Source: Living Free/Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee
“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.” James 1:19-20 NLT
Active listening is perhaps the most important key to communicating with your spouse (or anyone else!). It shows that you care, that you accept and respect your mate.
Three examples of active listening are restatement, clarifying and summarizing:
- Restatement means repeating the content of what your spouse said. This conveys that you are paying attention and really hearing what he or she is saying.
- Clarifying might sound like this: “Do you mean …”? and relay in your own words what your spouse just said.
- Summarizing pulls together your mate’s message and draws it to a concluding point based on what you have seen and heard in the conversation.
Active listening can help you and your spouse understand each other better and build the trust level between you. It is a way to encourage and build up your mate and can have a calming effect when he or she is angry or frustrated. (A word of caution?active listening is not effective when your spouse is out of control ? for example, intoxicated or severely depressed. It is also not good to use if he or she needs immediate action.)
Ask God to help you learn to listen really listen.
Lord, help me be quick to listen and to learn to listen actively. In Jesus’ name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from:
Committed Couples: God’s Plan for Marriage & the Family by Dr. Jimmy Ray Lee.