Let’s talk about sex.
Yes, I knew that would get your attention. I’ll get to the sex part shortly.
But first, a story…
Some of the most memorable and precious moments in my life have been when I’ve gotten to cuddle a new grandchild, freshly born and adjusting to the light and sounds of this strange and different world.
Last month my crying grandson, Atlas, was born. I got to hold this little bundle of crying baby shortly after the birth.
Suddenly he stopped wailing and turned to look at his daddy.
It wasn’t my exceptional grandma skills that quieted this newborn, but the sound of his father’s voice.
Atlas recognized THAT voice.
My voice… not so much.
He was familiar with THAT voice. He had heard muted versions of it during the nine months in his mother’s womb.
THAT voice completely captivated him and calmed him down.
My voice, your voice, and God’s voice
Any person’s voice can be distinguished from all others once you’ve heard him or her speak often enough.
I always recognize which one of my kids is talking to me even if my is head turned. (Except if we have a weird phone connection. Then they sound like an alien… which sometimes they can be.)
Even though my parent’s have passed, I still know their voices when I hear them in my dreams at night.
And my best friend? Always. She never sounds like an alien.
1. There’s a certain quality of sound and tone to an individual’s voice. The cadence of that individual’s voice is fast or slow. Smooth or halting. His voice carries the tone of “to the point” or hesitant. Sparkly or rich sounding.
Whatever the quality, tone, and cadence are, you learn to recognize it. You grow to love that person’s voice… or fear it… or ignore it.
2. An individual’s personality is heard through their voice. It could be compassionate and loving. Maybe kind. Soothing or harsh. Timid or confident. Bossy or inviting.
Personal attitudes and characteristics, good or bad, become tangible in the voice of the person speaking.
3. You’ll also recognize the person’s speaking style and what to expect in the conversation.
For example, you can tell it’s your teenage niece speaking because her lingo reflects the slang and interests of her life.
If someone is reading a letter aloud from your mother, you’ll “hear” your mom in it. The wording sounds like the way your mom talks and reflects the things that interest her.
In the same way, you learn to recognize the voice of the Lord because you become familiar with HIS voice.
Over the years you gain experience with what His voice sounds like. How it feels when it washes over you or soaks deep down into your spirit.
You learn the tone of His voice and its cadence.
There are characteristics to God’s voice that set it apart from others. He’s kind, not harsh. He may correct you, but never demean or devalue you. He’s gentle, but also firm, not timid. His words always line up with His scriptural principles.
And because JOY is the atmosphere He cultivates, His words will always create space for a deep, inner joy that marks your days.
So here’s the big question
How are you helping the important people in your life KNOW how to listen, hear, and be confident that they can discern God’s voice from all others?
This is part of your legacy.
Take some time and ponder God’s voice. Then find an open-window moment where you can share your insights with someone you love.
Give them the tools to discern God’s voice in their own life.
Use the following template to help clarify God’s voice for yourself
- The tones of voice I hear when God speaks to me are _____________________________________________________.
- The quality of His voice is __________________________________________________________.
- The character traits of God that come through when He speaks to me are _____________________________________________________.
- Write down what God has said to you lately and note how it reflects God’s heart found in the Scriptures: ___________________________________________________________________.
This is simple, but like sex, most people don’t talk about it much with their kids.
They figure their children and grandchildren will instinctively know how to discern God’s voice.
Yeah, right. Just like sex. And how did that work for you when you got married?
Avoiding the sex talk doesn’t prepare anyone for an intimate relationship.
And assuming that learning to hear God’s voice is instinctive doesn’t work very well either.
Be purposeful in passing on your legacy.
Have the sex talk… er, I mean the God talk.