“Father, open my eyes to see my children the way You do. I invite You to flip, change, arrange or rearrange any old religious mindsets that do not align with You! Father, teach me to be a teacher of the next generation. I take back ownership of my home and declare that it will be a place of peace, rest, and trust like the vine and the branch. In everything I do may I lead them to You – a loving, caring and involved Father.”
A child is limited significantly due to their age, yet in the Word, which is loaded with promises and commands, not once are we given an age restriction. The same Holy Spirit that dwells in Jesus is the same Spirit that dwells in half-pint, snot-nosed children. It is to be honored, valued, and highly respected! Children do not get a Junior Holy Spirit.
Start out by pointing out to your child that God gave us hands to touch and legs to walk. We have lungs to breathe and a brain to think. But inside our brains, God gave us each a tool like a chalkboard. He put this inside of us for HIS use so He can tell us things. Children love visuals and hands-on learning. The more you make the teaching FUN, the more they will want to be a part of it. Host a family meeting and have everyone get involved via role-playing, laughing and connecting.
Review the list on all the ways God speaks. When children are taught that God speaks to them through nature, trust me, they spot it often. God loves communicating with those who have a child-like faith!
Easy as 1, 2, 3! – First, we have to believe that God wants to speak. Second, you teach the children how to hear. Third, you practice, practice, practice.
A few guidelines: Do not say, “Did you get anything?” as that casts doubt that perhaps they didn’t. Ask with confidence, “What did you get?!” I also encourage you not to ask, “What did you hear?” as to a child that implies an audible voice, which may or may not be the way God spoke to them. They may be seeing something, hearing something, sensing or feeling something.
When my kids were starting out, one would get something so fast that I assumed he was just making it up. One day, Holy Spirit spoke told me that he was hearing purely. Children hear without filters and the fear of man and they are void of a religious spirit or awareness of social etiquette. Their ears are pure, and we need to protect them. They have the ability to hear quickly. We need to trust what they are hearing.
While some grasped it really fast, others took longer. At times, I started to feel pressure or believe the lie that they weren’t getting it; but just like reading, once it clicked, they took off. Is this something we really want to risk backing off of just because it might be taking them a little longer than we think it should?
No Middleman – The other thing the Spirit taught me was that if I was going to teach my children to hear Father God, I had to guard against positioning myself as the middleman. This can be a hard place for a mama to rest in, but I do not want to create a dependency upon me whenever my kids hear Holy Spirit whispering to them. If what they are hearing seems a little fishy or self-motivated, do NOT call that out as it could squelch their listening ears. Instead, treat it like practicing their ABC’s. A lack of perfection doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try it again, nor do you make them feel bad for missing a letter. It means that they must keep practicing. If it wasn’t the Lord, I promise you that He will organize the circumstances to reveal that in a teachable moment. The only time I get to question if the word they say is from God is if it truly is out of line with Scriptures. Tread with grace as they are exercising their spiritual muscles and seek not to shut them down.
You have 18 years to influence them to hear their Father’s voice. Please do not (in your utter excitement) teach it to them and then get frustrated if they do not rattle off a million things they heard the Lord say. If your child’s ears aren’t immediately hearing perfectly, you have two choices – keep going or quit! You have to resolve that equipping them to hear His voice is a core value for your family and you will keep at it until it is a family lifestyle for all.
If Father God is really the Head of our household, then we should be giving Him lots of room to speak into our lives.