The research is clear: women talk more than men. Some say that women speak around 8000 words each day while men speak about half that. Others say the ratio is more like women’s 20,000 words to men’s 7000. (You have to wonder how they counted).
Most of us know that good communication is essential for any relationship. But it’s hard for us to get it right. Men complain that women talk too much. Women complain that men don’t talk enough. Or perhaps you have a friend who does all the talking and never lets you get a word in. It’s not a good feeling—and it doesn’t make for a great relationship.
Usually when relating to God, we’re the ones who are doing all the talking. How do you think God feels about a one-sided conversation—and what it means for the quality of our relationship with him?
Yet I regularly hear people say: I wish God would speak to me more! I wish he would just write his words across the sky in neon lights—so I would know exactly what he’s saying. You may have even said that yourself.
It seems that the ancient characters had similar frustrations. In the book of Job, we read something of the problem: “Why do you complain to him that he (God) responds to no-one’s words? For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no-one perceive it.”
The problem is, God is speaking but we don’t recognize it. He is answering, but we don’t notice. The problem is not with God wanting to speak—it’s in his very nature to communicate. The problem is with us—needing to listen. In fact, Jesus promised that his people would be able to recognize his voice—and know it enough to follow. God’s heart is for every one of us to hear from his side of the conversation!
: How do you think a one-sided conversation impacts our relationship with God? How is recognizing Jesus’ voice connected with following him?
: God I confess, sometimes I’m the one who is doing all the talking in this relationship. Teach me to value your words ahead of my own.
: Tania Harris is a pastor, speaker, author, and the founder of God Conversations, a global ministry that equips people to recognize and respond to God’s voice. For more resources to help you hear God’s voice, go to www.godconversations.com.