Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications
There is something amazing about newborns. Do you know that they recognize their mother’s and father’s voice? Studies have shown this, but I have also seen it with my own eyes.
I have witnessed it with my newborns as well as with the grandbabies. They would crane their necks to look around for us. A sweet, small smile would grow large when they found our face. This still brings a sense of wonder and a smile to my face. There is something about a familiar voice that causes us each to seek it out.
Not all grandchildren grow up close enough to recognize their grandparents’ voice when they are born. Several of our grandchildren grew to recognize my voice as I, grandma, was blessed to spend a month with them when they were born.
I would sing and pray over them as I rocked them. One of my daughters would call when the baby was particularly fussy; I would get on the phone and quiet him as he heard my voice. There is something about a familiar voice that comforts, soothes, and calms.
It is important to know that your voice is not only heard and recognized, but that it can also influence and impact. As a grandparent, what are you doing so your voice can be used to influence and impact for the Lord? Always keep in mind that we must first listen to God before we seek to pour into our precious grandchildren.
Allow God to do His continual work in your life
From this well spring you can refresh your grandchild, bringing comfort and calm as you share how God has met your every need. He is always there. Pray seeking His guidance as you build a relationship with each grandchild, keeping in mind Proverbs 22:6. God will give us the right heart – full of grace and truth. May your words and actions build up and nurture so your grandchildren will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.
Help them recognize God’s voice very early
The best place to hear what God has to say is the Bible – here you will find God’s voice, His written Word. As you rock your littlest grandchildren, sing and pray over them. It is the spirit that speak volumes. May God use your voice to lead your grandchildren to His voice.
Another way is to read to them from an age appropriate Bible. Young ones can even learn scripture, especially if it is set to music. There are so many good Bibles and scripture music CDs and DVDS out for every age. If you live long distance, consider reading and singing to them using whatever virtual media works for you.
Talk with them about how to recognize God’s voice
It is critical that our grandchildren learn to recognize His voice above the world’s noise. This becomes easier as they hear it more and more. Depending on the age of your grandchildren, consider reading and discussing the story of Samuel in 1 Samuel 3. Point out that just as Samuel had to be taught, we must be learn to recognize God’s voice too.
Proverbs 2:1-5 is also a great passage to read and discuss. Use your grandchild’s Bible if possible. May the attitude be one of “I want to hear” like they did as newborns, listening attentively to find their parent’s voice.
Help them desire to pay attention for His voice
Share a testimony on how you prepare to listen for His voice above all others. Think through ways to help them make their ears more attentive to hearing God’s voice.
There are a lot of voices and noise out there calling to them. Help them learn to pick out God’s voice. May God’s voice be so familiar to them because they have heard it again and again. Talk about how they could know it is God’s voice as well as when it is not God’s voice. When it comes to salvation, it is truly a matter of life and death – heaven or hell.
As they grow in their faith, it could be the difference between joy and sorrow, blessings and cursing. May they seek out His voice! May they pick it out from all others.
Share about times you seem to hear Him better
Do you pray before you read the Bible? Do you read your Bible at a certain time or have a certain place? Does it take effort to listen? Discuss ways to help them listen better for God’s voice. Look at some scriptures with them to see where God says you can hear Him. For the older grandchildren, see who and why God spoke to people. What did He say? What kind of voice did He use – loud or quiet? How did He get their attention?
With the elementary and above grandchildren, you could talk about things they could do in their room so they could hear better from God. Help the grandchild designate a place and time. Offer to be there the first time it is tried. Encourage your grandchild to practice removing distractions such as tablets or toys, being still and quieting his mind.
Once the grandchild understands the importance of listening to God’s voice and makes it a habit, it is time to move on to the next step: the challenge is deciding to heed it. This is hearing with the intent on obeying. It is not just something we hear, but a teaching we follow. Help your grandchild understand the Bible so they can follow it. We will look into practical ways to help our grandchildren heed God’s voice in next week’s blog.
Oh Lord, we pray that you open up our ears to listen and hear you above all other voices; then use us to help our grandchildren to do the same.