Listen to One Another
He Who Gives An Answer Before He Hears, it is Folly And Shame To Him. - Proverbs 18:13 (NASB)
As you look toward your wedding day and a lifetime of marriage, one ingredient will need constant attention for your relationship to flourish. I think you already know what it is—communication.
You may think you are communicating now. To a certain degree you are communicating; but the two of you haven’t yet learned to really speak one another’s language.
In some ways, each of you is still somewhat of a foreigner to each other. Learn to use your partner’s style of thinking and speaking when the two of you interact together. This will help you to understand and to draw closer to each other.
Remember that communication is not only talking, but also silence, a quiet look, a gentle touch.
Discover the best time of the day for each of you to communicate and give each other the gift of your individual attention. Set aside a bit of time each day to sit together, hold hands and share your hearts and your deepest feelings.
Make the first four minutes you see one another at the end of the day’s work a time of positive interaction through touch and talking.
Do more than talk; listen as well. Listen with your mind, heart, ears and eyes.
Remember that nonverbal language can say more than words can.
Listening styles also differ, especially between men and women. Practice the principles of God’s Word in your listening.
“I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live” (Ps. 116:1,2, NASB).
True listening requires total attention, no distractions, and not letting your mind formulate what you will say as soon as your partner stops talking. One of the greatest gifts you can give is to listen.
Too many discussions become dialogues of the deaf. “Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener]” (Jas. 1:19, Amp.). Ask your partner when is the best time of the day to talk to each other.
Consider the following words someone penned years ago (source unknown):
“When I ask you to listen to me and you start giving advice, you have not done what I asked.
“When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problems, you have failed me, strange as that may seem.
“So please, just listen a few minutes for your turn and I promise I’ll listen to you.”
Above all, remember who it is who never tires of listening to you.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books