Another step in Home Improvement that I have always found very difficult is listening! I can get so caught up in my world and the things that I am doing that I do not take the time to listen and to really hear what Betty is saying. I will have the TV on, a book in my lap, a laptop computer is almost always a companion, etc.
Listening means closing the book, turning off the TV, putting the computer away and looking Betty in the eyes and listening to what she has to say. The great God of Heaven has time for every one of us. We are told to come boldly to the throne of grace and He will listen but so often the great husband of the house is so self centered and inwardly focused that he hears only his own desires and himself.
Now if that isn’t kicking myself I do not know what is! I am confessing sin that I am always working on. Communication is not one way. I need to listen more and criticize and blame less.
I need to be careful that I am not just listening passively. Betty wants to know that I heard and understood what she is feeling. So many times I do not get it. So many times I have to work at letting her know that she is important to me. She is but men and women have such different ways of expressing it and also of expecting it.
The best talking is listening. Looking her in the eyes. Repeating what is being said so that she knows that I am getting it–boy men are slow. I also need to hear what she is feeling and not just the facts.
Whenever the talk turns into a fight it is even more important to listen and learn to stop the fight and improve the relationship.
When I was a kid they used to say Pay attention! That is good advice.