Your Daughter Hears You (even when it seems like she doesn't)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Do you ever feel like your kids don't hear a word you say? Do you get discouraged wondering if your efforts to "teach them and train them in the way they should go" are all in vain? I know I do!

Here's how a typical conversation about something important goes with my four-year-old:
Her: Poses difficult question; something deep and theological and hard to understand.
Me: Brief pause as I prepare to answer in an age-appropriate manner that she can understand, then answering with as much wisdom in the matter as I possess on the subject. Feeling like I did a pretty good job, when...
Her: Blank stare, followed by, "Mom can I have a snack?"

Ah, the frustration of this aspect of parenting little ones! You want to impart truth to their young minds and impressionable hearts, but most of the time it seems like you're talking to a monkey. You say something serious and they fidget the whole time or decide it's the perfect time to practice whistling. You ask them if they understand the incredibly important thing you just said and they reply with something off the wall and totally unrelated. Honestly it can make a parent feel like giving up on speaking words of truth and wisdom to their young children!

May I just say? DON'T GIVE UP! KEEP ON SPEAKING TRUTH! Keep sharing those little nuggets of wisdom as opportunities arise. As the Bible tells us in regards to talking to our children about Him,
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up...Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:7,9) 
Whether or not it seems like they are listening or hearing; even if it seems like it goes in one ear and right out the other; be diligent and you WILL see the fruit of your labor. Case in point: I often wonder if my girls are hearing anything I say, noticing anything my husband and I model for them, learning anything from church, absorbing anything we read to them. I hadn't seen any fruit in such a long time, I was questioning everything I'd been doing as a mom. Was I living a terrible example? Lecturing too much? Not saying enough? As these questions kept creeping into my mind, the Lord was so kind to give me not one, but several moments in the last week to reassure and encourage me towards continuing to give it my all (by His grace--always and only by His grace!) One afternoon in the car, my oldest was having a world-class complain fest, and I finally cut her off suggested that she list some things she was thankful for out loud. I didn't expect much, but for the next twenty minutes, my four and five-year old sat in the back seat saying the most lovely things! I'm thankful for our church family...I'm thankful for Jesus dying for my sins...I'm thankful for the sky that God paints everyday...I'm thankful for beautiful music...for clean water...for a bed and warm cozy blankets. On and on they went. I nearly cried it was so beautiful. They unknowingly spouted off so much theology and faith, my mama heart exploded with thankfulness, and it was God's way of reassuring me that they were indeed hearing and absorbing. That same week, I watched the [more] selfish one put others first and her needs last, even when she thought I wasn't watching. I saw the fruit of the Spirit bubbling out of them and it renewed my passion for teaching them and guiding them along paths of Truth. Of course life is still the same: plenty of sister fights, arguing with mom, disobedience, and grumbling. But to see fruit intermingled with typical kid behavior is beyond thrilling!

Moms, Dads: Keep fighting the good fight! If anything was ever worth persevering, it is this! We can't make the seeds grow, but we can sure plant and water the heck out of them, and then joyfully watch God grow our little women. Keep that in mind as your own little monkeys stare blankly at you as you feed them nuggets of truth each day, and take heart: they hear you!

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