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.

[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?

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