whatever that means, but at the end of the day, something will still be missing.
You are not Raising Spirit Led Children if you...
- Do not teach them to cherish their inner compass
- Do not teach them to the importance of "self-extraction"
3. Do not nurture and nourish their creative capacities
Do you know what the spirit is all about? At the core of it all, the spirit it about creation. It is about making things happen. It is about the beauty that emanates from the tapestry of a unique blend of individual creative capacities. We err when we think that there are only a fraction of "creatives" on earth, the so-called "arts people". The truth of the matter though is that we all have the capacity to create. If anything, there is no human being that does not have the mandate and the capacity to create something!
We err when we think that there are only a fraction of "creatives" on earth, the so-called "arts people". The truth of the matter though is that we all have the capacity to create. If anything, there is no human being that does not have the mandate and the capacity to create something!
Rigidity can Kill the Creative Spirit
This means that if we are raising spirit-led children, we have to come to the core realization that they are creative, regardless of their academic prowess. The thing about the creative spirit is that we can stifle it. We can kill it. We can render it redundant by our actions. For the most part, our action that kills the spirit of creativity stem from the notion of wanting to follow a certain kind of tradition or culture. "This is how it has always been done", we say. In so doing we silence a voice or a spirit that thought of something better or has seen something new. We did it as a human race when someone suggested that the earth was not flat as was widely and wildly believed. We vilified them.
Let the unpredictability of the spirit reign
And you know what? We still do that today with our children. We are so hell-bent on making sure that our children follow the laid down "procedures" of growth and development so that they can grow up "just like other children" to fit in a program that we ourselves followed as we grew up! We are scared of the new. We are scared of the untested. We are scared of the unchartered territories. But you see, that is the realm of the spirit. That is where the spirit operates. It is not predictable, it is not uniform and it is not controlled.
Fostering the Creative Spirit
In nurturing the spirit of creativity in our children, we will be doing them a great favour. We will be helping them deploy their full God-given potential. We will be helping them unleash incredible things on earth that will be a blessing to many, instead of just conforming to what already has been. If we are to nurture the creative spirit of our children, let us do the following:
1. Celebrate Creativity
Whatever is celebrated almost always grows. Wives know this. If they praise a husband on one thing, he is bound to do it again and even improve on it. If they criticize him on something, he tends to either do it again or just get indifferent for a long while. But we are talking about children here. A child will do things that seemingly are "kids play" to you, but to them, it is a masterpiece. We need to learn how to celebrate these small achievements. We need to learn to go the extra mile and encourage them to do even more. A friend of mine has encouraged his daughter to create some crafts and sell them. It is an amazing thing to see a child 8 years of age minding about creating things.
2. Pay the Price for Curiosity
Where there is curiosity, there is great potential for creativity. The problem is that the curiosity of the children at times will cost us something. They will see something on DIY SCI on TV and want to do it at home. That is a cost on us. It will cost us time, and it will also cost us resources. If we are to raise spirit-led children, we have to nurture their creative nature. If we are to nurture their creative spirit, then we have to create the most conducive environment for exploration, creativity and play. You notice how intentional we must be about this, don't you?
3. Nurture Leadership
Leadership brings about responsibility. Where there is responsibility, there is bound to be committed. Where there is the commitment, there is bound to be creativity. My wife has taught our children how to pray. At times when I am praying with them, Ethan tells me, "I will pray on my own way", not wanting to use the prayer template that he has been taught. It would be foolhardy for me to force him to stick to what was taught. Giving him this freedom in a way fosters his leadership and creativity. We should know that children are not foreign to the concept of leadership. Leadership is a spiritual thing and they all are spirits.
4. Foster Ownership of Works
I have always been against the notion that you can only earn when you are through with school. Perhaps this is the greatest setback in raising up spirit-led children. Ownership comes from creating. When a child creates something, they invest their spirit in it. When a child learns a craft, they invest their spirit in it. The ownership is unquestionable. While growing up, a child would perform a song or a verse. A guest speaker would give them a token of appreciation and almost always a teacher would grab it from the child. This is not fostering ownership. If ownership is not fostered, creativity will automatically be stifled.
We shall carry on with these thoughts in the next article.