The life of our three year old had just been changed dramatically. We had just moved from a smaller house in the city, to a larger house in the country. Sleeping in a new room disrupted his young life, and it was scary. In the middle of one night, he woke up from a dream, and asked us if we had called out his name. We were very tired and didn’t appreciate the disruption. We told him that we did not call him, and to go back to sleep. This happened a few more times, and we kept telling him to go back to bed and go to sleep; raising our voices a little higher each time.
We woke up tired, and rushed to work; not even giving it a second thought or talking to our son about it. Later when we thought about it, it reminded us of 1 Samuel 3:1-10. This is where Samuel was a boy and God was calling him at night, but Samuel thought it was Eli. After a few times of Samuel running to Eli, Eli thought it might be God calling Samuel. Eli told Samuel to say “Speak for your servant is listening.” Samuel got to hear God that night. We are not sure that God was trying to speak to our son, probably not, but the point is that we didn’t take the time to listen to our son.
Do you know when the Lord is speaking to you? One common habit of ours is we speak first and listen later, if we listen at all. We tend to go about our day, not listening for God’s still small voice. We also tend to rush around accomplishing what we want to accomplish, when and how we want to accomplish it, with little time to truly listen to our children.
Loving our family well requires great listening skills. This means not only taking the time to listen to our children, but also listening to the Lord. The Lord loved us so much that He sent his son to die on a cross so that we could live (John 3:16). Let’s go to our heavenly Father first. He truly listens well, and can be our example of how we ought to listen to God or our children.
Listening well to God opens us up to listening to our children…
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” John 14:21