Do you have the right to be heard?
I stole the post title from this excellent post by Seth. Because Seth’s list was for business, much of it does not apply to marriage, so I thought I’d do my own list for marriage. The basic thrust is still the same “Sure, you have the right to speak, but what does it take to be listened to?”
Many would argue, and I would agree to a point, that a husband has a biblical position that gives him a right to be heard. I do not, however, think that is without any limit, and the reality is if we don’t earn the right to be heard, we don’t really get the respect and hearing that we may think we deserve. In short, even if your bride grants you the right to be heard based on your position, in the long run it’s not going to work out that way if you fail to also earn the right to be heard.
So, here’s my short list of ways to earn the right to be heard:
- Hear her
- Make sure she knows you hear her
- Have a track record of being worth listening to
- When you blow it, confess it with no blame shifting
- Show an ongoing, growing, adaptive awareness of her needs
- Keep proving, by your actions and words, that you are on her side