The last generation attempted to deal with this and made some progress, though nowhere near enough. A prominent clergyman put a significant part of the solution in a nutshell with this gem:
“The more a child becomes aware of a father’s willingness to listen, the more a father will begin to hear.” Gordon MacDonald
In our era, father’s must learn the art of listening to our children, the earlier in the child’s life, the better for all involved. Many of the young men who fall prey to predators do so because the predator plays them like a violin. Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does the human heart. Strange isn’t it the person who listens intently to a child of any age is not emptying the child but instead filling the child with a deeper appreciation for someone to hear how he/she feels, understands the problem or fear as much as possible. They intuitively know Ole Dad cares because of the intensity of Dad’s listening powers.
One of the major arts of listening is paying attention. Another is asking questions pertinent to what the person is saying, thereby communicating the fact that you are listening and not letting your mind wander off somewhere. When your mind wanders away, you are not paying attention.
A friend taught that we should listen as intently to our children as we would with the boss discussing a whopping raise at work! When you think about your power to listen may, at a later time, determine the quality of your nursing home! Could be.
When we listen, we are subtly teaching the person of any age, to become better at personal communication, the power to present ideas, etc. in an understandable manner; This will become a valuable asset in whatever field of endeavor they choose.
Paul gives this gem to fathers:
Ephesians 6:4 “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Larry Lilly Share with friends. For Twitter use http://www.larrylilly.net/blog