The holiday season presents a challenge for parents. As the message that man needs a savior fades, the bustle of the season increases. Even when the holidays are kept in a biblical perspective, they can take a toll on families.
One of the first casualties of the season is time. One event blurs into another. Shopping becomes an ordeal. The ones who are affected the most by this hectic schedule are the very ones the season is supposedly all about – the children. When things are busy, the questions and concerns of children often lose importance. They are admonished to be patient and quiet because there is a lot to do. So their questions blend into the background noise of the holiday rush. But children need to heard. They get caught up in the rush as well. Yes, it is supposed to be all for them, but they probably don’t realize that. Sin and temptation are never on holiday.
Proverbs says that it is a shameful thing to answer before listening. But how easy it is to ignore a child’s questions amidst the hectic holiday activities! At this emotional, demanding time of year, your children need to know that you hear them. Take conscious steps to make sure that your children do not become part of the holiday blur. Listen carefully to their questions and thoughts. They can be overwhelmed. This is true for older children as well. Social pressures ramp up this time of year.
If you listen well, you will let your children know that your concern for them is constant. If you listen well your children will know that they can come to you when they are troubled. When you listen well you model the love of God to your children. You encourage them that they can always go to you and to God. He hears no matter how busy things might be. Don’t let the season interfere with the basic functions of faithful parenting. Be a parent who listens well. Point your children to Christ.
It is a simple thing, to listen first—but the impact is profound.