Winning the Hearts of our Children


“Talk, Mom! Talk!” Jake begged.

I just smiled.

I continued to write the fraction equations on the white board without uttering a word.

“Mom, pleeeeease talk!” Jake whined.

Caleb said, “Come on, Mom! You can do it!”

Still, I said nothing.

My purpose was to prompt my boys to do all of their work on their own without my help.

But Jake, especially, did not approve of my silence.

He wanted to hear my voice with all of its silliness and seriousness too.

He wanted to receive my words of affirmation.

He wanted to listen to my encouragement.

Jake wanted my guidance – even though he didn’t really need it.  He and Caleb were rocking their fraction assignment and I couldn’t have been more pleased; because I remembered. Last year, we spent a significant amount of time mastering all of the ins-and-outs of adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing more fractions than I ever care to recall. But today, all of that effort came to fruition.

Today, Jake and Caleb were able to complete their fraction assignment and I didn’t even have to say a word! They knew exactly what they needed to do!

But that didn’t mean that Jake and Caleb wanted me to disappear. They still wanted me close and not only that, they wanted to hear me.

When I spoke words of praise – after the boys had finished their work – Jake ordered, “Mom, don’t ever be quiet again!”

I couldn’t help but chuckle and appreciate every one of Jake’s precious words.

How many moms have a son like Jake that want them to keep talking and speaking into their lives?

I hope we all do.

Because I think our kids – both our sons and our daughters – need us more than ever these days – to speak words of support, encouragement, blessing, love, and confidence into their lives. The world in which we live can be a discouraging, unkind and harsh place. It  has the potential to draw our kids in a number of different directions – to affirming and gracious places or to harmful and abusive spaces and to everywhere in between, I’m sure.

What’s our message then – in word and in action?

To our kids?

For me, I believe we need to keep winning the hearts of our children.

I want my children to know that whatever they choose to do today or any day in their future, that they are unconditionally, unreservedly and unashamedly loved. I want them to know that their God loves them regardless of their words and their actions – whether in times of success or in times of struggle. My children’s identity, purpose, and acceptance are solely based upon who God is and what He does.

I want my children to keep hearing that Jesus loves them – inside and out, upside down – and have no doubts about His love or the love John and I have for them.

My kids are not perfect.

Neither am I.

But our God is – perfect, true, holy, full of love, and brimming with grace.

My kids need to hear and keep hearing how loved, how special, how beautiful, and how divine they are – over and over and over again. How grateful I am that my children want me to keep speaking this love into their lives and to keep winning their hearts towards Jesus and His delight in them.

Jake is absolutely correct.

I do need to talk – and to keep talking.

And you do too!

So what words will you say to your children and how will you act towards them to keep winning their hearts? It’s important.

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