How to Listen So Your Kids Will Talk

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Wisdom of Listening


It takes a lot of wisdom to be a parent. Right?! You want to raise your kids to love God, and you want to have a good relationship with them as they grow older. While you can’t control whether they love God when they grow up, you can set the stage for deeper connection. That begins with listening.


Often, Christian parents are so focused on obedience that without realizing it they silence their children’s voices. I believe God wants us to raise kids who will have strong voices that can serve God’s purposes. But it takes extraordinary wisdom to know how to shape a child’s voice rather than squelch it. 


The wise writer of Proverbs wrote, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Proverbs 24:3–4 niv). If you’re going to understand your child’s feelings and re-establish her esteem after she’s been crushed by life, you need to learn to listen. If you’re going to become a student of your child so you know his strengths and weaknesses, you need to listen. You can’t understand your child’s heart unless you’re attentive. Listening is key.


It’s easy for us to be distracted and divide our attention. But here’s the thing: Listening builds a bridge to your child’s heart and helps him or her feel valued and loved. In fact, experts tell us that being heard is so closely linked to feeling loved that most of the time the two are indistinguishable. Begin by asking God to help you become a better listener to your child. God will answer because He wants your child to feel heard!


Pause and Reflect: May I ask: How loved do your children feel? Do they feel heard by you, or are you so distracted that your children feel lost in the shuffle?


Action Step: Create the space to listen to your child for fifteen minutes. During that time, focus your listening on understanding, not correcting.


Pray: Lord, thank you for my child. Oh Father, I often feel overwhelmed by the demands of parenting. Help me to focus on listening to you for wisdom and listening to my child to build deeper connection. 


“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”—Proverbs 24:3–4 (niv)