It happens every weekend in the lobbies of our churches. It also happens at a wedding reception, and I ve heard it in the corridors of my local mall. The constant chatter of hundreds of people all talking at the same time. There are dozens of unique conversations happening at one time, and the sound can often times resemble a swarm of bees or a room full of chainsaws depending on the crowd.
The world our kids live in is very much the same kind of noisy place, except all the voices are directed at them. There are mean voices, kind voices, disinterested voices, and compassionate voices, and those are just the ones they hear at school! Think of all the baseball coaches, next-door neighbors, church friends, substitute teachers, aunts and uncles, and anonymous unintentional people out there speaking to our children. This world is full of well-intentioned people that love our kids, but it is also filled with irresponsible voices that speak with anger and frustration to our kids. Let s be clear: There are things we want our kids to hear, and there are other things we’d rather them not hear.
The challenge for us as parents isn’t to lock our kids away somewhere that they never hear other voices. The real call to us as parents is to look for the right voices, add the missing voices, and invest the necessary time to leverage the existing voices that give our kids the best chance to grow into followers of Jesus Christ.