No one would have believed sixteen-year-old Brazilian skateboarder Felipe Gustavo would become “one of the most legendary skateboarders on the planet.” Gustavo’s dad believed his son needed to pursue his dream of skating professionally, but they didn’t have the money. So his dad sold their car and took his son to the renowned Tampa Am skating competition in Florida. No one had heard of Gustavo . . . until he won. And the victory catapulted him into an amazing career.
Gustavo’s dad had the capacity to see his son’s heart and passion. “When I become a father,” Gustavo said, “I just want to be like 5 percent of what my dad was for me.”
Proverbs describes the opportunity parents have to help their children discern the unique way God has crafted their heart, energy, and personality—and then to direct and encourage them toward the path that reflects who God made them to be. “Start children off on the way they should go,” the writer said, “and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (22:6).
We may not possess vast resources or profound knowledge. With God’s wisdom (vv. 17–21) and our attentive love, however, we can offer our kids and other children within our sphere of influence an immense gift. We can help them trust in God and discern the paths they can follow for a lifetime (3:5–6).