by Neil Anderson
He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him
“I can’t get a handle on my problems, Neil,” Ruth complained. “I know my children are struggling at school, but they won’t share it with me. Why won’t they talk to me?”
“Do you really want to know, Ruth?”
“They probably don’t feel they can trust you,” I responded.
“What do you mean they can’t trust me? I’m their mother!”
“Let me illustrate,” I said. “Suppose your 15-year-old daughter came home one day and said that her best friend was taking drugs. What would you say to her?”
Ruth paused for a moment, then said, “I’d probably tell her to find another friend.” “Exactly! And that’s why she doesn’t share that kind of information with you.”
Like a lot of parents, Ruth was in the habit of reacting to her kids before she knew what was really going on. Two or three reactions like this from you and your child is ready to clam up forever. Whenever your child tells you about “my friend’s problem,” there is a very good chance that he’s the one with the problem. He will drop little hints about his “friend” to see your reaction. If you are hasty and judgmental, you can bet he won’t share any more. You must listen without judgment and hold the advice until you are sure you know the whole story.
Clear, loving communication in your family is imperative if you are going to foil Satan’s attempt to seduce your child. After all, if you don’t listen when he tells you about his school problems, he may not bother to tell you about his evil thoughts. And if you criticize him when he admits his mistakes, he won’t want you to know about the terrifying dark presence he experiences in his room at night. Faulty communication doesn’t necessarily cause spiritual problems in your child, but it can certainly block or delay the resolution of those problems.
Prayer: Lord, make me a parent my children can trust and be comfortable with, and deliver me from being harsh and critical.