Have you ever felt like your kids aren’t listening to what you say? Do you sometimes struggle with finding time to talk with your kids about something more than what time they need to be wherever they need to be and how they need to clean their room before they go?
And this is what I decided to do about it.
I’ve been sending my husband and kids a text every day since the beginning of the new year with a very brief summary about whatever I read that morning in my Bible. I figured with one kid away at college, one in high school, and one in middle school, a group text would be an easy way to invest in each other.
Well, after two months of NOT receiving ANY responses from my kids, I included this little request in one of my texts: “If you read this, give me a (thumbs up emoji).” I know, sneaky, but it had to be done.
Guess how many thumbs-up-emojis I got?
And it was from my husband.
Not a single one of my three kids texted back.
This meant one of two things. They’re either not reading my texts, or they’re reading them and just not taking the time to respond.
Just as I was getting ready to throw my parent pity party, I experienced a definite ah-ha moment that encouraged me to keep texting——even if they never respond.
God also makes the effort to speak to us daily. The most obvious way is the Bible. Yes, God was good enough to give us His words, in writing, for us to read anytime we want. He did this even though He knew many of us would never read it. And those of us who do would often not respond.
So why did He do it? Why give us words that might be ignored?
For the same reason I will now keep texting my kids every morning—because He loves us.
I used to think the only reason God gave us the Bible was because we need to read what He has to say. And trust me, we definitely need to read what He has to say, but today I was reminded that He also gives us His words as an expression of His love for us.
I say all of this to encourage you as parents to keep reaching out to your kids, just because you love them.
Not so they will listen.
Not to get a response.
Do it just because.
Talk to them.
Be where they are.
Don’t let the unanswered calls or ignored texts discourage you. Parenting is not a friendship where if our acts of kindness aren’t returned we move on to another friendship. Parenting is one of those deals where we say, I’ll invest in you and be here for you no matter what you do or don’t do.
It took 20 years before I ever read God’s Words to me, and then another couple of years for me to answer Him back. I’m so thankful He never stopped pursuing me and was faithfully waiting when I finally came around. What a dad!
That’s the kind of parent I want to be.
Oh, and on the day when one of your kids finally texts you back to thank you for everything you do, you might just screenshot it like I did so you can look at it whenever you want, just because.