What Our Children See and Hear

We don’t get to choose what our children see and hear.

I know that sounds wrong somehow. Well, in some ways it is.

We get to choose what they hear from our mouths and what they see on our faces (sometimes good, sometimes not so good). We get to choose what we do as a family, where we go and who we spend time with on a regular basis. We get to choose what television shows they see and what music they listen to.

But we don’t get to choose what situations they will encounter each day that are beyond our control.

When You Walk By The Way

I have been thinking this last week about Deuteronomy 6, which is one of my favorite passages about raising children in Scripture: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (verse 6-7).

As we go on our way together (and as they begin to go on their way alone the more independent they become) their eyes will sometimes see things we would rather shield them from; Their ears will sometimes hear things that we would wish we could shut out.

But they will hear and see nonetheless.

I stand with you raw and real in these meditations this week, my friends. For just this week, as we have gone about our daily lives, walking on the ways we normally walk, my children have observed first hand two different situations that were incredibly difficult to witness.

The pain of the present world is all around us and while we may wish it were not, it is all around them, too.

In those moments when they see and hear things they have no previous framework for – how will we frame these moments for them? As they look deeply into our eyes, trusting us implicitly, where will we turn their eyes? To what or whom?

These are deep questions, I know. And nothing that can be covered in an 800 word blog post by any means. But I write to think more about it, to ponder and to pray for awhile on those moments that will come to each one of us as parents.

What Christ Didn’t Ask

Jesus prayed for his disciples before he was crucified and his prayer, often referred to as “the High Priestly Prayer,” is recorded for us in John 17. I can’t help but notice as a mother what Jesus DIDN’T ask for the ones he loved most: “do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

Our kids live in this world. This beautiful, broken, wounded world with all its groaning and pains. This world that God loves so much He would give his only Son for it.

And so I am praying for my kids that whatever they may see, whatever they may face, that they would see and hear those things more and more through the eyes of Christ and through the lens of His Word.

And therein lies our opportunity as parents: To provide holy framework for their minds and hearts.

When they walk on the way, we will have opportunities to train them:

In wisdom and in compassionIn prayer and in action..

…and most importantly, to look to Christ. 

When, while we “walk on the way”, we see and experience difficult situations, we can remind each other that Christ is with us in those moments. Therefore, we can endure whatever may come our way.

To believe in Christ is to believe that there is a redemptive purpose and plan working itself out in every single thing we and our children encounter in this world (Romans 8:28).

And so, through all these things, we choose to look to Him; To anticipate the day when “all things will be made new,” And to rejoice that nothing – not “things present or things to come” can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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