Day 3 The Content, Goal, and Means of Communication between Parents and Children
The communication of ideas between parents and children enables parents to know what their children are thinking and also enables their children to know what their parents are thinking. When your child tells you his/her thoughts, you might find that these thoughts are contrary to yours, or they may just be something you don’t like to hear. But don’t be offended by any of them. The most important thing you should appreciate here is that your child is willing to open up to you and let you know what he/she is thinking. In this way, you will have the opportunity to pray for your child, and to communicate with your child further. Therefore, it is important to allow your child to open up to you. The communication of emotions helps children to apprehend their parents’ and God’s love for them, causing them to love their parents and God in order to arrive at union in love. The communication of opinions and viewpoints causes us to be in the same mind and mindset—1 Cor. 1:10.
Parents, we need to understand and enter into our children’s points of view and know what they are thinking, not in order to force them to have the same point of view as we do, but in order to be able to pray for them. Parents should allow their children to have different views about earthly and eternal things, but they need to reach agreement about important things, such as faith, knowledge of the Bible, the Lord Jesus, etc., because these are never changing. Therefore, parents need to give their children an impression, a perception, that we are absolutely sure about the Bible, salvation, God’s economy, the words of the ministry of the age, etc. This needs to be achieved through communication and fellowship.
In the process of communication between parents and their children, conversation should begin in prayer and end with prayer. Prayer is to enable us to have fellowship with God in spirit, and to bring our communication to be in the spirit. The ultimate goal and purpose of communication between parents and children is to bring in the dispensing of life, the supply of life, and the building up in life. As it says in 1 John 5, to “give life to him.” As children grow, not only do their physical lives grow, but also their spiritual lives, and they need their parents to give them life. Therefore, through prayer, communication not only brings the parents into fellowship with their children, but also brings their children into fellowship with the Trinity in the end, so that the children will not only be connected to their parents, but also to the Trinity. The goal of communication is to bring children into fellowship with God.
Parents should learn and practice communicating with their children face to face, using the body language of the whole person, including the following two points. First, listening with ears, “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” (James 1:19). Parents need to learn and practice listening to their children with their ears intently. Second, gazing with eyes (Luke 22:61). Parents need to learn and practice looking at their children with their eyes, looking at them intently, and teaching them to look into your eyes, for the eyes can communicate feelings and emotions.
Although Peter denied the Lord three times, he still looked at the Lord when he denied Him. Otherwise, Peter would not have seen the Lord turn to look at him. This shows that Peter still loved the Lord. Therefore, if one day your son or daughter denies you, but still looks at you when he/she denies you, it means there is still salvation and hope. If he does not look at you anymore, it is hard to redeem him even if he does not deny you. Parents and their children need to look at each other eye to eye. Try to ask with the mouth, repeat, sympathize, affirm, reinforce, etc., rather than start out by blaming, condemning, criticizing, demanding, or trying to convince our children by expressing our own ideas and opinions. We need to open our children up to us by asking and listening. We all need to learn and practice more in this matter, and learn more from the Lord, who is in us, as our pattern.
We should never cease learning and learning with all our efforts. As we read His words, we need to practice communicating with the Lord and learn to let Him be our person. In our fellowship with Him, we learn how to communicate and interact with our children. In fact, the process of learning in itself is a perfection, perfecting our fellowship with the Lord, allowing Him to dispense Himself more into us, and allowing Him to be our best friend. In this way, we can become our children’s friends and lead them to have fellowship with the Lord, so that the Lord can also become their friends. In the end, our fellowship with the Lord and with our children brings our children into the fellowship with the Lord, and into the fellowship of our children with all people, that we may all become people of fellowship. Although we may still make mistakes, fail, and fall, we are willing to be open and willing to fellowship with God and with all the saints. Through such a study of communication, we are each called to become a transparent person, a person of fellowship, and a person who builds up the church and the body of Christ.