Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ear Trainers

I was somewhat behind on sharing things from other sources and then the stomach flu has knocked me out for the past few days.  I've done a lot of catching up today and actually can post 2 parts of the Nancy Campbell's Above Rubies Devotional.

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." Wehave 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 disobedience." [Betsy here:  we actually say, "Slow obedience is no obedience."  Same difference, but I like to think we're actually on the same page as the Campbell's! ;-) ]

How do we teach our children this kind of hearing? As soonas 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 parent!

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!

Part 2

"Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:2,5).

Have you ever thought of the words, "the hearing of faith?" Before we have faith, we must hear first. Faith is not an airy fairy thing that is based on nothing! It is only true faith if it is based on the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

This is why it is so important for mothers to be ear trainers. We must train our children to hear and obey us so they can hear and obey the Word of God. We must train our children not just to hear words, but to get into the habit of listening with their heart and inner ears.

Not only do we train them to have obedient and prompt ears, but we train them how to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks through the hearing of the Word of God. Timothy came to faith by listening to the Scriptures as a child. 2 Timothy 3:15 says, "From a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." We don't wait until our children are older to read them the Word of God. We start from when they are babies. The little babe nursing at the breast can hear the God's words at Family Devotions every evening and morning. The little toddler rocking on his mother's or father's knee at Family Devotions is being prepared for salvation as he listens to
living words of God.

In his book, How to Have a Family Altar by Norman V. Williams states, "Babies have ears to hear with! They have hearts to believe with! The Holy Spirit who holds the reins of that child's mind and heart is mightily present to bless when you give the Word of God! ...It is your duty to exhort your child daily with the blessed Word of God. If you do that, you will be amazed to see what the Holy Spirit will do in that little heart! ... This is the family altar-bringing our children to Christ in His Word that He might touch them!"

Paul also speaks to Timothy about being "nourished up in the words of faith" (2 Timothy 4:6). We will nourish our children in the words of faith as we teach them how to listen. The more they hear (listening beyond words to the voice of the Holy Spirit illuminating the Word), the more they will walk in faith. We don't want our children to know "the letter of the law" but the anointing of the Spirit of God upon the Word, because "the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Corinthians 3:6).

Jesus reprimanded the people for having "dull ears" (Matthew 13:15-16). The writer of Hebrews could not reveal the "strong meat" to his readers because they were "dull of hearing." (Hebrews 5:11-14) May God save us from having dull ears. May He save us from raising children who have dull ears.

"The hearing of faith" also shows us how important it is to encourage one another with the words of God. This is why we should not forsake "the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).When we confess the truths of the Word of God to one another's ears we build one another up. The more we come together and affirm the truth to one another, the more we increase each other's faith. That's why we need one another.

Hebrews 12:25 says, "See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven."



"Dear Father, please help me to nourish my children up in the Wordof God by reading it to them daily. Help me to teach them how to listen to me so they will know how to hear words from heaven. In Jesus' name, Amen."

I am teaching my children how to hear the One who speaks from heaven!

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