Using Strengths to Guide Your Teaching

I heard an encouraging story today while attending Community Bible Study. It reminds me of how parents naturally want their children to excel in every area of academics and extra-curricular activities, but the reality is- God made each child differently for His purpose. He never intended for our children to excel in everything.

A Duck, Rabbit, Squirrel and an Eagle
from Charles Swindoll's "Insight For Living"

"Once upon a time, the animals decided they should do something meaningful to meet the problems of the new world. So they organized a school. 
They adopted an activity curriculum of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects. 
The duck was excellent at swimming; in fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying, and was very poor at running. Since he was slow in running, he had to drop swimming and stay after school to practice running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average in swimming. But average was quite acceptable so nobody worried about that--except the duck. 
 The rabbit started at the top of his class in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying class because his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He developed "charlie horses" from overexertion, and so only got a C in climbing and a D in running. 
The eagle was a problem child and was severely disciplined for being a non-conformist. In climbing, he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his way to get there. 
A duck is a duck--and only a duck. It is built to swim, not to run or fly and certainly not to climb. A squirrel is a squirrel--and only that. To move it out of its forte, climbing, and then expect it to swim or fly will drive a squirrel nuts. (insert giggle from me) Eagles are beautiful creatures in the air but not in a foot race. The rabbit will win every time unless, of course, the eagle gets hungry. 
What is true of creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family; both the family of believers and the family under your roof. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. It was He who planned and designed the differences, unique capabilities, and variations. 
If God made you a duck--you're a duck, friend. Swim like mad, but don't get bent out of shape because you wobble when you run or flap instead of fly. Furthermore, if you're an eagle, stop expecting squirrels to soar, or rabbits to build the same kind of nests you do."
What is the message of the story?

Relax. Cultivate your children's capabilities. Maximize their strengths. Do not handicap their unique skills by spending too much time on making them average in everything. Help them create their own style, and appreciate your children for who God created them to be. Now back to the story- 
"Rabbits don't fly. Eagles don't swim. Ducks look funny trying to climb. Squirrels don't have feathers. Stop comparing. There's plenty of room in the forest."
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