My daughter and I were talking recently about doing service and mission work. As we discussed our experiences, I realized how important it is to teach your kids how to listen to the hearts of people.
Jesus had the ability to immediately know what was on the hearts and minds of everyone he encountered. He was able to address their real issues, even if they did not match their words.
To be truly effective in carrying out the godly missions of serving others and sharing their faith, your children will need to know the hearts of each person they serve. And that’s not easy. Many people have learned to hide how they really feel and what they are truly thinking from others. It’s one way they have learned to protect themselves from being hurt by people.
Yet, if your kids base how they serve others and share their faith only on what they can observe, they may miss important opportunities or even make mistakes that will make things worse for those they are trying to help.
So what should you teach your kids to do to discover what is on someone else’s heart?
- Listen more than they speak – especially in the beginning.
- Don’t assume anything.
- Ask lots of respectful questions and listen carefully to the answers.
- Watch body language for clues there may be more to the story.
- Ask if they have understood the information shared properly.
None of us will ever be perfect at knowing the hearts of others. As a result, we may make mistakes. Teaching your kids how to encourage others to share their hearts will increase the chances your kids will know how to serve others and share their faith in ways that will truly make a positive difference.