God has a way of teaching you to watch your mouth. Since I’ve had kids, I’ve learned that they listen to everything….and are ready to repeat it. You know, like when you get pulled over for speeding and as soon as your spouse gets home they all yell, “Mama got a ticket, and it costs $110 DOLLARS!!!”
Sometimes they do not hear correctly, like when my kids watched the movie, Home Alone, and thought the boy’s use of the black and white movie to scare people away was funny. The man on the movie says he’s going to “pump your guts full of lead”. My daughter repeated it later, telling her brothers “I’m going to punch your guts to the left!”
Sometimes they just don’t get it, like when we were listening to It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year last Christmas. The singer says,”There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing…” My sons turns to me and asks, “Why is he towing around missiles?”
Most of the times that they are listening so intently can be used for teaching though. Last night, the church gathered in our house. We ate, sang, prayed, and then ended up reading Romans 4-7 while the children sat coloring, whispering, arguing, and giggling. I missed parts of a few chapters because I was shushing them, sorting out coloring book dilemmas, getting glasses of water, and telling them to sit down and stop putting the couch cushions on their heads. Amongst all of this, my husband is reading about how the law was given so that we can know we are sinful and in need of Jesus. My daughter raises her hand and chimes in, “Because if we didn’t know about sin it would be horrible. Everyone would do what they want and be selfish and not do what God wants them to do.” We then had a great mini conversation about sin and obedience. At one point my husband asks them, “Is it a sin to disobey God?” They all say, “Yes!” He then asks, “Is it a sin to disobey your parents?” … They hesitate!! One says, “I guess it is.” Another says, “I just don’t want to sometimes.” All of the parents act appalled and tell them that they must obey everything God says, including obeying their parents, etc. and we move on.
Later that night, my kids are having their “book time” and are reading the Bible (They love The Action Bible). David marries a woman who’d husband had died. My son (the one who was putting couch cushions on his head and coloring starwars coloring books) says, “That’s what you all were reading about tonight.” Sure enough, Romans 7:2 says, “a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.” So, even though we didn’t go into a discussion concerning that chapter earlier, he heard it…I don’t know how, but he did. Again, an interesting conversation was started because of that.
Kids listen, whether we want them to or not sometimes. So, let’s give them something worth listening to and understand that the Holy Spirit works in and through them, just as He does in us.