All people need to know they are of value and listened to. This is especially true of our spouse and children. That is why listening should first be practiced in your home.
Many of us spend our days and often nights with people, listening, building relationships, developing partnerships, attending community events and a myriad of other activities. Often, the life-building skills we learn and practice with those we work with are not consistently practiced in our homes with those we hold most dear.
I, for one, struggle with this. My wife often gets the leftovers of my listening skills at the end of a busy relational day. Same with my kids when they were at home. Sometimes the people we cherish most, we take for granted.
I’m not alone. I hear this a lot from busy people. Perhaps you can relate.
All of us can learn from our mistakes, and we improve our listening skills each time we do. Here are six motivators for giving our families our best listening-self, even at the end of a day when you don’t think you can listen to another word.
Six Motivators to Listen to Your Family
- Listening to your family members will empower them to fulfill their potential as God’s image-bearers. Listen to discover their strengths and encourage them to make their unique contribution to your family’s and community’s well-being.
- Listening to your family affirms their dignity. Giving them your time and attention affirms their worth.
- Listening to your children increases their self-awareness as they discover for themselves their unique contribution to their family, church, neighborhood, and the Kingdom.
- Listening to your children teaches them to be problem solvers as they discover that the best solutions are found in the attributes they already possess.
- Listening to your family will foster deeper, more intimate relationships with them. The key is to pause your agenda and hear deeply the strengths and felt needs of your spouse and children.
- Listening to your family will improve your character as a disciple. The Jesus-life is strengthened by consistent behavior in all your relationships. The care and concern you show to your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and others should be shown to your family most especially. By doing so, you increase credibility with your family and other people important to you. When listening permeates every aspect of your life, it’s the thread that sews your relationships together into a garment of integrity.
There is so much happening this time of year: Children are back in school, fall sports are in full swing, school clubs and extracurricular activities seem to increase exponentially, the coming holidays require planning, preparing, traveling or receiving travelers.
Above all else, let’s make this a season of listening in our homes. May that be true for us all and may we listen well in Jesus’ name.