It takes effort to listen. When my children come home now, it is important for me to listen. They won’t be around later for me to ask them – uh, what did you say? First I have to stop and look at them. I have to stop myself. I have to make sure I do not glance but I look at them. Many will be the times later in life when I will long to look at them when they talk. But they may not be here for me to look.
When I look at them, I can see from their body language how they are feeling. There are so many little things I miss when I do not look. Are they sad? Are they anxious? Are they excited or happy? Are they peaceful? How are they? Then I can concentrate on what they are saying. I am tuned into them.
My children are out of high school and two of them are close to graduation from college. One is married. My time for discipline and guidance is gone. I am now a sounding board. I can listen with my whole heart and my whole being so that they know how much I love them. They will know how important they are to me because I listen to them. They will know they have worth in this world because I listen to them.
But listening is also important in another realm. Listening to God is also important. The psalmist says it is important to listen to God. He says that listening is so important that God has opened my ears so I can listen.
God has opened my ears so that I can listen to Him and that I can answer Him. Then his word can enter my life and become part of my very being. Then he will make short work of my enemies.
Proverbs gives a different outlook to listening. God says, “First pay attention to me and then relax. Take it easy because you are in good hands.” So I need to learn how to relax in God.
Proverbs 3:4-6 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.