The other day, I had a gal over to my house. She was a real sweet lady with 3 kids. She just recently pulled them out of public school and she wanted to see how I home school. It was a fun occasion for me. I don't have a captive audience all that often, and I was determined to make the most of it. The kids helped me clean off the school shelves, clean the house and give it some semblance of order. My children called this "deceptive" on my part.
As I pulled textbooks, workbooks and notebooks off the school shelves in a flurry, I chattered on incessantly, almost forgetting to breathe. I was so excited about having the opportunity to show someone about what we do. I also gave her my latest copy of "Home School Enrichment Magazine". It always has a lot of good articles. When I had exhausted my curriculum's, teaching styles and misc "tips", I actually stopped to breathe and listen to her questions. I forced myself to be silent other than to discuss what topics she wanted to bring up. My voice was actually hoarse afterward, and I was a little bit embarrassed that I had talked so much! After 15 years of home schooling children, I had a lot to impart, and she was the first one who gave me her undivided attention!
For days afterward, I kept thinking "that was so much fun"! Not so much that sitting there at the table was fun, but more that some one listened to what I had to say for 2 1/2 hours, and actually appeared to be interested. Wow! I hope I can be that good of a listener some day! I have a hard time sitting still for 5 minutes. I am fidgeting and there is a little man across the wall preforming acrobatics to distract me.
It makes people feel valued when we listen to what they have to share. When we don't, its a personal insult saying "what you have to share really isn't worth my time". Here are some good scriptures about listening :
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,That you may be wise in your latter days. 21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand
Proverbs 8:33 Hear instruction and be wise, And do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD;
Anyway, this week, I'm working on becoming a better listener. How about you?