Every child is unique and one thing I am learning is that there is no singular right way to parent every child. Every child needs some adaptation to our parenting style. Prophetic children (ie children with a prophetic gifting) in particular, pose some issues of their own.
Let me say this up front. I strongly dislike it when a parent talks about their child and how God showed them that that child was going to be so special, important and do amazing things for God, especially when that parent has other children and doesn’t talk about them in the same manner. Every child is important and special. Sometimes, particular children are highlighted from a young age or when they are in the womb. Please, be careful what you say to them and others. Be discrete with what God has showed/told you.
Recognizing a prophetic gifting in your child:
The following characteristics are not prescriptive. They are based on my own reflection of my children (ie these characteristics particularly describe one of our children) and other children in whom I can identify a strong prophetic gifting at an early age. Do not be discouraged if they don’t fit your child, or conversely, if they do and you just can’t identify a prophetic gifting. They are generalizations!
- They have a strong justice meter. They recognize injustice and are concerned with right and wrong. They have an inbuilt ‘fairness’ detector and know instinctively when they have been wronged. Most children can pick up unfairness etc, but these children are particularly hurt by unfair situations and can’t seem to understand why people would treat them unfairly.
- They may be seen to have a habit/tendency to lie and not tell the truth. In fact, I have discovered at these times, they are so focused on the exact wording of what you are ‘accusing’ them of that they cannot agree totally with the accusation. They have seen their actions slightly different. Thus their denial of involvement comes across as though they are lying.
- They are generally sensitive in nature and wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone. They tend to ‘feel’ others pain.
- They seem to be naturally drawn to the things of God and search for the truth.
- They can easily identify sin in their parents.
- They have prophetic tendencies where they ‘see’ things we don’t see and pick up on situations we don’t. There may be certain people that your child will avoid and won’t want to be near. They may well be ‘seeing’ something negative in the spiritual over that person. They may well not want to go into a certain place because of what they are ‘seeing’ in the spiritual over that place.
- Their spiritual radar is amplified. Most young children tend to have a sensitivity to spiritual things, but these children have an unusually high sensitivity to this. They may ‘see’ demons or other bizarre things happening in their room at night.
- They usually have had at least one, if not multiple, experiences when they could have died, especially by bizarre circumstances. Satan comes to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) and certainly doesn’t want this child to make an impact for the Kingdom of God so will try and ‘snuff out’ their life. There is usually a situation when they were in their mother’s womb where they could have been seriously damaged or died. (In one of these circumstances, our children had a bizarre ‘accident’ up at the snow one year when they were very young where I ‘saw’ a demonic interference which could have easily resulted in their deaths but for an amazing rescue by God.)
- They are usually hard to discipline. They seem able to withstand ‘harder’ punishment. We have one child who was devastated at just the mention of the consequence of spanking, and raising your voice at that child was enough to bring about immediate change. The more prophetic child almost ‘pushed’ us to breaking point with our discipline of them. We could very easily have become physically abusive to that child as no matter how you punished them, they would show no emotion or remorse.
- They may have ‘roller-coaster’ emotions and need to learn how to control their emotions and how to process their feelings. They may experience a deep sense of fear suddenly and seemingly out of proportion to what else is happening at the time. Satan wants to intimidate prophetic children so that they won’t rise to the calling on their life.
- They tend to not be part of the status quo. Please do not expect them to be the most popular child in a group or to fit in with the crowd. They may seem ‘out of step’ with the rest of the world. They may tend to have a hard time making friends and fitting in. It is almost as if other children have an inbuilt radar that something is different with this child. They tend to experience a lot of pain and rejection in relation to friendships. They can be very headstrong.
- Their parents may well operate in the prophetic gifting/office. It can be common for children to follow on in the blessing and calling of their parents. (2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also”.)
- They may have sudden personality and behaviour changes. We have a child who ‘picks up’ atmospheres and acts them out. Thus, if we are in a place where there is a dominating rebellious spirit, that child will become very rebellious. I can remember one time in particular when we were on a combined holiday / ministry trip and that child suddenly became very rebellious. I had only that day commented on the various signposts in that city that were suggesting a rebellious attitude but didn’t put everything together. We tried disciplining our child but to no avail. We tried everything and were becoming very frustrated with the lack of response to our disciplining efforts. I began to seriously doubt our parenting style and started to look at how we could learn new strategies. It didn’t actually ‘click’ for me properly until a year later in Cambodia when we saw this same child take on the extremely strong emotion or behaviour of the ruling spirits over that area. That child did not know how to process those emotions so they acted them out. At that time, I realised that I needed to help that child be able to verbalise and process what they were sensing and feeling and help them (and me) be able to use that prophetically for specific focused prayer for the area.
- They may have imaginary friends, cartoon characters or super heroes who ‘tell’ them to act differently. This is usually a demon trying to exert influence over your child.
- They can be hugely observant. This becomes the ‘seed bed’ for the prophetic and helps them make the connection between the seen and the unseen, the physical and the spiritual realm.
- Our more prophetic child came home from Children’s Church one day so excited that they had found out what they were meant to do with their life. That day, they had learnt the verse from Jeremiah 1:5 “I am your Creator and, before you were born, I chose you to speak for me to the nations.” This so resonated with their spirit that it impacted them greatly. Six months later, this child could still recite that verse from that day as it had impacted them in such a huge way that it resonated with their whole being and how they were designed.
Next week I will continue this theme and I will present a number of practical parenting tips to help you in parenting a child like this. These parenting tips can actually apply to any child and help all children, but are specific to children with a prophetic gifting.