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Identifying Your Children's Spiritual Gifts: A Follow-up to Parenting the Prophetic Child

     Parenting based on gifts blesses and affirms your children in the specific way God created them and prepares them for what God created them to do. This can also synergize the relationships within your family and result in a smoother running household. Of the seven gifts listed in Romans 12, often the most challenging children to raise are those with the gift of prophet.

     Six years ago, I wrote an article for My Friend Debbie, titled, Identifying Your Children’s Spiritual Gifts: Parenting the Prophetic Child. Over time, that article resulted in the most unique contacts, feedback, and parent requests for further information. I wanted to follow up on this as several of these children are now teens or young adults.  The article was written from research completed in my previous academic career and explained how I identified Romans 12 gifts in parenting my own children. The scripture passage is Romans 12:6-8.

     “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness” (NAS).

     Often when young people were experiencing struggles in their lives, their parents contacted me to discuss their child’s personality and gifts.  I have been blessed to see parts of their journey, and as God would have it, learn much more that I needed in parenting my own, although much younger, prophetic child. Through my on-going journey and hours of discussions with other parents, I have documented additional information to add into my parenting toolbox and would like to share it with you.

Creativity and Calling

Parenting the Prophetic Child     An amazing phenomenon in each situation was that these young people could hear from God clearly but didn’t realize it was God speaking to them. They often thought they came up with ideas or solutions through their own thinking process. When they realized (usually through the mentoring of their parents) that it was God who put those creative ideas and solutions in their spirit, they learned how God spoke to them every day. Then, whether it was their art, writings, music, dance, or inventions, those childrens’ creativity soared. Most importantly, they discovered and felt God’s purpose in their life.

     Did you notice the above list of art, writings, music, dance, and inventions? These children are very creative and it stays with them through adulthood. This goes beyond music or dance lessons in school. These people live through their creations. It is part of how they are walking out God’s plan in the earth. They were created for His Glory!


     Often these children receive incredible dreams in the night. If you are parenting one of these children, you may have been awakened many times! They don’t understand the dreams at first. I quickly learned to write them down. Some of these children dream about stories they will write, song lyrics they will write and sing, videos they are to produce, or a certain fingering of a musical piece or an instrument. Such revelation results in something new they create or helps them to overcome an obstacle or challenge they are facing.

     Young children will even have dreams about specific nations and the leaders of nations without an understanding of basic geography and politics. These dreams are then confirmed through national news within the next few weeks and months. The first time this happened to us, it struck the fear of God in me like I had not known before.

     I was very aware there was something happening in our home that had nothing to do with us. I knew we had to be on our faces in prayer, so we knew how to steward our children’s gifts. The warfare we encountered in parenting these children was unlike any we had ever experienced and it was our training ground too.

Personal Life Stories

     My dear friend’s daughter became a video producer for musicians and creates commercials for corporations. Another friend’s son, who was a talented musician and quite interested in government throughout high school, became a youth pastor (yes, a paid one with benefits). He uses graphic design technology to develop incredible music sets, youth programs, and events at his church.  

     One dynamic young man that I met at seven years old recorded his first CD album last year as a Christian rapper and recently appeared on television. When I met this little guy, he walked up to my desk, confidently introduced himself, and asked if I wanted to see a “performance.” I readily agreed and was treated to a tap dance (without tap shoes) and a song, complete with a dramatic ending! He oozed with charisma and has not disappointed. He writes his own lyrics that exposes sin in our culture and convicts one of their need for Jesus Christ. Yet does so in the most upbeat way!

     Of course, some are still in college and high school but the finger print of God is so evident. Here are a few others: orchestra director and music major, entrepreneur and inventor (with his own online business by age 13), musician and aspiring nutrition and health advocate, worship singer, artist, and creative writer.

Function of the Gift

     The prophet gift functions as a problem-solver. This is why we see the predisposition to be entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative. It is the ability of this gifting to receive the mind of God in terms of creative design. But this is also what causes them to see what is wrong in everything and makes them appear critical at times. They are able to see ways to make things better or more efficient. They not only hone in on sin but also “design flaws.” They love the challenge of being able to fix anything or creating something new.

     In my previous article on parenting the prophetic child, I noted that prophetic children:

  • Recognize and identify injustice
  • Quickly identify and expose sin
  • Are naturally drawn to things of God
  • Are self-introspective
  • Have roller coaster emotions
  • Are strong-willed

     Each one of these children exhibited these behaviors and are maturing into amazing adults. I continue to have discussions with parents on how to better parent prophetic children transitioning into young adulthood. The following provides three tools for the parenting toolbox.

Their “Presentation”

     We have seen their built in ability to expose and identify sin (especially in their parents and it will drive you crazy). Prophetic young adults apply their convictions and values to everyday life. Often they are passionate about issues and can have the right message but present it as a zealot and turn people off.  As parents, we can teach them that how they present the message will be a large measure of their success. The old adage “it’s all in the presentation” certainly applies here.

The “Loyalty Cycle”

     Another quality that remains consistent throughout their life is their loyalty and tendency to protect others. These character qualities come from their high standards and personal integrity. They are loyal to friends or organizations, which can lead to being used. Perhaps friends have changed their mindsets or had life changes and this doesn’t allow the friendship to continue in the same way. Sometimes organizations have a change in leadership and there is no longer a good fit.

     The prophet gift can get caught in the cycle of remaining loyal or doing the (morally) right things and continue to give or work even when it is not in their best interest to do so. I have spoken to parents that needed to alert their adult children to this “loyalty cycle.” In these instances, hurt feelings were avoided by simply ending a relationship or situation that was no longer God’s timing for them.


     Parents also frequently mention their prophet children have few friends. The friendships they do have are close, which may be a result of their characteristic loyalty and protective tendencies. However, someone with a prophet gift usually does not have a large circle of people they would call “friends.” Rather, they may have a large circle of acquaintances and are likely to be private individuals due to their introspective nature.

     Given their high standards, a large circle of friends would require tolerance of behaviors they may find unacceptable. Prophets are repelled by people with lower personal standards or moral values and cannot make concessions in this area.  Many parents have struggled with their prophet child’s loneliness. The upside is that loneliness drives them to pray more and ask God to send them friends. At some point though, the prophet must learn their deepest need can only be filled by God alone.

     Finally, it is not enough they know about God, they must have a relationship with God. This empowers the prophet to implement God’s creative ideas and influence society in a loving way. Ultimately fulfilling God’s purpose in Isaiah 58:12, which is to be rebuilders and repairers of the breech. The Message Bible restates this scripture and the last phrase of Isaiah 58:12 in this version, describes them well:

“….You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.”

God Bless you as we all continue the journey to raise up our children for His Glory!


Copyright © 2008-2015 Dorena DellaVecchio, Ph.D.

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