Looking into my child’s eyes, with his cheeks resting in the palms of my hands, I answered the question – for the third time. “Each time you asked I replied, but you weren’t listening.” I continued, ” You need to learn to be still for a moment and listen!”
I stopped and reflected on my own words. How am I doing on listening? How many times do the children speak before I hear them? Do I quickly take care of something my hubby may have asked me to do, or do I procrastinate?
Mark repeatedly has done a character study with the kiddos, beginning when the older were the younger…
Part of it includes something like this:
True listening means paying attention with your ears, eyes, mind, and hands.
1. Ears: Try to block out any other noise, and focus on what is being said.
2. Eyes: Give full eye contact, not looking away, distracted by something else.
3. Mind: Embrace what is being said, thinking it through. Mull it over in your mind.
4. Hands: Put into action what you have heard.
In my recent post In a world full of contradictions… , I referred to gaining wisdom by seeking God. Learning to listen to God can be just as hard as teaching our children to listen to us, but it doesn’t have to be. The same principles apply to both situations.
1. Ears: Take time to be still, quiet before the Lord. (As a busy mother of young children, sometimes the only semi-private moments are in the bathroom!)
2. Eyes: Take time to read the Word of God, even just a verse or two if time is short.
3. Mind: Ponder what you have read, applying it to your daily life.
4. Hands: Don’t just forget and move on. Put it into action.
These are lessons I am still learning. In fact, I am sure it will be a lifetime of learning. But, I have seen that the more I practice listening – and put in to practice what I have heard – the better listener I become.