Speaking Their Language
"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)
"I'm not joining Facebook and I'm not texting you. Don't text message me either. If you want to tell me something, you'll have to speak to me! You kids don't know how to have conversations anymore."
"But Grandpa, you are missing out on so much in my life."
The grandpa's scowl said it all: "I don't care."
This conversation, which I overheard, haunted me for days. I bet Grandpa did care. He just didn't know how to relate to his granddaughter, and new technology probably scared him. I admit it scared me at first too. I'm not fond of change.
When my children were younger, breakfast time consisted of a meal, devotion, and Bible-reading together. I didn't work outside the home like I do now, so I had more time in the morning.
Now I have to make sure the kids are ready, and I am too! There are six people running around, fighting for two bathrooms, grabbing a quick bite to eat, and racing out the door. I miss the intentional time spent teaching my children what I consider most important: God's Word.
Watching my now-teenaged son text message at lightning speed on his cell phone one evening, I wondered: Would it make a difference if I texted my kids a Bible verse each day? I dismissed the thought, thinking it silly to send a text when they should be reading God's Word for themselves.
Then I thought of Grandpa, his refusal to his granddaughter, and her reply. I didn't want to miss out like he was.
Texting my kids a verse each day may not radically change their lives, but then again it might. I wondered, would Jesus text if He were here today?
While on earth, Jesus used language that His audience understood, depending on where He was and the culture of that area. His purpose and message did not change, but His delivery and presentation sometimes did. Jesus reached people where they were. He walked, rode, sailed, and taught at homes, hillsides, banquets, and dinner tables.
It's been a year now since I've started texting Bible verses to my children. Usually I get a response like "thanks" or no response at all, but sometimes I'll receive a verse back. I send them the same verse so, if the opportunity arises, we can talk about it together.
Texting connects with my children because I'm speaking their language. The message hasn't changed, but for the purpose of effectiveness the delivery has, for me and my kids. And much to my delight, sometimes they forward the verse to a friend or two.
Texting may not be my favorite way to communicate, but if it ministers to my children, I don't want to miss it. It's just one more way I can continue to "train up" my children.
This week, let's be on the lookout for new ways we can share God's Word by speaking our kids language.
Dear Lord, change is hard for me, but if there is a way You'd like for me to change for the sake of another, then I will try. With Your help all things are possible. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Think of one way you can better connect with someone in your life.
Are you stubborn like Grandpa or willing like Jesus?
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:28-29, "Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'" (NIV)
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