[Jesus said,] “To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge.”Matthew 13:12
You cannot overestimate the importance of listening to your spouse. Listening says, “I value you and our relationship. I want to know you.” You can never have an intimate marriage if you don’t know your spouse.
Respecting the other person’s ideas, even when they differ from your own, is essential to communication. Few people will continue to communicate if their thoughts are always condemned. Also, responding too quickly gets in the way of effective listening. Listen twice as much as you talk, and you will know your spouse much better. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 13:12 that listening brings knowledge. The more we listen and the better we listen, the more we understand. That’s certainly true of Jesus’ teachings, but it also applies to conversations with our spouse.
If your spouse starts talking, take it as a “holy moment.” The one you love is about to reveal something. When your spouse begins to reveal his or her inner self, don’t do anything to stop the flow. Drop everything else and focus on listening. Nod sympathetically. Smile if your spouse says something funny. Let your eyes show concern if your spouse expresses pain. Ask questions to make sure you’re getting the message. Good, active listening stimulates communication.
Lord, I want to listen well to my spouse and gain more and more understanding of this person I love. I know that needs to start with valuing the times when he or she shares thoughts and feelings with me. Please give me the self-discipline to be an active, alert listener so our communication will be stronger and stronger.
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