When I was 12 years old, I desperately wanted to go to Astroworld and see this new singer named Amy Grant. (I know I’m dating myself, but those were good times, people). My parents didn’t want me to go because they couldn’t go with me and they didn’t really know the youth group that was going. So my daddy sat me down and said, “I want you to ask the Lord if you are supposed to go. Let me know what He says.” I was upset. Just tell me yes or no and you will either be the hero or the goat, but I don’t know how to hear from God. He told me that the Lord can speak through His Word, a sermon, a book, a friend, through your parents, or even a song. Sometimes His words are loud but most often they are a still small whisper that you have to be quiet to hear. So, off I went to my bedroom to “hear” the Lord speak. I read the Word, I talked with a friend, I listened to some cassette tapes. I read the Word some more, and then I turned on the radio and heard a song that said, “You can go now, you can go. You’ve got the power of God, let it flow”. So I marched back in the living room and said that I thought I had heard from God and that I could go to the concert. He asked how and listened intently as I told him how I had come to my exciting conclusion. He smiled and said that he thought that was a good first time and he would support my decision to go.
I took the responsibility to hear from God very seriously. That began many times of my parents asking me, while I still lived in the safety of their home and under their covering, to hear from God. They were there to say, “that doesn’t line up with scripture,” or “let’s keep praying about that,” or sometimes, just a “no that wasn’t God, and we know because we are your parents and we said so.” But, they required me to make my faith my own without using those words and they were there to catch me when I made a decision that was not in line with what they thought and needed a little rescue.
Learning to hear God’s voice is always a process. You have to learn His character though reading His Word and fine tuning your discernment to know what is the Lord and what is the world. And the world can be very loud when it speaks! We all make mistakes as we walk along this journey of following the Lord. But teaching your children how to own their faith so that they learn to listen to the Lord and get direction from the Holy Spirit is a priceless gift you can give them. You will not always be there to give a “mama look” or an “absolutely not”. As our children grow, they will be without you when asked to do things that sound fun at the beginning but are not part of God’s path for them. You want those convictions to ring true for them, not just because they think mom and dad will find out and be mad, but because they know this is not God’s best for me, and I am His beloved and He has great plans for me! Give them a safe place to listen and succeed as well as a place to listen and fail. We learn through them both. So proud of all of you parents who are doing the hard, messy stuff of helping your kids know who they are in Christ and learn how to hear His voice. I promise fruit is coming and it will be so worth it!!