Two ears, one mouth

December 28, 2010

in Communication

I am all ears © John Keith | Dreamstime.com

A friend of mine, a medical doctor no less, is fond of saying we have two ears and one mouth, and should use the proportionally. Granted, you and your bride can’t both listen to each-other more than you talk, but you can probably both listen more – and listen better. This is especially true for those of us with an abundance of testosterone, as one of the major gripes from wives is that their husband does not listen to them.

What does it mean to listen? Better yet, what does it mean to really hear? It’s possible to repeat her words back perfectly and still not have heard what she means – not heard her heart. For women being heard, being understood, is vital. Being heard is more important to her than you have an answer for any problem she has. Being heard is at least as important as having you agree with her.

Work to hear the ideas, concerns, hopes, disappointments, and joys behind her words. Learn to focus on her words, rather than how you are going to reply. Knowing you have heard what she says will deeply bless her, and make her feel loved.

2 comments
Eleutheros
Eleutheros

In the movie, "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", the misadventures sub-plot centered around the acquisition of a gun- a special gun that, when you are shot with it, gives you an understanding of the shooter's [i]point of view[/i]. Suddenly, each character that was shot understands the other's perspective and thus thier motivations, such that their responses change accordingly. Most of the women I know who saw this movie said that they wanted one of those guns! So what's Christian about that? Nothing. And Everything. Because, one of the reason's I used to not listen to others when they spoke, even though I could repeat back what was said, was because I foreknew that if I did listen to them, so that I might understand their perspective, my point of view might change. And that might not be a good thing, I feared. So, I argued and fought and learned how to 'defend myself' and 'stand my ground'... and win. And that was how that fear made me unable to love, because love requires understanding before it has any real, life changing, influence. Because, while it is a truth that understanding does not have to equate to agreement and that disagreement doesn't equate to misunderstanding, it is also a truth that understanding often leads to sympathy and sympathy to mercy and leniency… and forbearance. And since those are the very attributes that will make Jehovah, Who is agape, or , ‘fondness and affection’, a Great and True Judge when we All stand before Him on that terrible Day of Decision, my hope is that, on that day, because of the things I do and say, here and now, He will see the understanding and mercy and leniency and forbearance in my heart and recognize it as His own. So, listen to those you love, with all your heart, that you might understand theirs. And don't fear those fearful changes in perspective because that fear will stop love cold in you. And finally, know that nothing good is ever lost for simply seeing things from somebody else's point of view. And so I urge you all to be good, just as you were created to be!

Bob Beauchamp
Bob Beauchamp

Great insights Eleutheros! I believe that is the very reason that Jesus came to us as a man...to view our condition from our perspective. Not because he had to, it's totally for OUR benefit...and what a great benefit it is! He is now our advocate with the Father and we are able to relate to Jesus as someone who can "sympathize with our weakness". There is a biblical principle which describes revelation (understanding) as having two stages. First is learning (reading and hearing) and second is experiential. You can only understand something so far by reading and hearing about it second-hand. Experiencing it first-hand is what fills in any missing gaps and really brings the full knowledge of any situation. I believe, as husbands, we won't be able to experience things the way our wives do (and same for them experiencing stuff the way we do). Thankfully we, as Christians, have the Holy Spirit to help us glom together our own knowledge and experience together with what our wives are saying to us so we can have as much understanding as possible when we listen intentionally. God is very interested in marriages so I know that He'll do whatever we allow Him to do in our lives to make it the best possible...in every area.

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