Updated: Sep 21, 2019
I am the youngest of 4 kids born to Jerry and Tarie Anderson. My siblings are 12, 10 and 9 years older than me. I basically grew up as an only child. I was very close to my mom and dad; my dad worked out of town during the week and my mom stayed home to homeschool me. It will be 10 years this September since Mom passed away from cancer. The whole idea of whisper love was inspired by her. You may be thinking "aww, how sweet"... but let me tell you, my mother was the QUEEN of mental warfare. She was the most eccentric, passionate, creative person I have ever known, but you didn't tick off mom. Since my dad was away a lot, she was the nurturer, encourager executioner...... whoops, I mean butt whooper. My friends' mothers would say things like "wait, till your father gets home!!!" .... pfft, my mother would say "I'm not giving your father the satisfaction of whooping your butt!!" Now, my mother never abused me but I definitely had a very healthy respect for both of my parents.
My mom was never really a screamer, yea sometimes she would yell at me and I deserved it. I always knew though when I had crossed the line when her voice got lower and she would get real close to me and whisper. She had an extraordinary gift for illustrations and a passion for teaching biblical insights. I think about her a lot.
I think of her whispering when it comes to raising my own 4 kids. Here is how I remember to use her whispering....
When you scream and yell at your kids, it shows "YOU" not just the kids are out of control. Don't amplify the chaos, bring it down. The kids are already emotional and crazy, by yelling you feed the fire. When you whisper, you become the emotional anchor for the kids. They want to feel that no matter how much they yank on your chain, you will remain in control.
When I whisper to my kids, I always say I need to see their eyeballs. I need to have that direct intentional eye contact because when I whisper, I am not only trying to communicate to their eyes and ears but also to their hearts.
I love to freak my kids out by whispering, because I don't know about you but my kids LOVE to argue. When I whisper, I don't enter into their power struggle. If my kids won't calm down enough to hear my whisper I know their hearts won't be open to instruction.
Whispering is intimate, it's a way of communicating that you have to intentionally focus on to know what is being said.
Trust me when I say, I have yelled and screamed at my kids. I have bawled my eyes out to my husband, sobbing that I can't do this, I have no more energy, nothing left to give the kids.
This is where God whispers to ME. I had to calm my spirit and seek out what God was trying to tell me. It's a place that I can go and find God. "Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10.
In the Old Testament, there is a story of the prophet Elijah. He wanted to talk with God. 1 Kings 19:11-13 "The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
If you get a chance read the whole story of Elijah. He was a prophet of the Lord. He did many miraculous deeds for God. He also had low self-esteem and deep, melodramatic depression. I personally feel like I have a lot in common with Him.
When communicating with our kids, sometimes being loud is effective and needs to happen. Sometimes silence is great too, just not when it's only on the kid's part. We don't want to just have robotic, obedient kids, we want connected and engaged kids. I have to get their brains to focus in order to have their hearts hear.