For Families

The List

6 Steps to Better Listening

by Karen M. Leet

Let’s face it—we live in a noisy, busy world. Sometimes that noise and busyness can be fun, but sometimes we need to slow down, be quiet, and just listen. Do you have time in your days to be still and listen for God’s loving voice? Do you have time to listen to the sounds of nature around you? Do you have time to really listen to your friends and family?

Try these ideas to sharpen your listening skills and come up with some ideas of our own, too.

  1. Start with silence. First thing in the morning, set aside a few quiet moments to listen for God’s still, small voice in your heart.
  2. Notice God’s world. During your busy days, take a moment to look at and listen to God’s creation. Can you hear birds chirping? Do you hear a breeze rustling leaves in the trees or rain falling on the roof? Take time each day to appreciate God’s creation.
  3. Listen to your own body. You’re part of God’s creation, too! Pay attention to what your body tells you about the foods it needs to be healthy, how good it feels to run or dance or shoot hoops, when you need to rest and sleep. Listen for signals from your body to help you make healthy choices.
  4. Listen to your friends and family. Do you really listen to those around you—without thinking about what you’re going to say next or glancing at your phone or wondering if you passed that science test? Take the time and focus your full attention on the person who’s speaking to you.
  5. Make time for God. God is always with us, but how much time do you set aside to be aware of God’s presence? When you pray, do you listen as well as talk? Set aside time each day to listen for what God may be saying to you.
  6. End with silence. Take a few quiet moments at the end of the day. Let your mind calm down and your body relax. Then listen—to the night sounds, to your family winding down for the day, to God offering encouragement, hope, and love.


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