C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Week 5 – Listen To Your Kids
C.H.I.L.L. O.U.T. – Listen To Your Kids
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
As we seek to tune the world out and tune in to God, we begin to experience the peace He promises. We don’t have to listen to the shouts of the culture or be distracted by its values. We can seek to listen to God’s voice, His purposes and promises. God wants our attention, our complete attention. When we spend time with Him worshiping, praying, and reading His word, His voice seems clear, His confidence is ours.
When we don’t listen, when we don’t practice Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God,” then His voice seems distant and maybe even silent. God desires a relationship with us such that He is able to use other means to communicate to us. He may reveal His glory through His creation, through some personal provision, or through a friend. As a mother, I have experienced God’s pursuit of my heart’s attention through my children. We need to listen to our kids
When they were younger, I did most of the talking to my children. I spoke and I expected them to listen and do what I said. I especially liked that part. When they didn’t pay attention or listen, I would get discouraged because I had something that I wanted to communicate to them that they couldn’t hear unless they listened.
As the children have grown up, it has become necessary for me to invite them into the discussion, to consider them. This is part of the maturing process for both of us. Parents need not be dictators. Parents should be the authorities, and there should be lots of conversations about life with its various choices and decisions. Really listen to your kids.
God sovereignly knits our families together. The perfect Father places us with just the right parents, the right siblings, the right extended family. And it’s not in an effort to drive us crazy, but rather to drive us toward Him. It’s all about His molding us into the image of His Son Jesus.
This means we have to start listening to Him and to each other. Not simply nod our heads, but actually engage in the exchange of ideas and thoughts and insights. It’s through these talks, these debates, that we learn more about each other. As parents, these are opportunities wherein we can assess our child’s spiritual growth and maturity.
These conversations, when we dare to have them, when we dare to ask the hard questions, when we dare to listen and not panic, these conversations are connection points and teaching moments. When we dare to listen, really listen, we are being the mothers that our children need for us to be. They need us to care. They need us to pray. They need us to listen. They need to be heard. If we don’t listen to them, they will find someone who will. Let’s be the one who looks them in the eyes and listens.
What about listening is hard for me? Looking in the eyes? Stopping what I’m doing? Engaging? Listening and not talking? Knowing a weakness is the first step toward improving on it. Pray that the Lord will help you learn and practice better listening.
We have the opportunity to serve our families. Look to their needs before your own. Our principle need is to honor and glorify our heavenly Father. When we serve others with pure hearts, when we submit our will to His, others’ needs are met and we are a good reflection of His love. May we choose the joy of the Lord to be our strength as we serve our families.
For further consideration and study download your free study guide for Week 5 – dare to dig deeper!