Are you listening to me?
Two weeks prior, I told my husband we had been invited to a friend’s home for dinner.
“Sounds great,” he said.
Unfortunately, it was apparently not so great that he remembered.
When the day came, he strolled through the front door 30 minutes late and sweaty from an afternoon of golf. “Do you even hear me when I talk?” I asked.
I wish that were a one-way question. But I’m guilty of the same thing. (My husband would say this is especially true with car-related issues.)
I bet you can relate. We are experts at “hearing” our spouses. The noise of their words hits our ears, but taking the time to focus in on their meaning is a totally different skill.
It requires a willingness to tune out extra distractions like phones, kids, TV, or even hunger (It’s hard for me to focus on anything when I need a snack).
Truth? I naturally tend to tune in to what interests me most … and tune out everything else.
But sometimes it goes even deeper. Resentment and unresolved conflict also seem to have a noise-cancelling effect when I’m listening to my husband.
If I know my husband is really hearing me, I feel loved, cherished, valued, and understood. It communicates that I deserve his attention and he desires to understand my heart.
And that sense of priority cuts both ways.
Listening is a practical, everyday way to place the needs of others above my own. God Himself listens to my cries when I pray to Him, as David reminds us in Psalm 18:6. Just as God listens to me, I long to listen to my spouse—beyond the sound waves hitting my ears.
Click here to "listen" to what Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn have to say about the art of listening.
The good stuff: Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger. (James 1:19)
Action points: Turn off all distractions for an hour (except the kids, just put them to bed a bit early). Take turns listening to each other’s days, thoughts, rants, etc. Don’t interrupt, but practice really hearing each other.
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