Pastor's Pen: Slow to listen

The student came into the youth pastor’s office and had a question.

“I was wondering about dates…” The pastor was looking forward to this question. The girl had started dating a boy that was questionable at best. He didn’t get in trouble, but he did go out and party and had only begun attending church to please this young ladies parents. He interrupted the girl’s thoughts and started into his well-prepared lecture:

“I know that the dating scene can be tough. You really want a boy to like you, but you need to look at the Bible. What does it say? ‘Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.’ And look at the purpose of marriage…” He continued on for at least five minutes with some excellent statements on dating.

After he was satisfied that he had thoroughly covered the subject he finished with a big smile, “So what do you think?”

The wide-eyed girl seemed taken back and cautiously replied, “That’s fine Pastor Bell, but I was just wondering about the dates for the winter retreat.”

Maybe you haven’t been in a situation quite that bad, but Pastor Bell himself had a little to learn from the Bible on the topic of

listening.

Proverbs 18:13 says this, “To answer before listening — that is folly and shame.”

While James 1:19 puts it this way, “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry …”

Too many times we reverse James 1:19 and are “slow to listen and quick to speak.”

Do you constantly lecture your teen? Is your opinion hard to hold in while someone else is talking?

It’s easy to want to talk to teens rather than hear them out or to speak whatever is on our mind when someone’s actions upset us, but the wise person will take time to listen and understand where the other person is coming from before giving an answer. Many problems could be eliminated if you and I will simply take more time to listen and less time to talk.