Read the signals with your children
“My children, listen as I teach you to respect the Lord.” Ps 34:11 CEV
Smithsonian magazine once featured a master stonecutter from England named Simon Verity. He restored thirteenth-century cathedrals in Great Britain. As the authors watched him work, they noticed something fascinating. “Verity listens closely to hear the song of the stone under his careful blows. A solid strike, and all is well. A higher-pitched ping, and it could mean trouble. A chunk of rock could break off. He constantly adjusts the angle of the chisel and the force of the mallet to the pitch, pausing frequently to run his hand over the freshly carved surface.” Verity understood the importance of his task. He knew one wrong move could be devastating, causing irreparable damage to his work of art. His success was rooted in his ability to read the signals his stones were sending. Parent, you need to hone your skills at listening to your children, especially during times of discipline and guidance. It takes a great deal of patience and sensitivity to interpret your child’s responses. But if you listen carefully, they will tell you what they’re thinking and feeling. And God will help you to do it: “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season” (Isa 50:4). Each changing season in your child’s development raises different questions, calling for different answers. To have the right answer, you must be tuned in to the question they’re asking at the time. Not only will you be imparting to them the wisdom they need at that time, you will be teaching them how to do it with their own children.