Dear Parents, They Really Are Listening

My daughter is seven and the girl is no dummy.  Quite the opposite actually.  She understands social cues better than a lot of adults I know.  When her father and I are trying to have a conversation regarding a topic we don’t want her to hear, she quickly picks up on our attempt at subtlety and keenly zones in.  Geez, can we not have a little privacy?!?  But where is that laser focus when it comes to instructions such as cleaning her room or turning off the television?  I have actually questioned whether or not her hearing needs to be checked.

The instances when her hearing seems to be lacking are more frequent than I would like to admit.  And though, I continue to move my lips, I’m uncertain if there is anything really sinking in.  And then she leaves me a note like this.

KA's letter

What?!?  She heard that?  She really heard me every time I told her how special she is?  She heard me speak over her the truth that God has a plan for her? She really heard me?  Wow, she’s really listening!

And then it sinks in…She’s.Really.Listening.  Listening and watching.  That’s a lot of responsibility.  She’s absorbing what it looks like when I say I love Jesus more than I love anyone else.  She’s paying attention to how I treat her daddy and the time I spend in the Word.

She’s listening and learning when I sit beside her and apologize for my unkind words and grumpy attitude.  She’s listening.  It does not escape her notice when she hears her father and I praying for her future spouse and second grade teacher.  She hears us as we speak words of life over her.

She’s listening.  And why would I be surprised?  I’m listening too.  I still listen to the words my parents speak over me.  Their approval still matters and their encouragement speaks volumes.

Oh dear Parent, speak life into your child.  Whether your child is 1 or 100, your words matter.  Speak life over your children.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.–Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)

That is a sobering verse because my words aren’t always a pleasant fruit.  I don’t always get it right but my failure does not cancel out God’s faithfulness. (Romans 3:3) God is at work in my heart and my child’s heart.  I can depend on Him to use my weaknesses for His glory.  So, today, I have a choice to fill my heart with the life-giving truth of God’s Word.  As I fill my heart with His truth, I can speak life.

…out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.–Matthew 12:34

I speak His life in my children because they are listening.

Question:  What are creative ways you speak life into your children?  How has it been received?

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