An Understanding Heart

Job 11:5-7
“But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom!

For He is manifold in understanding.
Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.”

God understands us better than we can understand ourselves. After all He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. Being our creator He intimately knows our strengths, weaknesses, desires and needs.  That is something I find easy to forget. He cares for us and wants what is best for us. He understands our struggles and weaknesses and is there to help us.

For many years I did not see him in this light. I sought to hide from Him given unresolved issues in my heart and life that left me fearful. My fear was well hidden not only from others but also deep within my heart.  Sadly this robbed me of joy and hope in my life; I was not able to draw close to the One who could heal me.

Seeing God as caring and understanding, has proved vital in my life and with my kids.

Deuteronomy 1:13
“Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’

The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

It is clear that God desires understanding leaders.  Leading without genuine understanding is a recipe for miscommunication and conflict resulting in harm.  We know that God does not desire harm to come to his sheep because a Good Shepherd’s primary job is to protect his sheep.   For many years I was not an understanding father until I began to do research and listen to other people’s kids.

I discovered that when I seek first to understand my kids’ hearts, their thoughts, fears, desires, frustration, as well as their underlying motivations, things go much better with them. It is far too easy to let past issues or our kids weaknesses that we have seen throughout the years  define them in our minds. These definitions often control the way we see and communicate with them. As a result, we come with advice, pressure or instruction based upon the past.

God is understanding by nature and the fact He is the creator.  By comparison we have to work hard to gain real understanding. Far more often than we realize what we observe on the surface or in behavior is being driven by deeper things within our kids and spouses.  Attempting to address issues without genuine understanding sets the stage for miscommunication, hurt feelings and conflict. This makes it more difficult to reach a deeper understanding level of communication going forwards because we begin to want to protect ourselves, often at an unconscious level, building walls that separate us emotionally with those closest to us, our families.

This is why God desires understanding leaders as they have listening ears and compassionate hearts that allow them to understand and guide His sheep in accordance with His one command to love one another.

This week let’s seek to listen and understand our family members asking clarifying questions that help us see the situation through their eyes first before we attempt to make things happen.  Like me you may find that the answers to a happier child, family, and life are right there before us. We just need to dig below the surface and understand the hearts, desires and hurts our family members may carry that may be causing them to tune us out, be defensive or argumentative with us.

We need to have open hearts and minds that like God desire to understand our sheep.

 

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