November 17, 2010
Speaking…I mean Texting Their Language
"Train up a child in the way he should go. Even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
"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," said the grandfather.
His granddaughter replied, "But Grandpa, you are missing out on so much in my life." Grandpa said sternly, "I don't care."
This conversation, which I overheard, stuck with 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 scares me too. I'm not fond of change, but I have to face the facts: the world is changing, with or without me.
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 time in the morning to devote just to my kids. Now my time is much different; not only do I have to make sure the kids are ready, but I have to be ready 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 simpler times when we weren't so busy. I especially miss the intentional time spent teaching my children what I consider most important: God's Word. It seemed so much easier to "train a child" when they were younger.
Watching my son, Hayden, with his lightning speed thumbs typing out text messages on his cell phone one evening, a thought entered my head. Would it make a difference if I text my kids a Bible verse each day? Quickly I dismissed the thought, thinking it silly to send a message to their phones, when they really should be reading God's Word for themselves. Then I thought of Grandpa. His refusal to his granddaughter and her reply about him missing out on her life saddened me. I decided I didn't want to be like Grandpa.
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 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. He did whatever it took to reach the people. He walked, rode, sailed, and taught at homes, hillsides, banquets, and dinner tables. I bet if it had been possible back then, He would have texted too.
It's been about six months since I 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 all the same verse so if the opportunity arises, we can all talk about it together. Texting works for us because I am speaking their language. The message hasn't changed, but the delivery has for the purpose of effectiveness. My son, Dylan, even shared with me that sometimes he forwards the verse to a friend or two.
Texting may not be my favorite way to communicate, but if it ministers to my kids, I don't want to refuse it. It's just one more way I can continue to "train" my children. Is there a way God is calling you to change in order to communicate more effectively with someone in your life?
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.
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Think of one way you can change to better connect with someone in your life.
As a mom, am I doing my best to connect with my kids?
Am I stubborn like Grandpa or willing like Jesus?
Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." (NIV)
Matthew 19:26, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (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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