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Stop and Listen
Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. JAMES 1:19
A group of carpenters building an icehouse in the north country of Canada was taking a lunch break when a boy came upon them and heard their conversation.
One was bemoaning a watch he had lost at some point in the morning’s work.
Though he’d looked for it for a couple of hours, he hadn’t been able to find it.
“Would you mind if I went into the ice house and looked?” the boy asked.
“Yeah, sure,” the men laughed, certain he’d never find anything in a dark room with no electricity. Within 30 seconds, the boy emerged holding the watch in his hand. The carpenters couldn’t believe it! “How did you find it?”
“It was simple,” the boy said. “I just stopped in the middle of the room, stood still and listened for ticking.”
Many of us (especially us men) are rightly accused of not listening very well.
We rarely stop and take time to focus our attention—to really hear—what our spouse is trying to tell us. Instead, we quickly say things like, “That’s dumb, honey. You shouldn’t feel that way. You’re blowing this all out of proportion.”
Those are statements that come from not really seeking to listen and understand where our wife or husband is coming from.
During serious conversations or conflicts, you need to stop and listen, ask questions or paraphrase what your spouse is saying in order to understand what he or she really means. Asking a good question can often be like an emotional crowbar to dislodge how somebody really feels.
Listening is another way of saying, “You’re important to me, and I love you.”
The person who says, “You’re not listening to me,” is usually right. How often are these words spoken between you? What is one habit you can change to become a better listener?
Thank God for always being there to listen to us, no matter how illogical or reactionary we may sometimes be. Ask for His counsel in how to be more like Him. And pray for yourself that you will be a better listener to your partner.