Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word. All of it is useful for teaching and helping people and for correcting them and showing them how to live. (CEV) 2 Timothy 3:16
One summer, I spent some time vacationing with friends who were avid bird watchers. As we walked through the woods, they would hear different bird calls and identify each one. Amazed, I asked how I could do that. They explained that it took lots of practice, but they pointed out a recognizable call and then alerted me to it each time they heard it as we walked. Eventually, I could hear it on my own. Then I began trying to identify other calls.
Learning to hear God is a lot like learning to identify bird calls. Our children hear lots of different voices in our culture, and they need help recognizing God’s voice in all that clutter. Show them the ways they already hear God’s voice. And then show them how to filter out the loud and dangerous voices in their lives.
Here are some ideas which might use as you help them grow in their ability to listen to God:
Share how God talks to you. Read the story “The Lord Speaks to Samuel” in 1 Samuel 3. Yes, God does sometimes speak in an audible voice, but also point out the other ways God talks to his people. Show them how God speaks through creation. Share how thunderstorms remind you of God’s power. Let them know when God lifts your spirit with a song on the radio. Talk about how God spoke to you in the sermon on the way home from church. When they hear how God talks to you, they’ll learn on their own how God talks to them.
Read the Bible together. Help your kids learn how to hear God as you read the Bible together. Ask them what stood out to them. Point out what you notice. Show them where you go to answer questions that you have. I suggest starting with the gospel of Mark to introduce your children to Jesus’ ministry as the foundation for the Bible and to God’s ultimate love for them.
Memorize verses together. Memorize Bible verses so you can hear God’s voice throughout your day. Come up with a family challenge and see how many verses you can memorize together this year. Here are some popular ones to get you started: Psalm 119:105, John 3:16, and Psalm 23.
God speaks to us in a variety of ways throughout the day. He even speaks through our kids. As you help your children become more aware of how God speaks to them, may you hear him speaking to you as well.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Teaching Our Children How to Respond to the Voice of God