Parenting – Listening

A steady stream of words comes from my child.  I look at him, smiling, nodding, and really trying hard not to let my eyes glaze over.  At this moment, the topic is a new website that they saw, although it could be anything on any given day.  And within each day, it comes from each of them.  Some less than others, but pretty much a non-stop river of words. 

If I am honest with myself, the vast majority of the words don’t apply to me at all and to which I have no interest in listening. 

Even in my childhood, I wasn’t into Star Wars.  I’ve never fully embraced Transformers.  I’ve never done ballet and don’t understand half of the french dance terms that I hear.  I’m thrilled that he is learning the ukulele, but don’t really need to hear every detail about the callouses on his fingers.  I know enough computer to get around on the machines, but certainly not the computer graphics that my sweet child is completely gnawing to get at.  I don’t know Spanish, and while I would love to learn it some day, in my own home I don’t appreciate being spoken to in a language I don’t understand.   A nice Sunday evening is spent watching a football game, but I don’t need to know everyone’s statistics for the past several years.  I don’t know the first thing about the FBI.   I sure don’t know anything about Avatar (and I don’t mean the movie, but the animated series).    

I could go on.  The list of interests that my four kids have seems endless. 

And yet I listen.  I listen because I know that conversation builds relationship.  I listen because I want to know what is currently thrilling their hearts and sparking their imaginations.  I listen because I want to build their trust in sharing with me the little things so that when the big things come, they know I am faithful and caring.

Some days, when I am parenting out of my best and not my reserves, I even can sit back and think, “My child is talking to me!  Out of all of the people in the world he/she could be talking to, they’ve chosen me!!!”  It isn’t always important that I understand everything…it doesn’t change the fact that they are blessing me with their excitement and their joy.

One day, in one of those moments when I was delighting in the sound of my child’s voice, the Lord spoke to me.  He interrupted my thoughts to share with me that this is how He views OUR words.  He so delights in us that, even when we’re talking about the small details of our day, the things that have troubled us or the things that have made us smile, God loves to hear us talk.  He loves that we choose Him.  He loves that we trust Him with our concerns.  He loves that we care to share our joys with Him.  He just loves to sit back and hear us talk.

Zephaniah 3:17     “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.   He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

So the next time your child rattles on and on about something that you’ve heard before, or something that you don’t care one bit about, remember that it is a privilege to have them be choosing you to share this with.   AND, remember that, as crazy as it may seem, God delights in hearing you share your life with Him.

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3 Comments

Filed under Parenting

3 responses to “Parenting – Listening

  1. A great reminder and yes listening is not my strongest characteristic. Practicing this skill helps me discover what is hidden. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and so I find more can be found by listening. Thanks for your lovely words.

  2. Daniel

    I love reading your words Lori… Just the thing for a home bound parent about to be driven mad by the incessant meowing of a vibrant 3 year old.

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