"The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise. He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding"
What is the first thing we should teach our children? When I ask women this question at seminars they give me lots of very good answers, but usually not the one I am looking for. What is my answer? I believe that the first thing we teach our children is how to listen.
If children do not learn how to hear, they will not learn to obey. If they do not learn to listen, they will not learn to hear the voice of God speaking to them. If they do not learn the art of listening, they will not learn to acquire knowledge. If they do not learn how to hear, they will not come to faith, because "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). How you train your children to hear will determine their relationship with God!
It is possible to hear but not really hear. That's why Jesus constantly said, "He that has ears to hear, let him hear." We have to learn to listen with our ears but this takes training. All parents are ear trainers. By the way we parent; we train our children to have obedient ears-or, disobedient ears, lazy ears, dull ears, defiant ears, resistant ears, gullible ears or even forgetful ears. What kind of ears are you training your children to have? When you ask them to do something but they take no notice of you, you are training them to have defiant ears. When you ask them to do something but they delay doing it, they have dull ears. When you ask them to do something, but they don't bother doing it until you have asked for the sixth time and by now you are shouting, you are telling them that they do not have to obey until the sixth time! You are producing lazy ears. What will God have to do to get their attention?
What kind of ears does God want our children to have?
When God told Solomon that he could ask God for anything he liked, Solomon responded by asking for "an understanding heart" (1 Kings 3: 9). The margin in my Bible gives "hearing" for "understanding." The Hebrew word is shama and means, "to hear with attention and obedience, to give undivided listening attention." This is what Solomon wanted more than anything else, more than riches and fame-a hearing heart. May God give us wisdom to teach our children how to have hearing hearts.
The word shama is synonymous with obedience. Proverbs 25:12 says, "As an ear ring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise reprover to an obedient (shama) ear."
Proverbs 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning." There is no way we can teach our children to be wise without teaching them to hear with undivided attention.
When King Saul disobeyed the word of the Lord, the prophet Samuel came to him and said, "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken (qashav) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
The word qashav describes acute hearing. It means "to prick up the ears, sharpening them like an alert animal." Children with qashav ears will be ready for God to use as soldiers in His army.
James 1:19 says, "Let every man be swift (tachus) to hear." This Greek word means, "prompt or ready." Most Bibles translate it as "quick to hear." It describes instant obedience. True hearing results in immediate action. I used to say to my children, "Delayed obedience is disobedience."
How do we teach our children this kind of hearing? As soon as they can understand a command, we teach them to obey that command. But before they can obey, we must make sure that they have heard us. Sometimes, you may have to get your little child to repeat your command to make sure they have heard you. Don't yell commands from another room. Always give commands eye to eye and face to face so that you know your children have heard what you ask them to do. When you know that they have heard, teach them how to obey straight away. Don't accept anything less. This takes time and effort, but remember, mother, you are an ear trainer! This is one of your most important tasks as a parent!
May God help us to be parents who train prompt and obedient hearers.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
"Oh God, please forgive me for not diligently training the ears of my children. Please help me to train children who have obedient ears. Amen."
I am a diligent ear trainer!
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