Thursday, September 25, 2014

To Love Is to Listen

"Husbands, love your wives" (Eph. 5:25).

"Be quick to listen, slow to speak" (James 1:19).

Listening to your wife is the better part of loving her.  What does this mean?  A wife needs a husband who spends time listening to her.  In this way she will know that he loves her.

I remember meeting with a young couple once, and the wife made it perfectly clear.  Fighting back the tears, she explained to her husband, "When I share something with you, I'm not always looking for an answer, but just for you to listen."  Her husband had no idea about that.  He was focused on a solution.  So they took a big step forward in their marriage that day.

It's not that a solution is unimportant.  It's just that something else must come first.  The primary need a wife has is to be understood by her husband.  This is another, more concrete, way of saying that her primary need is to be loved.

Husbands, practice listening to your wives.  Make special time for it.  Give her your undivided attention.  In sincerity say things like, "Tell me more about that part of it," or, "Let me see if I understand."  After this, she may well want you to help identify a solution, or the time for that may come later.  But sometimes it will be all she needs simply to be understood.

And wives, don't forget that your husbands have a need to be understood too.  So the same rules apply.

But husbands, you need to go first.  You can do this!  Husbands, love your wives.  Listen.

And let all of us remember that we have a Lord who listens perfectly to us when we go to Him in prayer.