Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Listen, Really Listen

My husband is very ADHD.  He is very energetic and his mind goes ninety miles an hour at all times.  He hates interrupting people but often does.  He knows this fault and tells me all of the time that he wants to get better.  But if he is listening to someone speak and a thought jumps in his mind, he has to say it fast or forget it altogether.  I've mentioned to him about writing his thoughts down to go back to later, however, I do not believe he has tried it yet.   

While reading Our Daily Bread today, it spoke of this very thing.  "When I'm listening to a friend, I need to remind myself to focus on him, not to begin wondering how I look, what he thinks of me, what I should say next." 

This could very well be me.  How many times have I been listening to my kids tell me a story, but I am thinking, "goodness, how long is this story?"  Or listening to a friend speak and thinking, " Oh I hope I don't forget to ____" or "What do I say next?" 

"Let every man be swift to hear; slow to speak." James 1:19

I want to be slow to speak and quick to listen.  But I also want to pay attention.  I want to completely focus on what the other person is saying.  As a wife, we want our husbands to not just nod and say yes as they watch tv, but to give us eye contact and really pay attention to what we say.  We should be that way too.  We should put our full focus on the person speaking, whether it be a pastor giving a message, a child telling us an unending story, or a conversation with a friend.

Let's practice giving our full attention.  Being slow to speak and not letting our minds wander, but focus on the person speaking to us.

Sweet Blessings~


  1. Hearing is so not the same as 'listening!' I think it is something that we all do...we live in a world that is 'fast food' so to speak. We want everything NOW and so our minds have grown to act the same way. Like you, I want to be slow to speak and quick to LISTEN. I catch myself being just like Jeremy...although I am not ADHD. My mind is always moving on to the next issue. I find myself hearing, but not LISTENING. I am definitely going to start practicing at giving my FULL attention. Thank you for this reminder.

  2. I too am bad about hearing but not listening. My mind thinks of so many things and this happens when I pray so I have been working on this for a long time. I don't like it when someone talks to me and I don't hear what they are saying. I feel I miss out on things by allowing this to happen. Hope Jeremy and also you, Debi can overcome this. Blessings.

  3. I'm so guilty of this! I do want to be slow to speak and quick to listen. I read a quote yesterday (I forget by who)... "A smart man always knows what to say, but a wise man knows whether or not to say it." So true! Blessings!

  4. So true, hearing is not listening. I'm so guilty of thinking ahead instead of listening. Great scripture to meditate on. It just happens to be what I'm memorizing this week for James. :)

  5. Uh-oh. This one's for me! Actually, I've caught myself doing this exact thing, and I'm trying to be a better, more attentive listener. BTW, I'm also married to an adult ADHD sufferer :) Drives me crazy, but I'm love him to pieces!
    Thanks for visiting my blog!
    Be blessed :)

  6. Good words! I especially need to be mindful of this with my kids!

  7. this was an amazing blog, I struggle with this everyday. I'm a very intrusive person. I try so hard, but it's like I'm busting at the seams to speak and if i don't speak quickly i might forget what I thought was so important. after reading this blog, I see how selfish i am being, just focused on my thoughts and not paying attention to the speaker:( thanks for opening my eyes to this. I'll need lots of prayer of this too. boy oh boy, I'm a work in progress

  8. I needed this. I am always listening, but not really hearing someone. I don't appreciate that when someone does it to me, so why do am I guilty of it myself?

  9. Hopefully, my thoughts won't come up twice. I wrote a comment and then lost it.
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts today on listening. I used to be able to listen to my husband while thinking about something else and then be able to answer is questions. I can't do that any more.
    As I was raising my children I learned to tune out all of the noise and sometimes didn't really listen to them like I should. I finally told them to ask me to make eye contact with the and then tell me what they wanted to. It worked!
    I will enjoy following your blog.
    Check my blog out Living Waters @

  10. This is something I've been working diligently on with my children as of late Jenifer. With all of the distractions in our world today, it seems to be harder and harder to hold their attention for any period of time. This was a wonderful reminder!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  11. Amen! I'm almost never able to focus my attention on just one story... especially a long one. Then I forget what I wanted to say! But it's not about ME, so that dhouldn't matter. Thanks for this, Jenifer!

  12. Giving my full attention to others is something I really struggle with. Especially, with my son. He LOVES to talk. Thank you for the reminder to make a conscience effort to really listen to him and to every one I have the opportunity to cross paths without through out my day.


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