Be The Dad Today

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Dads Are Saying:

Be Quiet

Dads are good talkers. We are full of advice, correction, answers, suggestions, instructions, and on and on and on.

But there is a problem when we are talking. We aren’t listening. Perhaps you have heard it said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth so you would listen twice as much as you talk.” While I’ve not been able to find that in the Bible, God’s Word does say:

Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
– James 1:19

I don’t think it is a coincidence that anger is included in this verse. Often our talking can lead to anger, if our talking is lecturing or correcting. If you must talk, start with a question. If your child doesn’t immediately answer, don’t assume they don’t have an answer. It may be that they have learned that if they don’t answer, you’ll start speaking. Instead, allow that awkward silence to linger. It will be as uncomfortable to them as it is for you. If you don’t fill it, they will! Keep asking questions.

Listen.

Listen some more.

And then listen a little bit more.

In time, you may be asked a question. Keep your answers short, and they will be more likely to remember the wise and amazing things you have to say. If you really want to share something, ask if you can share something with them. Gaining permission will increase their listening.

Bottom line – listening leads to learning, and we need to learn as much as we can about our kids if we are to help them learn and grow and mature.

You’ll also keep your foot out of your mouth by starting with listening. Perhaps that is why the Bible wisely says,

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
– Proverbs 17:28

So the next time you are about to wax eloquent, resist. And see what you can learn by listening instead.

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