I don’t know if this is true in every marriage, but for some reason I have a tendency to tune out everything around me and concentrate on my own thoughts. This is especially frustrating to my wife, Martie, when she is talking to me about something important. When she notices the distant look in my eyes, she often says, “Have you heard anything I’ve said?”

Listening is an important part of any relationship, especially in our relationship with Christ. If we belong to Him, we have the privilege of communing with Him through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. We know we are paying attention to the true Shepherd when His voice leads us to righteousness, love, grace, and all that is consistent with His character and will. As Jesus made clear when He identified Himself as the “good Shepherd” in John 10, those who diligently listen to Him become devoted followers of Him (v.4) who are becoming transformed into His likeness.

Just as listening attentively to your spouse or a friend communicates value and worth, paying close attention to the voice of Jesus is one way to affirm His importance in your life. So, let’s cast aside the distractions of life, tune in to His voice, and pray for the grace to do what He says.