Jesse Wilcox Smith, ABCs
“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” ~Matthew 12:34
Parents can use this principle to gain some understanding and insight into a child’s heart. Listening becomes all important.
Some children say they don’t talk to their parents because they aren’t being listened to. And some children think you aren’t listening if you don’t agree with them. Whichever, it is an all too common problem. I know I’ve caught myself nodding my head and muttering some ascent, but I haven’t really heard what was said.
Don’t Underestimate The Value of Listening
Parents can get irritated by the child’s lack of logic, the differing viewpoints, or the naïve opinions of their children. Listening can feel like torture as a child goes on and on about things that don’t make sense to the parent. However, it’s in these moments that parents can learn about a child’s heart. Children may be wrong, but they’re usually following some kind of internal logic. Listening allows you to figure out what’s going on and offer more truth where helpful.
While listening to your children talk, try to discern what may be distracting them from understanding the truth. Don’t feel like you have to point it out on the spot. Take time to listen and make mental notes of errors in their thinking. Look for creative ways to help them understand truth more fully.
An accepting, safe, listening ear, often opens the heart in ways that nothing else can. As you listen to your child, you’ll learn about dreams, goals, and commitments. Good or bad, time spent listening to your children gives you a greater sense of what’s going on inside, offering you ideas and direction about the heart change that’s needed.
Listen well, my friend. Knowledge of your child’s heart depends upon it!
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” ~Robert Frost (1874-1963)
“The first duty of love is to listen.” ~Paul Tillich (1886-1965)