Are you listening actively? Will you listen to understand? Did you hear that? Does it make sense? Are you listening to what is being said? Are you hearing which is the physiological act of perceiving sound but not listening to understand? As a result, listening is the active process of paying attention to the sounds and words that you hear to absorb their meaning! What’s getting in your way or preventing you from being able to listen to what is being said?
Active vs Passive – It’s the difference between when you hear and listen
Hearing is a passive process that does not require concentration, whereas listening is an active process that requires effort and focus. Alternatively, hearing is like collecting data, while listening is like analyzing and interpreting that data. Therefore, are you hearing the voice of God or are you listening to it? Moreover, are you hearing or listening and putting it into action in order to change things?
What’s more, hearing is the physical act of perceiving sound, while listening is the mental process of paying attention to and interpreting sound.
In any case, are you facing a challenge right now and don’t understand why or what exactly is going on? Make time and take time to ask and really listen. Consider the benefits of not just hearing, not just listening but active listening.
The crucial skill of active listening
“What is active listening?” you may ask. “What is this skill crucial for?” you may ask. Without a doubt, to listen actively is crucial for having good relationships. Consider these ways to signal you are actively listening:
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- Maintain eye contact: Looking at the person you’re speaking with shows that you’re engaged and interested in what they have to say 1.
- Use nonverbal cues: Nodding your head, smiling, and using other facial expressions can show that you’re paying attention and encourage the speaker to continue 2.
- Ask questions: Asking open-ended questions can help you better understand the speaker’s perspective and show that you’re interested in learning more 13.
- Paraphrase what you’ve heard: Restating what the speaker has said in your own words can help ensure that you’ve understood their message correctly and show that you’re actively engaged in the conversation 2.
- Avoid interrupting: Interrupting someone while they’re speaking can be seen as dismissive or rude. Instead, wait for them to finish speaking before responding 4.
Remember, active listening is about being present and engaged in the conversation, so it’s important to find techniques that work best for you and the person you’re speaking with.
Listen, it’s important
So based on your priorities, how much of your time are spending listening vs talking? Furthermore, based on your priorities, how much of your time is spend listening to speak rather than listening to understand? As a result, could today be the beginning of starting to listen rather than just hear and understanding rather than preparing to respond?
Therefore, let’s be the dads who are quick to be careful and thoughtful listeners who are listening to understand. Moreover, let’s be the dads who are slow to speak because we are taking in what they are saying in order that we can be speakers who respond appropriately with carefully chosen words. Finally, let’s be the dads who are patient, reflective, and forgiving so that we don’t fly off the handle or lose our cool and instead remain slow to anger.
How can we put today’s verse of the day into practice? What can we do differently so that we can be the dads that our wives and kids need us to be? How can putting it into practice help us be the dads God created, planned, purposed, and is calling for us to be?
Applications of James 1:19 towards becoming the dads we are supposed to be:
- Active Listening: Be intentional about listening to your wife and children. Make an effort to understand their thoughts, feelings, and concerns without interrupting.
- Patience: Cultivate patience when dealing with family matters. Avoid jumping to conclusions or reacting hastily to situations.
- Self-Control: Practice self-control, especially when faced with challenging parenting moments. Refrain from responding in anger or frustration.
- Empathy: Try to see things from your family members’ perspectives. Empathizing with their emotions and experiences can help you connect better.
- Open Communication: Encourage open and honest communication within your family. Create an environment where your loved ones feel safe to express themselves.
- Conflict Resolution: Teach your children healthy ways to resolve conflicts by modeling it yourself. Show them that disagreements can be addressed calmly and respectfully.
- Modeling Behavior: Be a role model for your kids by demonstrating the qualities you want them to possess, including patience, kindness, and humility.
- Time Management: Allocate quality time to spend with your family. Being present and engaged is essential for building strong relationships.
- Prioritize Family: Ensure that your family takes precedence over other commitments. Make choices that prioritize their well-being and happiness.
- Spiritual Growth: Seek spiritual growth and guidance to become the father God intended you to be. Study Scripture, pray, and seek support from a faith community to strengthen your fatherhood journey.
By applying these principles from James 1:19, you can become a more compassionate, understanding, and patient father. Ultimately, these qualities can help you fulfill the role that God has purposed for you as a dad, creating a loving and supportive family environment where your wife and children can thrive.