Do you remember being in your teen/young adult years?
Did you ever feel like your parents didn’t listen to you?
Generally speaking, the kids that feel like their parents didn’t listen to them are usually the ones that also feel like their parents didn’t really know them, love them, or just didn’t care to take the time to know them.
Why is this? Because it takes real LISTENING to know someone— to really know what is on their heart.
If you don’t want that legacy to repeat itself in your family, you have to do something different. YOU have to change. YOU have to become a professional LISTENER.
Truthfully, there will come a time when your kids don’t need another lecture, nor do they need another moral lesson. In fact, if you have been raising your kids up in a Christ-centered home, discipling them, reading the Word with them, and they have been born again, giving another moral lesson or lecture may come across as condescending, even if that is NOT your intent.
Even if you are just doing what you have always done, maybe even by habit, you may be deeply offending your teenager or adult child by simply implying that they “haven’t gone to God or prayed about it.”
What they need is a mom loving them enough to just listen to them. No agenda… You need to open your eyes to see that you have raised an adult and start trusting God with them now.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20, ESV
According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, Hearing is defined by both audibly hearing sounds and perceiving them as well as having the “opportunity to be heard, to present one’s side of a case, or to be generally known or appreciated.” The definition of LISTENING revealed another conviction “to hear something with thoughtful attention… give consideration.”
Isn’t this what Scripture is calling us to in James and what teenagers desire the most from their parents?
We ought to be quick to give the opportunity for another to be heard, to appreciate another by being quick to hear them and give thoughtful consideration so to better “know them.”
Every person has a deep innate desire to be known and valued, but especially a growing new young adult who is trying to break through the barrier of childhood to adulthood.
As parents, we all need to heed the warning in Scripture “do not provoke your children to anger” (Ephesians 6:4) and realize that one way we can easily provoke a teen to anger is by NOT listening to them.
THREE QUESTIONS FOR MOMS:
1) Do you feel like you spend more of your day listening or teaching?
2) Do your kids light up when you are talking to them or when you are listening to them?
3) Do you spend time, making eye contact with your children and just listening to them?
The reason I asked these questions is that these are the questions I am evaluating myself with right now on a daily basis. It’s very easy for parents to become distracted by the everyday grind of life and just get into a pattern of doing, of providing, and driving kids around. What our kids need more than a new pair of shoes or a ride to the mall, is a mom who loves them enough to spend time with them even though they have a million other things to do because spending time with her teen is more important and she just wants to.
I don’t want to look back on these final years of parenting my children and think, “Wow, I really botched that up in the last years.”
Sometimes all we need is a good dose of memories and the Word of God to guide us in how we approach relationships.
See, if our collective purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever as well as partner with Christ in the Great Commission, parenting is where it begins!
We glorify God as we bear image to the world of what it looks like to live biblically in a relationship with one another as a family!
When we have Christ as the cornerstone for our relationships within our family, and we fail one another, we shine so brightly as we repent our sins to one another and forgive one another as He forgave us.
We ENJOY Christ and all He has created as we enjoy fellowship with one another.
We cannot enjoy fellowship with one another when there is conflict or when one person doesn’t feel heard or valued. Broken relationships are often what pushes young adults away from God and their families. People don’t want to spend time with people they don’t feel valued by.
And lastly, the Great Commission starts in our homes. If you continue reading on in James chapter 1 you will see that we are warned again that “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” v. 26
We teach our children that our religion is worthless if we do not have the self-control to bridle our tongues.
If you have sinned against your child in this way and they cannot forgive you. Be patient. Either they cannot give what they do not have and they aren’t saved or they just need time.
Let’s Glorify God, fulfill our part in the Great Commission, and Enjoy Him and fellowship with our families as we love each other well.