Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 030 - How to Teach Your Child to Listen for God
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #030 – How to Teach Your Child to Listen for God
Thank you for listening to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast. My prayer is that you and I will parent with purpose and confidently connect with Christ and our children moment by moment.
Listening for the voice and direction of God has become one of my favorite aspects of living the Christian life. I adore how intimately God speaks to His children. Scripture makes that evident, but so does a life of obediently following Christ. As we experience what the Word says through deepening our walk and communication with the Lord, we will hear Him more completely and clearly.
It's very interesting to me to hear how the voice of our Heavenly Father reaches each individual person. One of the best ways believers can be certain that we have heard direction from God is by experiencing the peace that passes understanding. I believe God’s peace can be the foundational connection that erases uncertainty as to whether a person has clearly heard instruction from God. Let’s examine peace first.
Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Three facts to remember about peace are:
1. Peace is not built upon or affected by circumstances.
2. Peace is based upon God’s promises and truths.
3. Peace isn’t an emotion – it is a miraculous benefit promised by God
How do we set ourselves up to experience this supernatural peace that passes our human understanding?
1. By studying, not just reading Scripture
2. Open, honest communication with God through prayer
3. Utilizing God’s Word and maturing our desires to reflect His
4. Deepening our faith through relationship with Christ
5. Claiming the truth and inerrancy of God’s Word and promises
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.”
Before we can teach our children to listen for and recognize the voice of God, we must purposely deepen our own walk with Christ. As we reflect and experience a godly lifestyle and communication with the Lord, we can confidently mentor the way to hear the Father.
We’ve already discussed how one of the precious gifts of following Christ is the underlying peace God provides. Although believers are blessed with an ability to abide in perfect peace as we trust in and follow God, we can also experience moments where we feel extra close to Him. My deepest peace is often felt early in the morning when I awaken. My soul cries to begin the day with God and it helps me to get out of bed early when I think of spending private time together. Sometimes in the middle of the night I will awaken and feel a great peace, knowing my God is watching over me and I will spend sweet time with Him in a few hours.
We want our children to know and trust that God is alwayspresent, but to anticipate special moments with Him. His peace can abide within them at all times, but they can also cherish intimate and personal moments with Him as they develop and mature their walk together. When we have walked with God longer, it’s logical to feel closer than at the beginning of our faith journey. Our children are beginning a relationship and are getting to know their Heavenly Father and trust Jesus as Savior. Because of that, they may experience moments where they don’t feel the presence of God at all. This can even happen to believers after they have spent years walking with Christ.
In fact, many people, depending on what they are experiencing in life have had moments where they did not feel closeness to God or His peace. Because we trust God’s inerrant Word, we know that we are the ones who move away from God, not the other way around. We should also remember that just because we “feel” a certain way, it doesn’t mean it is true. That is why the steps I mentioned earlier are so important for us to master. This enables us to teach our children the truths of God in order to equip them to feel the peace and hear the voice of God.
As we parent and encourage our children in their walk with Christ, we have the privilege of helping them grow to live with an underlying sense of constant peace based on faith, trust, and truth. Until then, we can help them decipher when they feel an underlying peace versus uncertainty or indecision. Discovering how to pay attention to the difference is one of the ways they will learn to listen to and for God.
Remember, trials and tragedies will always be a part of this broken world, but they do not have to be the dictator of our emotions, thoughts, feelings, or reactions. God truly can provide a healing and protection that fills us with peace despite what we can tend to feel or think.
In order to teach our children how to look for the peace that surpasses understanding, we must know how to find and carry it deep within our soul. We must trust the Scriptures over emotions, thoughts, or feelings that can shift like the wind. As parents build personal trust and faith, we are better equipped to guide our children to build a strong lifeline of trust, faith, and hope in Christ.
Without God’s peace, we tend to listen to the world or self instead of His still, calm voice. As believers build our hope and trust in the Lord we are able to direct our children to understand and remember certain truths about the character of God that enable them to hear His voice despite seasons or circumstances they may be facing in life.
Let’s hear 8 truths that will help our children live with a peace that enables them to hear God speak:.
1. God desires relationship
2. God desires intimate, personal communication
3. God desires faith
4. God desires obedience
5. God desires affection – He wants to be sought - and He wants to be found
6. God desires genuine hearts
7. God desires us to remember that His voice may come in different forms to each person, but will always be in perfect alignment with Scripture
8. God desires us to listen
As we teach our children about the peace of God, we must also teach them the ways God speaks. But there is one important step before they will hear the voice of God – relationship with Christ.
Before coming to know Christ as their personal Savior, our children won’t recognize God’s voice. How could they if they do not know Him? A parent must prepare the heart and mind of their children to see Jesus at work in them and to desire Him in their life.
By mentoring a godly relationship, cultivatinga godly home, and always bringing the glory and recognition to Jesus, our children begin to understand who He is and why He is important. When our words, actions, and reactions are pleasing to God and the décor in our home, our clothing, our words, attitude, tone, and activities match the character of God, our children see and seek Him.
Teach your children the ways God is transforming you, helping you, and carrying you. Help your children see the ways He is at work in their life as well. Pray specific prayers that are in alignment with God’s Word so that your children recognize you repeating Scripture and relying on God. If they believe all you do is self-focused or generated, they will never see the need for relationship with Christ.
Teach your children that:
1. God speaks through Scripture – let them see you with your Bible. If possible, have a chair or special place you can sit with your Bible and a notebook for writing Scripture, studying God’s Word, and praying. Let them hear you pray for others and for them, your spouse, and yourself. Teach them to rely on God as easily as drawing their next breath. Help your children experience God’s Word with an age appropriate Bible. Remember that your children will need new Bibles purchased as they mature. This is a necessary expense. To gift them in this way is a beautiful and wise investment in eternity.
2. God speaks through Prayer – Just as we’ve already discussed in this episode, it is a privilege to pray for your children. Pray with them daily, for them daily, and encourage your children to speak to God on their own time and ask them to pray for you.
3. God speaks through the Holy Spirit – When your children come to know Christ as Savior, teach them to listen for indications that God is speaking to them. The Holy Spirit inside will speak through Scripture, people, church messages or programs, and feelings. Although feelings and emotions are not something to rely on, we can trust feelings that are within God’s character and in alignment with Scripture. God chooses to speak in multiple ways and we must teach our children to be sensitive to how God directs them. Teach them to remember that God’s peace always accompanies His presence.
4. God speaks through Others – Surround yourself and your children with trusted and godly mentors and friends. Let them experience a Christian lifestyle that extends beyond your family.
5. God speaks through Nature – God intended us to enjoy and know His beautiful creations. Have you ever gone outside for a walk and felt the peace of God as you inhale fresh air, feel the sunshine, or simply relax? Being outdoors enjoying nature allows us to relax in ways not experienced indoors. Cultivate the talents of observation, drawing, singing, dancing, exercising, or whatever fits the unique characteristics of you and your children and experience them outdoors. Relaxing in God’s intended surroundings allows a new way to hear Him speak.
6. God speaks in the Morning – Scripture taught that Jesus sought God early in the morning. I never understood why that was important until I began doing the same consistently. There is a special communication when you seek the Lord early, intentionally, and consistently. As you place Him first, you hear His voice more clearly.
Faith is grown by deepening our walk with Christ. The closer we grow to God, the nearer He draws to us. This truth is the same for your children. As our faith grows and our walk with Christ matures, we are able to hear His voice and mentor the way for our children to do the same.
Dear Heavenly Father, Your Word speaks truth. We thank You for Your Son and for Your perfect peace and protection. We thank You for Your constant care and guidance. Help us to draw nearer to You daily and show our children how to do the same. Teach us to cast our own cares on You so You will sustain and mature us so that we will mentor You to our children in ways that please and honor you and draw our children ever nearer to You day by day. Let them never be shaken and help them to always look to Your perfect wisdom and instruction. Help them clearly hear Your righteous voice and obey You as they rest in Your peace that passes understanding. Help us to mentor the way to You and clearly teach the way for them to hear You speak to their heart and mind. May our relationship with You draw them nearer to You and to us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
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Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will sway them away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Parent and Connect With Eternal Perspective.