We all want well-behaved kids, right? Sometimes, what we mean by that is we want our kids to seem well-behaved to others. It might mean no tantrums or horseplay, or it could mean saying “please” and “thank you” at appropriate times. Now that my kids are getting older, I’ve started to wonder if the work I’ve done to make them shine on the outside is making them better on the inside. I sometimes worry about whether I’m teaching my kids how to listen to God for themselves.
Pretty soon, my oldest daughter will leave for college. I hate to admit it, but I won’t be there to make sure she’s doing everything right. So I’m doing whatever I can now to make sure she hears my voice in her head later, during those times when she’s struggling to do the right thing. Better still, what if it’s God’s voice she hears? Because He will always be there—even when I can’t be.
The best way to make sure our kids know how to listen to God and hear His voice is to teach them His Word, but simply reciting it to them—or even teaching them to recite it—won’t be enough. If you want to see your kids transformed by the power of God’s Word, then they need to see it working in you—truly affecting the course of your life and the decisions you make daily. Talk about it around the table. Bring it up in the car. Casually drop it into conversations with others. Help your children see clearly how God’s voice and His Word affect every area of your life.
At the same time, help your kids experience the Bible for themselves by taking on the role of coach. It’s important that they learn to read the Bible and listen to the Holy Spirit on their own. Help them pick out a Bible Plan, and then follow up with questions.
Here are a few suggestions of things you could say to start the conversation:
- What’s the best thing you’ve read in the Bible this week?
- Have you read anything you didn’t understand?
- Is there something you read that you want to know more about?
- What’s God telling you through what you’ve been reading?
- What’s one thing you can change in your life as a result of what you’ve read?
As parents, we’re working alongside the Holy Spirit to teach our kids about God and His Kingdom. Trust Him to complete their inner transformation. He loves them more than we ever will.