Restoring Relationships: Listen First
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV)
RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – I’ve told Connor that being a guy, I have to remind myself when Kris is sharing something with me, she usually doesn’t want me to fix it. She simply wants me to understand why she feels what she feels. Hopefully, he is taking good notes.
Us guys are fixers. “What’s wrong?…Oh, well then you make it better by doing this!…Next!”
Women are MUCH more complex. I am told y’all have emotions we guys can’t even dream of. According to Bill and Pam Farrel, tasks, relationships, feelings and emotions for women, all intertwine like a bowl of spaghetti. Men, on the other hand, compartmentalize everything and quickly go from one compartment to another without one thing affecting another…like a waffle. [Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti, by Bill and Pam Ferrel]
It is no accident God gave us (especially men) two ears and one mouth. He wants us to listen twice as much as we talk. And when we are silent, we should really listen. Don’t be thinking of what you are going to say next, listen, and try to understand where the other person is coming from. After spending a few minutes looking at things from their perspective, we might discover they aren’t as crazy or annoying as we previously thought.
Several months into our marriage, I was shocked when Kris showed me I wasn’t perfect. What a paradigm shift to have to realize I might actually be wrong…occasionally.
I find now that often things can be cleared up by simply listening to the other side, not always, but often. Kris and I were sitting in class 10+ years ago when Pam Oswald’s parents shared their rule, “If its not going to be important in 5 years, don’t argue about it now!”….
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4)