My son, Grayson, is 4 years old, and he is one of the greatest joys in my life. He has so many great attributes. He is funny, passionate, loving, and one of his greatest qualities is his joy. This little boy simply loves life.
But Grayson has one quality, that at times, can be a little challenging. He is a loud talker.
At home, this quality isn’t really an issue, unless his mom or I are struggling with a headache. But in public, this quality gets us a lot of extra attention. Oh yea, I forgot to mention that he is always talking. So not only does he talk loud, he also talks a lot. Let’s just say that when we walk into a restaurant, we get a lot of eyes pointed our way.
When we go out to eat, we have tried to teach him to talk softer. The other day when we were eating, I think I told him about 8 times to talk softer in the first 10 minutes of being in our seats. Each time after I would ask, he would lower his voice slightly, but his volume was still 4 times louder than anyone in the room!
After several times of me saying, “Grayson, you have to talk softer,” he got frustrated, gave off a big sigh, and said, “I AM TALKING SOFTER!!!”
I looked at the tables around us, and I noticed a lot of people smiling and snickering as they couldn’t help but overhear my and Grayson’s conversation. And of course, our waitress, who was in and out of our conversation thought my dialogue with a 4-year-old loud talker was quite humorous.
Now if you ever meet Grayson, you will know he has one quality that helps him tremendously. This kid is incredibly cute, and he knows how to use his cuteness to his advantage. He has a way of giving a big cheesy smile at just the right time to win people over. Plus, when he is talking loud, everything he says is so funny or cute that people want to hear it.
In fact, while I was talking to him about his decibel levels, the waitress came up to the table to refill drinks and said, “He’s fine, he’s so cute, and we don’t mind if he’s loud.”
But even after the encouragement from our waitress, and even after seeing that he wasn’t directly disturbing anyone around us, I still continued to work with him on lowering his volume. Not because of the current situation, but as a father, I was looking to his future.
As Grayson continues to grow, his cuteness level is going to drop considerably. It’s not personal to him, it’s happened to all of us. When I was 4 and 5 years old, I remember people telling me how cute I was. People don’t say that to me anymore. The day I was born, my mom told me I was the only baby in the maternity ward at that time, so all the nurses wanted to hold me the whole time I was in the hospital before going home. Two months ago, when I was in the hospital, thankfully none of the nurses wanted to hold me!
Hopefully you’re seeing the point. As a father, I recognize that my 4-year-old will not always be a cute little boy with a cheesy smile that melts your heart. As he grows, he has to learn how to behave politely around other people. He has to learn to be respectful of the people around him.
Being a loud talker isn’t inherently a bad quality in a person, but it can be rude or disturbing to the people around you in certain situations. Teaching Grayson now, to be aware of those situations, can help him as he grows.
In other words, I have to look ahead to recognize where he is going to be, and help him get there.
This is much the way God works with us. When God sees us, He doesn’t just see who we are, He sees the person He is transforming us into. The things God is addressing in us today are the building blocks that He will use to help us grow in the future.
Romans 5:3–5 (NKJV): 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Can you see the building process? Our tribulation, or our distress, produces perseverance. We must start with persevering through the difficult times. If we do, God will use our perseverance and build our character. As we grow in character, God will build our hope. And when we hope in God, we will not be disappointed.
In every situation we face today, God is wanting to teach us something. God is always helping us to grow into the man or woman of God He has called us to be. Let’s not be discouraged in the struggle. God wants to help us grow.
So, if you’re a loud talker there is hope. God may have to give you some correction from time to time. But remember, He is always leading us into the future He has for us.