Men are accused of many things against which we defend ourselves diligently. However, there is one accusation against us to which we have a difficult time denying and that is that we have selective hearing. Granted that not all men ignore their wives–me being one of them–or pretend to listen and choose to select what they say they heard. But as a whole, men are guilty. Many wives wish they could get their husbands to listen attentively to what they say and even more so the requests that they make. This type of listening would be “attentive listening”.
An example of this was done by The Lord, Jesus. The scriptures say that Jesus was obedient to the Father.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8)
The term obedient comes from the Greek word for attentively listening. It is the kind of listening that my German Shepherd displays when he thinks he hears something. He raises his head with ears pointed straight up and faces towards the direction of the sound. He wants to hear everything that is going on so that he can respond properly. So, a person who listens attentively to another does it so that they can respond properly to the communication given to them.
This type of listening would benefit the Christian. For us to walk through our day, attentively listening for God’s voice would not only be good, but it would enable us to do his will. How many times have you handled a matter wrongfully only to recognize what you should have done afterwards and sometimes the recognition came immediately afterwards? If we could only hear God’s voice sooner, so much better could come from our actions. The key to doing God’s will is listening. Listening does not occur by hearing, but when our attention is focused on God when he speaks. Too many times, we are distracted by external problems and internal thoughts. We need to block out all distractions and attentively listen for God.
As you live today, continually focus on recognizing and listening for God’s voice. Obedience will be the byproduct.