I'm doing a 31 day series about Respecting my Husband! To read about why I should respect him and go to a list of all 31 days, please visit my 31 Days of Respecting my Husband post.
Day 2: Respecting His Words
When it comes to respecting my husband's words, there is one thing that is key -
I'm not even really a talker, relatively speaking, but I know that I talk more than my husband. This may not be the case for you, but I would bet that it is for the majority. Women, for the most part, like to talk more than men.
But you know what the first step to listening to my husband is?
I used to have a youth pastor who would stand up and repeat over and over, "Are you listening? Not if you're talking," until we all shut up and listened to him. It worked.
I am honored to be not only my husband's wife, but his best friend. Someone he can confide in. But I can't be that someone if I don't LET him confide in me. If he is taking the time to talk to me about something - anything - I need to respect that and listen.
And that doesn't mean listen for two seconds and butt in with my opinion. It means actively listening to ALL he has to say. Without thinking the entire time about what I'm going to say next. (Aren't we all guilty of this?)
So what does it mean for me to be an active listener?
- Making eye contact
- Laying aside distractions
- Responding with body language (facing him, nodding)
- Clarifying what he's saying
- Asking questions
What do I mean by clarifying what he's saying? For example, if he's talking about something that went wrong at work, I could say something like, "That must have been frustrating." And then he could either say, "Yes! It was!" or "Frustrating? It was more like horrifying!" (Jordan would never say that but it's the example that popped in my head.) So with either response from him I have a better understanding of how he is feeling and what he is trying to convey to me. When having conversations (with anyone for that matter) I am often assuming what the person is feeling because that's how I would be feeling - but this isn't always the case. It's usually NOT the case because we aren't actually the same person and can't read each other's minds. That's why it's good to provide feedback that clarifies what he is saying.
Another example - if he tells me, "I sat by myself at lunch today," I would probably respond with, "That sounds relaxing!" But he may come back with, "It was actually pretty lonely." See how we could take something two completely different ways? But I won't know unless I clarify. I hope that makes sense.
This may seem weird to do at first, but I remember learning it in an education course in college and I've tried to put it into practice ever since then. It truly helps when trying to understand people and get into their heads. It's a good habit to pick up.
When I say asking questions, I don't mean in a nagging, weird way. It's more like a follow-up. Sometimes I don't know if Jordan just wants me to listen or if he wants help. I can ask questions like, "Is there any way I can help you with this?" or "How can I pray for you about this?"
Showing respect for my husband's words means letting him know that his words have value. That his thoughts, ideas, and opinions are important to me. If there is anyone in the world who will listen to him no matter what he has to say, it should be me. I pray that I can be that confidant for him!
Speaking of Jordan....what a stud! :)
See you tomorrow for Day 3 - Respecting my Husband: Talking About Him.
Do I portray my husband in a positive or negative light to other people?