The Power of Listening

As a pastor working with students, I get the privilege of connecting with parents and hearing their challenges with their students.  Quiet often I get to help them navigate through their challenges.  There is always a tension that exists when I find myself in this situation.  The tension is between listening to what they are going through and trying to fix their problems.  The way I see it is that my job is to tell them what to do to fix their problem.  The reality is that ninety percent of the time they just want me to listen to what they are dealing with without trying to fix their problems.  See there is great power in the art of listening.  Listening is an art that I along with most other humans struggle with.  In times where we need to be listening to what the other person is saying we often find ourselves coming up with our answer to what they are saying.

Scripture teaches us in James to be slow to get angry and speak, but to be quick to listen.  I love this verse because it is so simple yet so hard to actually do.  The instructions that God gives us is for us to learn how to first listen to others instead of always being ready to throw our thoughts in or tell them how to fix their problem.

(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)

When it comes to our kids the Art of Listening has great power.  So often we find it hard to simply listen to them.  We want so much for them to achieve more than we have achieved, or for them to avoid our mistakes, that we find ourselves constantly giving them instructions on what to do.  Then we wonder why our kids don’t ever truly talk to us.  My challenge for you this week is to set some time aside to simply listen to your kids.  Find a subject that really matters to them and strike up a conversation with no agenda, simply to practice the long lost art of listening.  I think you will be surprised just how much you will learn about your kid and what they are walking through.  What’s even cooler is that as we learn to listen our kids learn to listen in response to us when it’s time to give them advice.  It’s time to regain the art of listening, and what better place to start than with our kids?