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Are You Listening? - Cherie Zack | Fighting For Your Marriage

Shhhhhh.
Do you hear that?
Are you listening to what your husband is saying?
As we “fall” for our husbands all over again, we come to the first “L” in the acronym:

               Fidelity
              Affirmation
              Listening
              Looking for the lovable
I have four children and I know that sometimes they are slow to listen!
Ugh.  It is annoying and frustrating.
Ever been there as a mom?

Recently, the Lord used my frustration as a mom to correct me as a wife.

Ouch.

The Lord revealed to me that I don’t always listen to what my husband has to say.
It was true.  Sometimes, I listen with my ears but, often, as he begins to speak, I jump ahead in my mind and determine what he is saying without even letting him finish.
Oh. Wow.  How disrespectful of me!  I do it and he doesn’t even know I do it (most of the time).

The last part of Ephesians 6:33 says,

“…and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Listening to what my husband has to say is one component of respecting my husband.

You see, listening is not only done with the ears but with the mind and body.
As we listen with more than our ears, our husbands will feel and know the respect that we have for them.

Listening with our minds takes a little practice.  We need to focus on the words our husband is saying and make sure we know the intent he has behind them.
For instance, as our husbands speak, are we immediately defensive or are we thoughtful as to what he is really trying to convey to us?

A way to understand what we are hearing is to ask our husbands if we understand them correctly.  Ask your husband to clarify or state differently what he is saying if there is any confusion.
This kind of technique has been described by some marriage counselors as the Speaker-Listener technique.
It is very useful as a listener to make sure that the speaker gets a chance to speak but also for them to be heard!  It is hard to “listen” to  someone for very long if we don’t understand what they are talking about!

My husband and I often joke that after being married as long as we have we should be able to read each other’s minds.  The problem is we can’t!  (Yes, we can sometimes finish each other’s sentences and give knowing looks to each other, but we certainly can’t forgo verbal communication in the hopes that the other knows what we are thinking or need!)

We still must be intentional about listening to each other.

As we listen to our spouse with our ears and our mind, it is also helpful to convey with our body that we are listening.
For instance, do we stop what we are doing when we talk to each other?  I respect my husband when I look at him and come in the same room as him when he talks.

I know that I am busy but I find that when I show interest in what he has to say he is rewarded with the respect due him as my husband.  He feels loved.  He knows he is important to me and it certainly helps the communication flow easier.

I found that I was hindering communication, as I was a less-than-good listener.
I crave time spent communicating with my husband.

I get more of that time as I become a better listener because he knows what he says is valuable to me and knows that I respect what he has to say!

The simple action of turning to face your husband when he talks can go a great distance.
Our body posture can help remind us as wives that our husbands do have preeminence in our lives and schedules.

Listening with your ears, mind and body can help you fall for your man all over again.  Be a good listener.  Show him you care by closing your mouth, making eye contact and letting him speak.  Then, ask for clarification if necessary.

Shhhhhh, can you hear him now?
~Kim