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.
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.[Tweet “She’s absorbing what it looks like when I say I love Jesus more than I love anyone else.”]
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.[Tweet “I still listen to the words my parents speak over me.”]
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.[Tweet “My failure does not cancel out God’s faithfulness”]
Question: What are creative ways you speak life into your children? How has it been received?