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Listening

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Summer Day 38
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“The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 1 Samuel 3:1-5

Listening

 

In my family, I often tell my children that not respecting one another bothers me greatly. The most concrete example of not respecting each other is by not listening!

Note: I have all daughters. I fondly recall, when I was pregnant with my twin 8-year-olds, that a friend with two teenage daughters advised us, “Your house will not be quiet for the next 18 years.”

Indeed, my daughters talk a lot. Even my quiet, internal processor talks a lot. When do they talk the most? When someone else is talking!

Lately, I can hear the Holy Spirit telling me to shoo away my children less, stop my task, then listen to my children. Or, if I tell them to let me finish my task, to truly finish and not move onto “one more thing” before giving them my time. My time is precious to me, but guess what? My time is equally precious to them as well.

To help me understand the importance of listening, the Lord recently convicted me to think about how I listen to Him. He led me to a cherished children’s story in the Bible: the calling of Samuel. The usual takeaway is, wait for God to speak to you. This time, however, I began to compare my mothering to both Samuel and Eli’s responses. Do I listen like Samuel or like Eli? I encourage you to take time right now to read all of 1 Samuel 3. Below, I  came up with a list describing the two characters.

Samuel:

  • young boy
  • dedicated to the temple (his parents visit him once per year)
  • sleeps near the holy ark of the covenant
  • hears the Lord call to him
  • immediately runs to Eli to heed his calling. Three times in a row! Samuel does not yet know the Lord (i.e. does not have a personal relationship with Him)
  • follows Eli’s instructions
  • destined to serve as a prophet and judge of Israel

Eli:

  • the high priest of Israel
  • years earlier, could not tell that Samuel’s mother was praying, but accused her of drunkenness
  • responsible for Samuel’s spiritual upbringing
  • recently judged by the Lord for desecrating the holy sacrifice
  • Samuel runs to him three times before he finally realizes the Lord wants to speak to the young boy (i.e. ignores the child!)
  • receives a message from Samuel that the House of  Eli would be destroyed

Go Deeper:

Ask yourself the following:

  1. Who is the authority figure in this relationship?
  2. Who does the Lord want me to emulate?
  3. Do I listen more like Samuel or Eli? (Irony: Eli is the adult.)
  4. Do I listen to the Lord?
  5. Do I listen to my children?

I can continue to reprimand my children for not listening OR I can:

  • Model how to listen to Jesus (see What’s Next)
  • Listen to the people around me, not only with my ears, but also with my eyes, mind, and body language.
  • Stop focusing on my personal interests to listen to whoever wants my attention.

What’s Next

Spend 15 minutes experiencing a Mary Moment. (Start with a shorter amount of time if you prefer.) Just like Mary sitting before Jesus (Luke 10:38-42), focus on Jesus as the object of your affection. Shoo away any distracting thoughts, especially your to-do list. Listen to Jesus. Focus on Jesus. You’re not emptying your mind or trying to blank it out. Try to not use this time for Jesus to listen to you. Think only about Jesus and wait for Him to speak to you. It’s not easy, but keep trying!

Join the Community! Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

Daphne Close

Although others describe Daphne as “energetic” or “bubbly,” Daphne prefers the word “passionate.” Passionate to inspire others to marvel at the beauty of mathematics. Passionate about musical theater, the best art form of all time. Passionate to make people laugh. Her greatest passion, far above the others, is to see others worship Jesus in Spirit and in Truth. She carries out these passions through homeschooling her three daughters (11 and 8 year old twins), leading worship, training parents and teachers on how to understand math concretely, empowering women out of poverty through Trades of Hope  and celebrating Sneak-Some-Zucchini-Onto-Your-Neighbors’-Porch-Night. She’s been married to her crazy-smart and multi-talented husband since 1999.

Latest posts by Daphne Close (see all)

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12 Comments

  1. Wow! What an amazing way to introduce Jesus to our children and to those we love…simply listening intentionally. Truly refreshing!

    • Thanks so much for reading! Praise a God for using these ideas to speak to you. I hope you continue to enjoy the Help Club Bible Studies!

      Are you familiar with our social media pages? You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! Also, if you’re interested in a hard copy of the book, you can buy “The Wise Woman Cares” on Amazon by clicking here: http://amzn.to/2hkmsSg . There may be some online groups forming to study this book in January. If you’re interested, please email us or ask on FB. Thanks!

  2. I love your analogy with Samuel!! What a great example of how we are to be!

    • I value listening so much, yet when I stop and reflect (thanks to this post), I am convicted that I’m not as good at it as I’d like to think. Thanks for the encouragement to seek God in the relational act of listening.

      • Also if someone can tell me how to get a thumbnail image next to my posts, that would be great!

      • You’re so welcome, Kate! We are often better than we think we are. In terms of our worth, we are more than we think we are because of Christ in us!

    • Such a young boy, but so spot on in how to relate to God and others.

  3. This is convicting. I never really thought about modeling listening to my children.

    • I’m a work in progress in this area, that’s for sure!

  4. Thank you Daphne for sharing your heart! What a great Bible story to illustrate listening! I really appreciate this devotional and how your point us to Jesus in the What’s Next section!

    • Thank you, Kristall! I appreciate your encouragement.

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