Or don’t and wish you did. I can’t speak for every man, but I still have a lot to learn even after all these years of marriage. My wife speaks one word to my every one thousand. But, when she speaks there is usually much to be heard. Words that don’t need to be ignored, misunderstood, or taken lightly.
If it makes you feel better I still put my foot in my mouth quite frequently. I can easily get wrapped up in my own wants and needs. Fortunately, I have a wife who I love dearly who knows how to help me see reality.
I’ve said many times the only thing that has spared my marriage from divorce has been the grace and undeserved love of my wife. But, there comes a point when you have to wake up, step up, and be the man God has called you to be.
Several years ago, while reading a book called “The Ten Commandments of Marriage” God hit me upside the head. I was actually preparing a message series on marriage to preach to others. Well, God had a message for me. I was only in the first chapter of the book when conviction came all over me. The author said, “Thou shall not have Pigitis”. He went on to explain how we can’t be all about us, but we have to seek to understand our spouse.
I remember that day like yesterday because it actually broke my heart. How many times did I miss what was going in the heart of my spouse? How many times was I so focused on my thoughts that I failed to even consider hers? What had I missed for nearly ten years of marriage that could have enriched our relationship? I can answer that quickly, I missed a lot!
If we want our marriage to not only survive, but thrive we have to listen. Don’t be so focused on being understood, but seek to understand your spouse. You can’t love well anyone you don’t really know. You have to get to know their struggles, fears, disappointment, hopes and dreams. Anything less just leads to two strangers at odds, laying in bed next to each other.
Communication will always be a work in progress. But, active listening will always be critical to healthy communication. Ladies and gentlemen, make sure you listen to your spouse. I’ve seen too many brokenhearted men and woman that later wish they had done something before their marriage fell completely apart.
(James 1:19)(NIV)”My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”