Devotionals by Dennis Rainey

MAY 28

Listening In 

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. HEBREWS 3:7-8
It’s usually appropriate for our children to ask why we’ve come to a certain parenting decision. But sometimes, they must simply be satisfied with the answer: “I’m not sure. I just know that this is what we’ve decided.” Pastor, author and longtime friend Tom Elliff remembers one snowy Friday night when his daughter was returning from a school event by bus. She called home from the school building to say that she was going out with her boyfriend to get something to eat and would be home soon afterward. “I’m sorry, Beth, you can’t tonight.” 

“I don’t know, but I’m coming to get you.” 

The mood was naturally a little icy when he arrived to retrieve his daughter from school. She just couldn’t understand it. Had she done something wrong? “No, I just had a reservation about it tonight. I needed you to come on home.” When they walked into the house, the phone was ringing. His daughter answered and immediately turned white as a sheet. After listening for less than a minute, she awkwardly returned the phone to its cradle and stared dumbfounded in her dad’s direction. “I will never question your authority in my life again,” she said. As her boyfriend was pulling out of the school parking lot, someone shot a bullet through the passenger-side window. “He was okay at the hospital,” she said, “but if I had been riding with him, I would have been dead.” Inner reservations. Checks in your spirit. They’re often God’s signals that something isn’t right. Learn how to listen to them, and don’t be afraid to follow up on what He seems to be alerting you to. Your courageous decision to go against your teen’s opinion and possible resistance could save a life. 
Talk about what you do when your children push back. How can you better back one another up in these situations? 
Ask God to give you a heart that is spiritually receptive to His guidance and warnings.

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FamilyLife Today® is conversational in nature and provides practical, biblical tools to address the issues affecting your family. You'll receive motivation, encouragement, and help.

About Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey is the president and cofounder of FamilyLife® a subsidiary of Campus Crusade for Christ, and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dennis is senior editor of the HomeBuilders Couples Series® and daily host of the nationally syndicated and award winning radio program FamilyLife Today® He was the recipient of the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program Producer of the Year Award for 1995 and 2003. Dennis has authored numerous books including Staying Close, a winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

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