Have you ever tried talking to one of your children and realized that although they are looking at you, they aren’t hearing a single thing you are saying? It’s almost as if you can see the words going in one ear and out the other.
If that is the case when we are standing in front of them how will they ever hear God when he wants to speak to them through the Holy Spirit?
I’ve come to recognize that it’s my responsibility to teach my kids to hear God’s voice and recognize it as Him. We can’t assume that they will learn that from anyone else.
Here are three ways that you can help your kids do that.
1) Read the Bible to them and with them.
If your kids are young enough, reading the Bible to them before bed is a great introduction and, in my case, it helped establish a habit. When they are older, having them do the reading makes it real for them and hopefully opens the door for them to hear God through His word.
My wife’s parents read the Bible after dinner and to this day whenever we are over for dinner, my father-in-law will pull out the Bible and read a small portion. It doesn’t have to take long or be complicated, but it certainly helps to be consistent.
You can also find age-appropriate devotions that can be implemented into any of these moments too. The YouVersion Bible app is a great resource. I’ve been using it for years with my kids and for myself.
2) Pray with them regularly.
Since my twenties, I’ve prayed every time I see an emergency vehicle. I take that moment to pray for the people in need and those en route. Nowadays, my kids pray with me and sometimes prompt me when they see or hear an emergency response vehicle. This is just a simple way I’ve found that helps involve my kids in to regular prayer and listening habits.
Finding consistent reminders to pray, teaches our kids to listen when the Holy Spirit is prompting them. It’s not as much about the 10-minute time slot each day, as it is about the 10 one-minute time slots throughout the day.
3) Share when Jesus speaks to me.
Sharing with my kids what God has spoken to my heart hopefully teaches them to listen for His voice. If we want them to know what his voice sounds like we have to tell them when he speaks to us. Recognizing and understanding when God is trying to communicate to us takes guidance, and encouragement.
I’m not perfect in this area by no means, but I have seen some tremendous progress with my kids in this area. My experience is that when my kids do take time to listen to Jesus they are calmer and wiser – this helps me know it’s working.
How can you encourage your kids to listen for God’s voice? Every kid is different, and this is not an exhaustive list but it is a starting point.
God has a plan for each person to hear His voice and it’s up to us as fathers to guide our kids on this journey of hearing God’s voice.