Did you know that Jesus is always speaking to us! His heart is for us to learn to listen in to him; to lean in and begin to recognise His voice more and more each day.
In John 10:14-15 Jesus says 'I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father.'
What an invitation to intimacy: to be known to the depths that Father and Son are close. This is for us to know on a daily basis and I believe we can make this reality available to the children in our lives too. How incredible it would be for them to have a strong, firm foundation of knowing Jesus' voice from an early age, where love, trust and hope can be built for the ups and downs of life ahead.
I've found shells to be a wonderful tool to help children explore listening to God. They're tactile and intriguing to children of all ages.
Why not try it? Get hold of some shells, have fun playing with them and listening to them and describe what you can hear. 'What does it feel like? What does it sound like? How does it make you feel?'
'Did you know that you can listen to God too? He has things to tell you, to show you, to give to you? Shall we listen now?'
Try asking Jesus some simple questions: 'What do you like about me?' or 'What made you happy today?' or 'Who is on your heart?' or 'What do you want to give me?' or simply 'What would you like to ask Jesus?' WAIT... 'Tell me what you heard or saw or sensed?' Validate your child's responses: 'WOW! That's amazing listening! Tell me more... Explain that to me... Describe that more...
Help your child to draw or write about it. You could do this in an Adventure Book!
Then have fun decorating your shells with stickers, felt pens or paints to remind you to listen in to Jesus everyday!
Check out 1 Samuel 3 for a brilliant bible account about a young boy learning to recognise God's voice!