What about her suggestions?

October 13, 2010

in Communication

Yesterday I suggested that you should see your suggestions to your bride as suggestions. Today, what about her suggestions to you? Certainly, the same rules apply – she should see her suggestions as something you can take or leave as you see fit. However, that said, her suggestions give you an opportunity to let her know you do listen to her, and you appropriate her input. Alternatively, you could unintentionally communicate to her that you don’t listen to her, don’t appreciate her input, or that you think she is clueless or downright stupid.

It takes very little time or energy to verbally confirm that you have heard, and that you appreciate, a suggestion. Beyond that, look for times when you can take her suggestion. Not just when it’s better than what you have thought of – if her suggestion is as good as what you have thought of, doing as she suggests might be a better choice in that it will make her feel heard and appreciated. (A LOT of wives don’t feel either of those very often.)

2 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Take Two - What I meant by "suggestions" would fall more under the category of perspective than advice and counsel. That said, I think I see the input of "subordinates" as more important than you do. To me, leading is more about being able to deal with all the information than having the right answers. Listening to all input does not have to lead to confusion or second guessing.

Take Two
Take Two

I think issue of getting counsel from the wife is a complicated one. While I wouldn’t ever advise anyone to just ignore his wife, I think there is much to consider. The first thing I would say is to never fall into the trap of being concerned with your wife’s self-esteem when regarding advice. There is no reason to praise someone for bad advice, as this can just lead to confused thinking. We should make sure our wives get their self-esteem from God and not from worldly things that they aren’t even gifted in. I believe every good leader has to be able to able to discern good advice from bad. Smart leaders remove the sources of bad advice from their counsel and surround themselves with a core of wise counselors. It should be no different in marriage. Our wives may be able to give wise counsel but they also may not. We need to make sure they understand where and when the counsel is appreciated and when it isn’t. Keep in mind that unwanted and unneeded advice is the worst form of nagging and we all know how the Bible warns about this. I believe that all subordinates should concentrate more on giving perspective than advice and counsel. I am learning that God has put people in charge for a reason and we need to respect their decisions. It is nearly impossible when we start second guessing all decisions they reach. But, God has given me a personal (or possibly a group) perspective that they may not have considered. By giving this information to leaders, I can help them make better decisions without getting into the mess of trying to push them into my will. Wives would do well to keep this advice.

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