The Man's Need To Be Heard and Understood.
What do you desire most from your wife? The question was asked.
"I wish she would take the time to understand me",
was the answer of a frustrated husband.
This is the silent plea of many a man.
In fact, if his wife does not seek to understand him,
by improving her ability to listen, the demise of the marriage ensues.
Why does she find it so difficult to listen?
You see, women are deeply emotional,
and she improves every opportunity to give vent to the deep emotion of her soul.
If she is not deliberate about developing this fine art,
she will hijack every conversation,
and strangles every effort of her husband to connect with her.
He shares a sentiment that runs contrary to her viewpoint,
and she immediately exhales.
He tries to share with her his business and family plans,
and she silences him.
He retracts from the conversation with a resolve that he will be muzzled around her,
and seeks validation for his skills and breakthroughs from friends and associates.
It's time we understood that failure to listen to our spouse is a great injury to our marriage.
Our spouse is left feeling unimportant, disrespected, and suffocated.
And they wrestle to remain true to the relationship.
We can change that mode of operation by giving heed to divine counsel:
God reminds us the we should defy the natural urge to be always talking,
by training our ears to listen more than we talk.
(James 1:19- “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath" (KJV).
As though this principle needs to be chiseled in our mind,
God ventures to use even stronger language.
He says that failure to listen before we speak is a shame and disgrace:
Proverbs 18:13 "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him" (KJV)
Proverbs 18:13 —To answer before listening is foolish and shameful. ( New International Reader’s Version)
Proverbs 18:13 —The one who gives an answer before he listens this is foolishness and disgrace for him. (The Holman Christian Standard Bible -HCSB)
Why does he need to be heard?
Because he must talk.
He talks to connect with her, for God made him a social being.
God reminds us that "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18 NIV).
He talks for he seeks validation for his special skills and exceptional breakthroughs.
He talks for he is failing, and needs encouragement
He talks for he is unsure of the validity of his plans, and needs to sort his thoughts.
He talks for he feels distant from her and wants to bolster the emotional connectivity.
He talks for he feels stressed and care-worn and just wants to decompress.
He talks and talks, not begging for advise, but to administer therapy to his burdened soul.
How Do You Listen?
You listen, not to reply, but to understand him.
You listen, not with an agenda, but to learn his perspective.
You listen, not to condemn or judge, but to help him.
You understand that listening is not so much about the speaker, but the receiver.
Listening is not about you, but about him.
You listen, for your Master before you has left you an example,
that you should do as he has done.
In His discourse with Nicodemus,
Jesus could have engaged him in a theological rambling that had no purpose.
But instead, Jesus looked beyond his platitudinous speech to understand his deep motive and his need.
Jesus listened patiently, then shot straight to the root of his problem and, scratched where it itched. He looked beyond what was merely being said to what was meant.
Jesus then applied the ultimate liniment, "You must be born again" (John 3:1-4).