Our Children are Hearing, But Not Receiving

Our Children are Hearing, But Not Receiving“Son, are you hearing me?” His voice filled with agitation, he gives a curt, positive response. I begin again only to find his eyes wandering out the window and his mind engaged in other activity. I gently ask him to repeat what I just said. He gives me back the words, but we both know… he’s hearing, but not receiving.

I do my best to keep our homeschool lessons short and sweet, especially for the younger of my children. Testing their patience is never pretty, and we want learning to be an engaging activity. Something our children love to do, and will continue long after I’m gone. No matter how good a teacher I think I am, there are going to be days when no matter what I do, my children are not going to receive what I’m offering. For one reason or another, they are hearing my words but not taking in wisdom and knowledge. Maybe it’s time I explore the reasons why.

Prayer – I can always tell when I’ve been slacking in my prayer life, tough as it is to admit. I become short-tempered and we start going through motions of doing school instead of actively using this as an opportunity to reach my children’s hearts for Christ. One of the reasons we might be having learning issues is because I need to repent of my disobedience and ask the Lord to meet my children where they are.

I am Over-Burdening Them – Another confession: In my desire to teach my children “everything”, I sometimes try to fit in everything. Now there’s a recipe for danger. Four active kids, too much book work, add an overabundance of lecturing and there you go. A bomb which leaves a hideous mess in its wake.

It’s All Just Words – How much is too much? I wish I knew. Some amount of lesson giving needs to take place. I wish I could say its only different for each child, but it’s not. It’s different for each child, each day of their lives. Some days are better than others. Some days all words fly right out the window and being out-of-doors is a fantastic idea.

They Have a Physical Need – This is a little easier to understand. Lack of sleep, food, water, exercise. There’s a physical reason which requires a physical response. If only all of life’s challenges were this simple.

This Is a Character Issue – Here is a tough one. This takes time, energy, care, and gentleness. This is when everything else stops – and should – so we can get to the bottom of the issue. Are my children experiencing a spiritual attack, or is this an act of laziness; worse, rebellion?

It’s Not What it Looks Like – I had visions of what learning would look like. Eager faces turned in my direction, excited answers and anticipation of lessons. Yeah. Don’t get me wrong, this happens sometimes. Sometimes. And that’s not a bad thing. Just because learning doesn’t always look as I imagined, doesn’t mean my kids aren’t learning. It just looks… different.

Turning Hearts, and Minds, is Not My Job – (This one thought deserves an entire blog post, which we might come back to later.) After all is said and done, I need to leave the issue – whatever it might be – at the feet of Christ. If I have done my part by praying over my children, changing learning to meet needs, dealt with physical and character issues, and more, the rest is up to Him. We only need be faithful in what God is calling us do. He will see His work is done.

As a parent and educator, my job isn’t to force my children to receive wisdom. That is impossible. It is my responsibility to lead my children to Christ, by example and deed, encouraging them and training them. It is my privilege to instruct and teach, continually stimulating growth. Reaching my children’s hearts and minds is God’s work.

When I become discouraged or distracted because it appears my children are not learning, may the Lord prompt me to pray and leave it at His feet. May He meet my children where they are; opening their hearts, minds, and ears to hear. May He soften them towards learning and grant me wisdom to teach as He would lead.

“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
~ I Corinthians 3:6-9

Your Turn!: What helps redirect learning when it appears your children are not receiving?

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11 thoughts on “Our Children are Hearing, But Not Receiving

  1. This is true. I just pause someyimes and not contibue what I’m going to say because I can see they won’t receive it properly that time. We just really have to do our best and pray thay they’ll grow up according to God’s ways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • An excellent point! There is a time and place for everything, even in learning.

      Sometimes the window we’re looking for has passed or hasn’t come yet. All we need to do is wait upon the Lord for Him to show us the right opportunity to teach His littles.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I appreciate your blog today. I struggle with the same issue especially with over burdening my kids with work. I feel like some of that comes from a pressure to make sure that they are getting a good education especially, because I have them out of the system. I know that is a false sense of pressure; I put that pressure on myself. What suffers is my relationship with my kids because we don’t spend time just doing fun things together. Not even sure how to remedy it. I have to Keep praying I guess is the best answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a wonderful post. I really appreciate your reminders that our children can come under spiritual attack AND that it’s God’s job to change their hearts. As parents we often take the full burden of responsibility for everything that goes on in our kids’ hearts and minds. All too often we forget that they are their own people with their own, unique relationship with God that we are not a part of!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Are you sure you’re not talking about MY son in that first paragraph? lol But it’s so true, It is our responsibility to lead these little ones (and not so little ones) to Christ. This was a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think there’s a lot here that applies to all of life. We can only do our best, be present, be honest, be real and let God do the rest. The words you used, ”the rest is up to Him. We only need be faithful in what God is calling us do. He will see His work is done,” speaks volumes to a world so caught up in keeping up, standing out and fitting in.

    Liked by 1 person

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