“…be swift to hear, slow to speak…” James 1:19b
We are often so busy speaking that we don’t take time to listen. We are so quick to offer a comment – negative or positive – that we don’t really “hear” our husband‘s heart. Remember: we have two ears and only one mouth. We need to listen more!
As you continue in your 30-day challenge, not speaking negatively and focusing on positive encouragement, hear the Lord’s admonition today: “Be swift to hear.”
If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself. See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question. If your husband notices the difference, explain that you are learning to listen more-not only to God, but also to him.
One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about
something he enjoys, and then listen to his response. If it’s an area of personal
familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn’t know, then tell him, “Wow, I didn’t know that!”
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Published by Revive Our Hearts, © 2005. Permission granted to photocopy in the exact form, including copyright. All other uses require written permission.
Revive Our Hearts * P.O. Box 2000, Niles, MI 49120 * www.ReviveOurHearts.com
Did you know there are three ways to “listen” to someone? Listening is not just “hearing” because you can hear a noise and completely tune it out or ignore it. Nope listening is when one person decides to communicate and chooses the “code” they’re going to use to indicate that message/idea…and the listener receives the “code”…decodes it…and interprets it to try to understand. It’s effective when the person doing the listening interprets the code in the same way that the communicator intended it. And as I mentioned there are three ways to listen to someone:
1) Active Listening–this is the one we are talking about and aiming for today. When you are active listening, you are looking at the person who’s talking, you are thinking about what they are saying, and you are trying to understand their idea–catch their excitement–or share what they are sharing. In this listening both parties are active and verify that they have heard the right thing.
2) Passive Listening–oh we’ve all had this one done to us! This is when you are talking and someone is looking at the TV or computer screen sort of “half-listening”–their mind is elsewhere. Passive listening can also be when the listener thinks, “Oh I’ve heard this before!” and rather than verifying the message, they assume it’s the same ol’ message they’ve heard in the past.
3) Competitive Listening–unfortunately we’ve all done this one too. This form of listening is when we are so interested in our own ideas and pushing our own agenda that we don’t really “listen” at all! Instead, while the other person is talking, we’re thinking of our response or looking for flaws or weaknesses to attack. We basically just pretend to pay attention while we look for openings to jump in and take over.
So that’s our challenge today. LOOK at how you listen to your husband. Is it more like #3 or #2 than #1? Are you looking for your chance to butt in and give YOUR opinion or say how much worse YOUR day was than his? If so, take the day today and really try to listen to him. Hear his words and then ask him, “So what you’re trying to say is…” and summarize what you think you heard him say. You will probably be surprised how often you assume you know what he means and assume incorrectly! Today…give him the gift of being HEARD.