Creating space for God to speak to us and to our kids

By Shannon Meadors | September 7, 2023

Hey, moms and dads. How is it going? We’re about a month into the school year, and I thought it might be good to check-in. Whether our children eat at the table or grab breakfast on the go, run to catch the bus or rush to the car, complete homework at school, or well after dinner, our new routines are becoming the norm. As daily rituals get set into place, and the hustle and bustle of the school year becomes routine, let’s make sure we are creating space for God to speak to us and to our kids. In these ‘as you go’ moments (Deuteronomy 6:7), it is important to make time to share scripture, pray together, and listen.


We live in a very noisy world, and our kids are bombarded with what our society thinks is true. So, let’s make it a priority to speak God’s truth over our kids. For our family, that has meant different things through the years as our kids have grown from toddlers to adolescents, but for the bulk of my parenting, that has meant utilizing car time. From elementary to high school, I kept a devotional and Bible in our car. Each morning on the drive to school, one of my children would read aloud that day’s scripture, story, and prayer. We would chat about it and the day ahead, share any prayer concerns, and then we would pray. These mornings in our car with God are some of my sweetest memories, and they sure made the crazy car line far more tolerable! Even now that my kids are older and have quiet time on their own, I’ll pull out the ‘verse of the day’ on the Bible app and read it over them or send it to them in a text. I just want my kids to hear and know the truth in their very loud world.


Devotionals for kids:


In the hustle and bustle of the new year, our kids also need to know that God cares and hears them when they pray. That means we stop and take time to pray. If your child has a test, is struggling with a teacher, or has a conflict with a friend, invite God into your child’s need, pray, and ask for help. When your child succeeds, finds the perfect outfit, aces the test, or makes the team, invite God into the celebration, pray, and give thanks. These short moments of conversation with our Father remind our kids that He is there. Just the other day, my daughter and I were shopping, and we found exactly what we needed. As stress turned to relief, she said, “Mom, I feel like we should pray.” I said, “Yes, go for it.” And right there in the middle of the store, my girl prayed and gave thanks to God for meeting her need and asked Him for help for the school year. It was so cool to see my teenage daughter recognize that God cares about her, and that He hears her when she prays.


Books about prayer:


Lastly, this is a reminder that we can’t do all the talking. We have to take time to listen to our kids. Whether it is in the car on the ride home, around the dinner table, or while taking a stroll, create space for your children to lead the conversation and just be a good listener. My children have never been huge talkers on the way home from school. I might get one or two short answers, but they make it clear that they need time to decompress. So later, around the dinner table, they are big fans of sharing highs and lows, asking fun “would you rather” questions, or using an emotions chart to share about their feelings from the day. But more often than not, it’s almost bedtime before they become chatty. So, for me, that means putting down my phone, turning down the TV, and making my very weary mind listen. I’m still working on being an active listener – just taking in their words without giving much advice. It isn’t easy. But if I start to dominate the conversation, they will walk away. My goal is to listen, ask questions, and hopefully steer to some truth as they’re wrapping up. Most of all, I want to be a safe place for my kids to work out their thoughts, ask hard questions, vent frustrations, and dream big dreams. I would rather it be me than anyone else.


Tools for listening:


Friends, parenting is hard, and we cannot do it in our own strength. So, as I close, I want to flip this script. Just as we want our kids to know God’s truth, we must spend time ourselves in God’s word. And just as we want our kids to know God hears them when they pray, we must take time to seek the Father and pray. And just like we want our kids to come to us with their concerns, we must maintain godly friendships that we can trust to share our concerns. Let’s make scripture, prayer, and listening a priority for us and for our kids this school year. It’s worth it!

If you would like to reach out to our Minister to Children, please send an email to Shannon Meadors