As a child my mother used to say to me, “You love to hear the sound of your own voice.” Yes, you may find it a surprise that I talked quite a bit as a kid—okay, a lot—I talked a lot. I still do.
I have always had a strong desire to communicate. Stronger still for me than the desire to be heard, is the desire to be understood. Anytime I think I have been misunderstood, I will go to great lengths to clear up any discrepancy. It’s hard for me to think about anything else. I must clear it up! I can actually get a little batty.
Could it be that we all have this longing to be heard? And even more, the longing to be understood? Could it be that I am not alone in this feeling? I say, I am not. I think it is part of the God-given gift of the yearning for connectedness.
Inside of all of us is the strong hunger to connect to others. If you are a parent, think about how that applies to your children.
Think about the most important people in your life. How deep is your love for them? Take that amount of love and put it into action by listening, really listening to those you love—allow them to be heard. Don’t stop there. Next, strive to understand them.
Especially if you have a teenager, the need for them to be heard is crucial. It may seem like they want you to “go away,” but in actuality, they need you just as much as ever. They need for you to understand them.
Make appointments with your kids to sit and listen. Take them for a burger, a latte, or a shake, and ask some questions. Then listen. No judgment, no lectures, just listen with an understanding heart. Don’t be concerned if the first time you try this they don’t say much. Keep making appointments until they open up. Communicate with your actions and time that you care.
They need you. They need your wisdom. They need your acceptance. They need your support. They need your love.
I did this with all three of my kids, and I still get phone calls just to talk and be brought up to speed. I made many mistakes as a parent, but taking time to talk and listen, was not one of them.
Instead of loving the sound of your own voice, show love by listening and understanding.
Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. –James 1:19-20