Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Building Intimacy by Listening

I'm going to be writing some encouraging words and quotes to help spur on the ladies who have decided to take the 30 Day Challenge. I think I need this as much as anyone! Most of it will be taken from Gary Thomas' book "Devotions for a Sacred Marriage".

"Listening is the motor oil for both spiritual growth and marital health. Without it, the friction and the heat will cause the gears of our souls to jam and break, blowing up the engine. Relationships start to break down when both parties keep talking and stop listening. Being together, building intimacy, and growing in oneness require listening. When we stop listening, we stop loving.

It all begins with our prayers. If we keep rattling off a list of things we want God to change about our spouses, we're not paying attention to the list of things God wants to use our spouses to change about us. My morning prayers have become virtual marching orders. God almost never points out something my wife needs to do for me; ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he reveals to me what I'm to do for her.

Listening, of course, require a monumental shift in attitude. We should enter each day of marriage as learners, not teachers. God uses the challenges of marriage to teach us about ourselves. He uses our spouses to teach us how the other gender thinks and reacts. he uses marriage to give us perspective, and perhaps even a new outlook. God does not limit his lessons according to the gifting of the persons with whom we live; he is well able to speak through even the worst of sinners.

But when we refuse to listen, we miss all of this. You can change the entire spiritual climate in your home merely by choosing to listen. It's amazing what this simple spiritual act can do. Days of despair get transformed into days of discovery; disappointment gives way to discernment.

The best way to change your marriage is to start listening more than you talk. and when you pray, listen to God more than you complain about your spouse."

Yesterday, my husband came home very late from an activity. My first tendency was to jump all over him. In fact, I did ask him in an irritated voice why he was an hour late. I should have known I could have trusted him. He had a very good reason for being late. I was ashamed that I spoke first without letting him explain himself. We ended up having a wonderful hour long discussion about the things we like about our marriage. What a blessing!

Let's start listening more and speaking less!

God gave us two ears and one mouth.


Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I'm listening:)

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Great points!

Connie said...

Yes, most people do not want answers, questions, or directions - they just want someone who will listen to them.

alexis said...

You are so right about letting your husband explain himself before jumping on him! I have a tendency to do this sometimes as well, and usually feel so ashamed of myself afterwards. this is a great post!

Cat said...

Thank you, Stacie, I know I want my husband to communicate more, and when he does I make disparaging comments (in my head) about the level to which he goes. I must be obedient to The One who gave him to me, and I must honor, in my heart and in my head, whatever he says because it is usually good stuff.

Grandma Becky said...

Thanks for the post. I like to talk and so I've been listening to what Phil says, even when it's about work and I don't comprehend it all. I have two days where I could have said something to him, such as when he was to call in RX on Tues. for us and didn't. I said I'd have to have a word with him, at pharmacy. I guess that wasn't being too negative? Well, he called a bit afer I got home and had a message for our daughter. We also talked and he had a good reason why. Too busy doing things b4 work, also called his dad who's in the hospital again, in PA. So that's ok. I called RX in that evening. Bit my tongue tonight at dinner tonight. See! I can hold my tongue! Thanks for the encouragement, Stacey. Love all the photos of you and the children. Pretty lady with adorable children!! Have a good evening and God bless!

Margaret said...

Stacie..thanks for your reminding words that dig deep. It is so easy to focus on them and not on us. I do also take the challenge with you and will go open the Truth Dare tonight. When we did it last time, things happened in me and God blessed our marriage mightily. I want it again...I love the picture of the woman with the umbrella asking the Holy Spirit to take her away. Thanks woman. I love you and see how God sharpen lots of iron around you.:-)

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