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Tuning in to attentiveness

March 9, 2012
 |  by Krista

Tuning in to attentiveness

The Attentiveness lesson never really caught my eye before, but recently we’ve been having those kinds of issues with our boy. I don’t know what’s up with Ben, but his brain is SO far away most days! Honestly, he would sit and stare into space for hours on end if we’d let him. And, boy, can he dig in his heels sometimes. (I wonder who he got that from?)

In the Parents’ Prayer, the problem behaviours listed are: inattentiveness, ignoring God or others, stubbornness or lack of a teachable attitude. Ben doesn’t ignore anyone, but we certainly need to work on the other three.

Case in point: Our kids are required by their teachers to do 20 minutes of home reading every day. Rob was listening to Benjamin read when they came across a paragraph that the boy clearly didn’t understand. Rob suggested they go over it again. Ben refused. Rob proposed that if Ben did grasp the concept, perhaps he could explain it and they could move on. Another refusal. Rob tried one more time to get Ben to read it or demonstrate understanding. No go. It was time to deal with a stubborn heart.

Rob calmly explained that there would be no play time until the reading was done. And there would be no further reading until Ben was willing to re-do the paragraph or show comprehension. Ben was sent to sit on the stairs (the most boring place in the house). For well over a half hour, the kid sat there alone like an obstinate mule. When he finally decided to set his stubbornness aside, he cheerfully and eloquently summarized the troublesome paragraph in about 30 seconds and finished his homework without further ado. Grrrrrrr.

Unfortunately (fortunately??), Ben’s actions remind me of my own stubbornness and inattentiveness. My heavenly Father calmly lets me know that my day will go well if I hand every minute over to Him first thing each morning. But what do I consistently do? I don’t listen. I plan my own schedule my own way. And sometimes He makes me go “sit on the stairs.” Sigh. ANOTHER lesson just as much for parents as for kids.

Our chosen verse is simple and powerful: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Proverbs 19:20).  (We put lots of different pictures of animal ears all around our Scripture verse poster.)

I want to be wise. I want my kids to be wise. I hope this lesson grows our desire to hear and heed wise counsel (and shrinks the headstrong, willful parts of our hearts). We could sure use the help.

Related Lesson: Attentiveness