Helping Your Kids Hear God’s Voice
Joey & Carla Link
I often think about Adam and Eve walking in the garden and talking with God. WOW, what would that have been like?! After sin entered the world, things changed. Christians will often say they can’t hear God speaking to them. Does God still speak to us? All you have to do is open up the Bible to read what God wants to say to you. He’s speaking all right, but are we listening?
I was struck by one line in Psalm 95 – the Psalm of worship:
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if you hear his voice…”
After great words of worship and adoration unto God, David says “IF you hear His voice…” It is one thing to worship God in song, but it is quite another to listen to what He says to us in His Word. “If” you hear His voice – So we can hear his voice but whether we do or not is our choice.
How can you help your kids hear what God is saying to them? Let me ask you a question – Do your kids listen to what you say to them? If not, why not? In the first 5 years of parenting, it is the job of the parents to teach their kids how to obey them. We believe God put parents in the life of every human being to teach them what authority looks like. Kids who do not obey their parents do not respect their parents and kids who do not respect their parents will not listen to them. So if your kids aren’t listening to you, back up and work on obedience training.
If your kids are characterized by listening to you, here are some things you can do to help them understand what God says they should do.
- Have your kids take notes in church. Over lunch, everyone in the family gets to share what they took notes on. When our children were young, Carla would call the church office every week and find out what the sermon topic was. Then she would find or make up color sheets for them that had pictures of something the sermon was going to be about on them.
- Encourage and hold your kids accountable for having devotions / Quiet Times. You can find devotion books for children of every age (parentingmadepractical.com). When they are too little to read, Mom or Dad can take a few minutes in the morning and read their devotion to them. Before they could write, Carla would have them draw a picture in their notebook about what they had learned in their QT that morning.
When they were old enough to do this on their own, each day, in their notebooks they wrote:
- The answers to the questions in their devotion book
- Their prayer requests and when the requests were answered they went back to that page and wrote the answer down by the request. This taught them to see God answers prayer.
- One thing they could do from what they had learned in their devotions each day.
On Saturday evenings, they shared with us what they had been learning in their QT’s that week.
- While driving and listing to Christian songs on the radio, ask them what they think a certain song, word or phrase is saying to them / us about obeying God’s voice.
- When they demonstrated a character trait on their own initiative, praise them for it and then ask them how they knew being kind (for example) was the right thing to do. Show them how to find verses that talk about this particular character trait.
Oftentimes we don’t hear God’s voice because we are too busy to really have time to listen, think and meditate on what God is saying to us and we become like the next verse in Psalm 95.
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested me; they tried me, though they had seen what I did.” (Ps. 95:8)
We can sing and praise God on the outside, but are we listening to Him as He works on our hearts? Encourage your kids to talk about what they are learning in different spiritual settings and have them share with you what God is saying to them and ask them how they are going to put it into practice.