How do I get my teens to listen? Part 4 of 5

Is getting my child or teen to listen a selfish desire?  It can be.  If getting my child or teen to listen is simply to provide ease and satisfaction to my life, this selfish reason will be seen through quickly and dismissed with similar behavior from my child or teen.  However, a couple new questions begin to surface out of how we get our child or teen to listen.  The first question is, “How do I get my child to listen to God?”  This helps us.  Getting my child or teen to listen is not for my benefit first and foremost, but is for his or her benefit and for God’s glory.  This “getting my teen to listen” has a much greater value — pleasing his/her Creator; living for God and others instead of self; respecting and submitting to authority; and much more.  Bottom line, it’s not about having my son or daughter make my life comfortable, easy, or envied by other friends and those we desire to give the impression that we have it all together.  

This brings us to another reflective question. “How am I modeling ‘how to listen’ to my teen?”  For example, the boy at age six that is trying to get dad’s attention whith his amusing story or typical joke of the day but receives only a few grunts and flippant glances while dad reads the paper or shuffles paperwork, how does that model listening?  After a few years dad will find out, because that same boy at age sixteen, while dad is trying to talk, will repeat backt the same grunts and flippant eye rolls or glances while he has ear phones in ears, texts friends, and or works on homework.  Ouch!  More imporatanly, this reveals our attitude regarding how we listen to a Holy God.  How we listen to others reflects how we listen to Him.  It starts in the home!     How are you doing at modeling a heart that is listening to God (through the His Word, the Bible) and listening to others?  How are you doing at modeling how you want your teen to listen?

Andy Woodall
Andy Woodall served as the Pastor of Student Ministries at Faith from 1999-2012.