8 Days til Christmas ~ Listen

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Family Updates, Featured, Ministry Reports | 0 comments

We all have a need for someone to really listen to us and understand our heart desires. So often, people hear what we say but not what we mean by what we say. Other times, we ask a question not really wanting to know the answer.

How many times do you ask, “How are you doing?” and wait only two seconds for the person to barely blurt out, “Fine” before carrying on with our conversation. Do we really want to know how other people are doing deep down inside? If we do, it will take a willingness for us to listen from our heart. What better gift could you give to a loved one this Christmas than a listening heart.

Listening heart to the needs of others

Husbands need to learn how to listen from their heart on four levels before they respond. The first level we often hear is our wife’s emotions. She will tell you exactly how she felt about a difficult situation. If you make decisions at this point, you will be in trouble. Listen a little further and you will hear what she thinks about the challenge she is facing. She may even go beyond and tell you want she is deciding to do. Finally, after all of this is out on the table, she may finally feel like she has shared her thoughts and what she is going to do, but then she will say, “I really think God wants me to do this?” It is when you have heard all four of these levels that you will get enough to really understand where she is coming from. Try this sometime especially when a lady is exasperated. You will find she appreciates it if you will listen long enough to have heard all four levels before you help her make a right decision.

Go on a date with your spouse

Before many young people enter marriage, they often take time to listen and pursue hearing each other’s hearts on critical issues. The tragedy is that many men stop dating their wife after they get married. One of the joys of our marriage has been the encouragement of our parents to continue going out on date nights once a week since we got married. Our prayer is that we will continue to date each other for the rest of our lives.

Bless those who don’t listen

Many people want others to listen to them and are very frustrated that it does not happen. There is an answer to that as well. This was the situation Lauren found herself in. She wished she had to have a dad who would listen to her as she shared her heart. Nearly a thousand miles away and feeling homesick, she would call her home. She would try to strike up a conversation with him, but most of the time her mom would answer and they would have a great talk. Deep he would end up encouraging her to talk with someone else. Inside though, she longed to talk with her daddy as her best friend, to share the longings desires of her heart and the struggles she was facing. But every time it seemed that her Dad did not know what to say and the conversation would end with passing the phone back to mom after only a minute or two. Even when she would call and her dad would pick up the phone she would try to engage him in conversation, but without fail as soon as it came to a pause she would hear him say, “Okay, let me pass the phone to mom.”

Finally one day, Lauren heard the importance of asking God to bless her dad with the qualities that she felt he was missing. She made her wish list of qualities: An attentive dad who had a listening heart; Compassion to understand her challenges and sensitivity to her emotional needs; A desire to pursue her and love her unconditionally. After her list was complete she prayed it aloud to God. “Dear God, would you bless my dad with…”

Lauren later told about how though she had asked for God to change her dad, God actually did a work in her heart making her more sensitive and grateful for the ways her dad had already been reaching out to her. Her perspective began to change to one of gratefulness. Her relationship with her dad began to change and to this day, God has given a new level of openness in the relationship. This gratefulness is one of the most important ingredients to good relationships with parents. (Used with permission)

Whether you need to develop a listening heart or you are craving someone else to listen to you, choose now to invest in their lives so you can have deep communication that is so essential to life. Communication is to relationships what food is for your body, so give the gift of a listening heart.

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