31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child’s Heart- Day 24

Day 24: Listen & Build A Relationship


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“Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.”

Proverbs 18:12, MSG

Ouch! How’s that for clear-cut wisdom?

As parents it’s so easy to ‘lay down the law’ and give a stern ‘and that’s final!’ What we miss in the process is the understanding that true authority doesn’t come out of fear. It comes from relationship.

I’ve never forgotten the nugget of wisdom I heard Jim Burns give years ago, “rules without relationship equals rebellion.” Those words hit hard. I had to re-think my parenting ways. To be quite frank with you, I had to learn to shut up. There are times (especially with my teen) when I’ve had to pray silently asking God to help me not crush his spirit. Most times that means staying quiet and simply listening.

It’s amazing all they share when we stop being critical and instead, start listening.

When We Listen:

  • we’ll better understand their struggles
  • we’ll learn the things they delight in
  • we demonstrate our love for them
  • we demonstrate our interest in them
  • we let them know their voice is important
  • we help them become confident in expressing themselves
  • we get opportunities to lead and guide them more specifically
  • we can pray with them and point them back to God
  • we reach their hearts

While we’re on this subject, it’s important to add that we’re human. We won’t always get it right. However, with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within us, we are more than able to be Christlike in our relationships.  When we fail, after going to God in repentance, it’s important we ask our children for forgiveness. Many times, this small act of humility works as a relationship restorer.

A simple, “I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions without first hearing what you had to say,” works fine. It also gives you an opportunity to share why the topic at hand is so important to you.

Today’s Challenge

If we’re going to go {In Pursuit} of our children’s hearts, we have to know what’s in there. How will we know if we don’t listen? Today, let’s practice listening. Before we shout out a harsh or stern remark, let’s hear what they’re really saying. What’s behind the words?

“Answering before listening is both stupid and rude.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be stupid or rude.

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Posted on October 24, 2013, in 3-5 YEAR OLDS, 31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child's Heart, FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, PARENTING, TEENS. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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