Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Respecting my Husband: His Words

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 - 

LISTENING.

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? 
Not talking.

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?



Ashley

13 comments:

  1. This is probably the aspect of marriage I'm going to struggle with the most: shutting up! Ha!

    Seriously, though, I love how you point out that if we're talking, we can't be listening. It's just not possible. And I take this in the spirit of my relationship with Christ, too: if I'm talking or planning or doing, I can't be guided by His still, small whisper.

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    1. Annie! That is SUCH a good point! I am so glad you said that. Prayer is not easy for me, especially the being still part. Thank you for making that connection!

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  2. Thank you so much! This is perfect and something that I need to work on. I need to make sure I'm not just listening to the sounds of my husband talking but listening to the words!

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    1. I will always need to work on this for sure. It's not easy! Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  3. Love it! I'm still learning this!

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  4. Love this post, girl! I am learning this in my friendships, to focus more on listening, and not just listening to respond.

    Miss your gorgeous self!

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    1. Yes, yes, you are so right. It can apply to all relationships! It's so not easy.

      Miss you tooooooo!

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  5. And to add: I am not "Holy Spirit Jr".....I have to practice allowing the Holy Spirit to instruct, correct and deal with my hubby. That's not my role.

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  6. So true I am a talker Lord lol I always joke and say God made it so I started making teeth at 3months(real) because he knew I would be a talkative person my problem has always been listening to hear what the person is saying and not just so I can respond which is double trouble for me because I'm opinionated have a low attention spand and a daydreamer so I really have to work extra hard on this thank God I'm improving

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  7. This is one of my most painful issues in my marriage. I am sometimes guilty of not fully listening, but sometimes I just can't here him because his voice is quiet or because I couldn't switch gears fast enough from what I was doing to dial in to what he said or it literally takes me about 30 seconds to be able to process what he just said and he gets really mad and feels like I don't care about him and refuses to repeat anything even if it was an honest mistake. That really hurts my feelings.

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