Your child. You spend time around them every day. You sleep in the same house together. But do you really know them?
The old saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” When sinners live in close quarters to each other, many, many opportunities arise to deal with sin, to be sanctified, and to train our children in the ways of righteousness. That is no easy task.
In fact, we regularly overlook that God created our children as unique individuals with preferences, dreams, and strengths when we get caught up in the repetition that training and discipline requires. Throw training and discipline out the window? No, but step back and remember he is a whole person with thoughts and feelings that drives him to make the choice he does.
As we rode in the car together recently, I realized how often I waste these precious moments together. I turn the music up or put in an audiobook for us to enjoy together – but what if I picked my son’s brain instead? What if I asked him questions like I asked my husband in our first years together?
If I want to have a deep, authentic relationship with my children, I have to have deep, authentic conversation. In the dailyness of life, I lose sight of this.
Want to join me in being intentional to seek out the inner workings of our children’s hearts? It’s a worthwhile endeavor, though it may take some digging and creativity the first few times you do it. Foreign becomes familiar with practice, so let’s get to it!
- What’s your favorite Bible story? What do you learn about God in that story?
- What are some of your very favorite places to go/things to do?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? You could follow this up with some intentional Google searching or the book Operation World to find out how God is working in the hearts of people in the country. Take the time to pray together for these needs and for workers to be sent to share the Gospel there.
- What words did you hear the pastor say over and over in the sermon? Was there anything the pastor said that confused you? What is one truth you learned about God today?
Can you envision what kinds of insight might come from these questions? God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think” (Eph. 3:20); are you willing to step out and trust Him to be who He says He is as you learn more about the people He has placed in your inner circle? It will be so worth it.