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Tune in to Family
Photo: Lawrence Long
There are thousands of radio waves surrounding you at this very moment. Unless you are tuned into any of them, they will pass you by unnoticed. Without a receiver to zero in on a certain frequency, you cannot hear or see these invisible signals. Yet, these unseen waves are there.

Several years ago I wanted to be an amateur radio operator. I studied hard to pass the tests that would allow me to go on the air. Until I had my license, I could only listen. During this time, a friend loaned me an old tube receiver so I could at least begin to “listen”. One afternoon I strung a simple, single wire antennae across the roof of my house. Then I climbed down the ladder and ran excitedly into the house and hooked up the wires to the receiver. I still remember the thrill of warming up the old tube radio and hearing voices of people from around the world!

The Bible tells us, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds” (Proverbs 27:23). In order to know the state of your family or your children, you need to tune in to them. Like my radio receiver, we need to set up our antennas (our eyes and ears) and tune in to our family in order to know “the state of our flocks.” Here are four quick suggestions for tuning in to your family:

Four Quick Suggestions

1. Recognize that tuning in takes time. If you expect to take a quick pulse reading of your children’s hearts, forget it. Relationships take time. Men often measure how they are doing with their family by what they “do”. It takes time to listen and “sense” the hearts of others.

2. Use your ears more than your mouth. That sounds a bit obvious, but some people dominate conversations and don’t stop to deeply listen to their family members. They are focused on their own agendas, not the hearts of their spouse or kids.

3. Use your eyes. A lot of communication is nonverbal. When you ask your son, “How are you doing?” and he physically turns away from you while saying, “Fine,” there’s probably a lot more going on under the surface.

4. Ask questions. You can know the state of your family by asking basic questions, like, “What do you think about…” and “How do you feel about this?” or “I’d really like to know your thoughts on…” And then really listen.

There are lots of radio waves coming from your family members. Unless you flip on your receiver and really tune in, you will miss a lot of communication that will let you know “the state of your flock.” Take some time today to set up your antenna and receiver and listen.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982

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