Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ear Trainers - Part 1

"The ear that hears the reproof of life abides among the wise. He that refuses instruction despises his own soul: but he that hears reproof gets understanding." Proverbs 15:31-32

What is the first thing we should teach our children? When
I ask women this question at seminars they give me lots of
very good answers, but usually not the one I am looking for.
What is my answer? I believe that the first thing we teach
our children is how to listen.

If children do not learn how to hear, they will not learn to
obey. If they do not learn to listen, they will not learn to
hear the voice of God speaking to them. If they do not learn
the art of listening, they will not learn to acquire knowledge.
If they do not learn how to hear, they will not come to faith,
because "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word
of God" (Romans 10:17). How you train your children to
hear will determine their relationship with God!

It is possible to hear but not really hear. That's why Jesus
constantly said, "He that has ears to hear, let him hear." We
have to learn to listen with our ears but this takes training.

All parents are ear trainers. By the way we parent; we train
our children to have obedient ears-or, disobedient ears, lazy
ears, dull ears, defiant ears, resistant ears, gullible ears or
even forgetful ears. What kind of ears are you training your
children to have? When you ask them to do something but
they take no notice of you, you are training them to have
defiant ears. When you ask them to do something but they
delay doing it, they have dull ears. When you ask them to
do something, but they don't bother doing it until you have
asked for the sixth time and by now you are shouting, you
are telling them that they do not have to obey until the sixth
time! You are producing lazy ears. What will God have to
do to get their attention?

What kind of ears does God want our children to have?

When God told Solomon that he could ask God for anything
he liked, Solomon responded by asking for "an
understanding heart" (1 Kings 3: 9). The margin in my
Bible gives "hearing" for "understanding." The Hebrew
word is shama and means, "to hear with attention and
obedience, to give undivided listening attention." This is
what Solomon wanted more than anything else, more than
riches and fame-a hearing heart. May God give us wisdom
to teach our children how to have hearing hearts.

The word shama is synonymous with obedience. Proverbs
25:12 says, "As an ear ring of gold and an ornament of fine
gold is a wise reprover to an obedient (shama) ear."

Proverbs 1:5 says, "A wise man will hear, and will increase
learning." There is no way we can teach our children to be
wise without teaching them to hear with undivided attention.

When King Saul disobeyed the word of the Lord, the prophet
Samuel came to him and said, "Hath the Lord as great delight
in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of
the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to
hearken (qashav) than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as
the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and
idolatry." (1 Samuel 15:22-23).

The word qashav describes acute hearing. It means "to prick
up the ears, sharpening them like an alert animal." Children
with qashav ears will be ready for God to use as soldiers in
His army.

James 1:19 says, "Let every man be swift (tachus) to hear."
This Greek word means, "prompt or ready." Most Bibles
translate it as "quick to hear." It describes instant
obedience. True hearing results in immediate action. I
used to say to my children, "Delayed obedience is

How do we teach our children this kind of hearing? As soon
as they can understand a command, we teach them to obey
that command. But before they can obey, we must make
sure that they have heard us. Sometimes, you may have to
get your little child to repeat your command to make sure
they have heard you. Don't yell commands from another
room. Always give commands eye to eye and face to face
so that you know your children have heard what you ask
them to do. When you know that they have heard, teach
them how to obey straight away. Don't accept anything less.
This takes time and effort, but remember, mother, you are
an ear trainer! This is one of your most important tasks as a

May God help us to be parents who train prompt and
obedient hearers.

"Oh God, please forgive me for not diligently training the
ears of my children. Please help me to train children who
have obedient ears. Amen."

I am a diligent ear trainer!

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