Men, God has charged us with leading our families. Thankfully, God has given us specific directions in his word to help us be leaders who build others up. In this post we will look at one of these directives -- not to answer without listening. "He who answers before listening -- that is his folly and his shame" (Proverbs 18:13).
This is something that as men we seriously need to take to heart. Pride leads us to think that we can solve problems by making educated guesses or by relying on our own analysis. So, we tend to speak first and ask questions later. But Proverbs 18:13 makes the startling statement that answering before listening is a foolish and shameful thing. When we answer before we listen we act as though we don’t need input from others to make a wise judgment. Over time this attitude can lead to bitterness and resentment from those we lead.
This is one sin whose bitter fruit may take years to mature. Little children seldom have either the ability or the opportunity to address the damage you cause by answering before listening. Here is an example. Dad hears his two boys appearing to have yet a problem with sharing a toy.
"Josh, I see that you still have not learned to share your toy with Ryan."
"But, daddy, this time I didn't…"
"Now Josh, you know that you must respect daddy and not talk back to me."
"Josh, I said no back talking! It is not right before God to be disrespectful to daddy. Not another word!"