Trading Places with Your Family
Scripture Reading: Malachi 4:1-5
Key Verse: Malachi 4:6a
He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers
Though our scripture speaks of the end times, we can know that this is what God has wanted all along: For father’s and son’s hearts to turn to each other. In other words, in God’s perfect world, we will have empathy flowing in our homes, each member of the family trying to truly understand the other’s perspective.
To connect with our children on a “heart” level, we need special moments between us. When they are small, it might be reading a favorite book to them as they sit close and lean into you—great “heart” moments. Even a time of discipline, when they come crying, wanting a hug, can be a “heart” moment.
In our older kids, those moments don’t come as often, but parents can find them if they look. Maybe it is a good report card when we get to affirm them and pat them on the back. When your teen gets his or her first job, it will give you moments to talk, possibly talking about your first job. Maybe you have worked hard to help your older teen accomplish some task and they say, to your surprise, “You’re cool.” You know you’ve just connected on a “heart” level.
This heart work is what is needed in a parent child relationship if we ever hope to truly trade places with them. These moments are moments when we see the world as they see it. We can get a few glimpses of their perspective and we gain understanding that serves the relationship well.
Father, I want my family to feel close and have a warmth that builds a strong relationship. Grant me wisdom to do this heart work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.