Most men aren’t very good listeners (and I’m a man, so I can relate from personal experience). The more I work with couples, the more I’m convinced that a lack of listening (particularly on the part of husbands) is one of the biggest barriers to trust and intimacy in marriage. I’m not trying to beat up on the guys here, because marriage is a two-way street, and both husbands and wives have important responsibilities, but this particular post is a challenge for the men (myself included).
The Bible has a lot to say about marriage and the dynamics of healthy relationships. For me, one of the most important verses about marriage in the Bible is one we often overlook. It takes place as Jesus is about to be crucified and just before Pilate (the Governor) makes his terrible verdict, Pilate’s wife comes to him with some advice…
Just then, as Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent him this message: “Leave that innocent man (Jesus) alone. I suffered through a terrible nightmare about him last night.” Matthew 27:19
Did Pilate listen to his wife? NO! History remembers Pilate as a fool, but his role in the story could have been completely different had he only listened to the advice of his wife.
My amazing wife Ashley is my best friend and my dream girl, but I’ve still failed many times when it comes to giving her my undivided attention. So, what about YOUR marriage? Is listening an issue? Are you tempted to tune out when your wife is talking? Are you only pretending to listen, but really watching Sportscenter? We’ve all made those mistakes at times.
This isn’t about us beating ourselves up, but rather, this is a challenge for us to give our wives the attentiveness and respect they need and deserve. We should listen ALWAYS, because our wives always need our best. Our marriages are shaped by what we do with consistency, so let’s create a consistent habit of better listening.
1. Listening to her perspective will help you see every situation with more clarity.
When you thoughtfully consider your wife’s perspective, you’re able to see every situation more clearly. Women tend to be mindful of details, considerate to the feelings of those involved and in tune with aspects of the situation that we (as men) may be likely to overlook. Her perspective will add richness and depth to your perspective.
2. Listening to your wife will increase your wisdom.
The Bible (particularly the book of Proverbs) has much to say about the differences between a wise person and a “fool.” One of the chief differences is a willingness to listen. When you listen to your bride, you’re honoring her, honoring your Creator and also growing in your wisdom. When you disregard her, you’re acting foolish.
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” Proverbs 18:13
3. Listening to your wife helps you grow closer to each other.
Communication does for your marriage what breathing does for your lungs. When you wife is talking to you and sharing the details of her day, she’s attempting to engage with you on all levels. Most women have a need for meaningful communication that is every bit as strong as the typical man’s need for sex.
4. Listening shows your love.
It’s really as simple as that. When you truly listen, you’re communicating your love and respect to the most important person in your life. What more reason do you need?
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