The book of Proverbs offers much to help all communicators: the quiet, the loud, the listeners and the talkers. Effective/compassionate communication is crucial to any/all “living” relationships. (Without compassionate communication, relationships die.)
For some further context, please read:
The thoughts (intentions) of a man’s heart are like deep waters, But the discerning man draws them out. (Proverb(s) 20:5)
Excerpt read: (my highlights)
If a wise and experienced person is not inclined to give unsolicited advice, we may have to draw him out to get his counsel. The situation is similar when we listen with love. It takes discernment to draw a person out. Asking questions helps, but we must be careful that our questions do not pry into private matters. It may be helpful to suggest that the one speaking start with matters he feels comfortable mentioning.
Excerpt: Art of Listening with Love
The ability to listen with love does not come naturally. However, it is an art that can be learned through effort and discipline. It certainly is a skill worth acquiring. Really listening when others speak is an expression of our love. It also contributes to our happiness. How wise it is, then, to cultivate the art of listening with love! Listening when someone is upset with us can be challenging, for our natural inclination is to defend ourselves.
“An answer, when mild, turns away rage,” says Proverbs 15:1. Kindly inviting the person to talk and then patiently listening as he expresses his grievance is one way to reply with mildness.
Heated arguments often consist of two people merely repeating what they have already said. Each one feels that the other individual is not listening. How good it would be if one of them would stop and really listen! Of course, it is important to exercise self-control and express oneself in a discreet and loving way. The Bible tells us: “The one keeping his lips in check is acting discreetly.”—Proverbs 10:19.
i like this proverb…(my highlights)
“A wise person will listen and take in more instruction, and a man of understanding is the one who acquires skillful direction.” (Prov. 1:5, 6)
In ancient times, traveling by sea was a challenge that required experience. It was an art usually learned at the feet of longtime sailors, perhaps a helmsman. (Acts 27:9-11) Many ancient paintings emphasize the importance of the helmsman’s role by portraying him as being larger than others. To venture out into the open sea, seafarers learned about stars, winds, and other points of reference. The Bible describes certain seamen as being “skilled,” using a term that can mean “wise.”—Ezek. 27:8; ftn.
Navigating life’s problems today can seem as arduous as going to sea in ancient times. What can help us?
The Hebrew term rendered “skillful direction” can describe the actions of the commander of an ancient ship. It implies the ability to guide and direct with skill. Skillful direction” is certainly needed in the family. Raising children is a long-term job, and the choices made in spiritual or material areas affect the future of all in the family. excerpt: Be Wise Seek Skillful Direction w 12 6/5
Thinking about skillful direction and the family: At my kids’ school…just about every week day, (when not absent/on school vaca–of course), we go to breakfast…1 of my daughter’s needs to be there early for a class starting at 8:30 a.m. and we arrive early enough to eat breakfast together and hang out with friends there. The girls like the breakfast offered, and hey, i don’t have to cook!;)(Like i have any cooking complaints: Hubby cooks for me/the kids everyday!) (We sorta have our own little breakfast club going.)
Who would think (?) You’d have such interesting/in-depth conversations at an elementary school cafeteria?! In actuality, it’s a joy to see and interact with my daughters and adorable kids and fellow parents at her school. It amazes me that hundreds of kids eat breakfast at this school each day…a handful of parents or grandparents or other adults show up; we are in the minority. You never know what will come out of any kid’s mouth: they are honest talkers and questioners. It’s like they innocently drop these (potential) conversation bombs…and i try to do damage control (the best i can). It can be heartbreaking to hear of the challenges these young people face. (It’s a harsh reminder to us parents: to get our acts together–stop being selfish cause ultimately our kids suffer (short & long) from our stupid aka non-skillful/non-compassionate choices/direction.) How can kids be expected to succeed in school or life without any stable/consistent parental/home nurturing environment?! (That’s partly why i value life-long education: i don’t want my kids paying for my stupidity aka lack of “accurate” knowledge on any given topic…that could potentially directly or indirectly impact them negatively now or later.)
All i know is: when You really/respectfully listen to these kids (or anyone else)…and “attempt” to offer: a kind/compassionate word of encouragement/direction…You get lots of smiles, hugs and friends…at the cafeteria…or elsewhere!:)