Listening in Love
By Jill Briscoe
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak.” ~ James 1:19
Listening works wonders! Loving silence has no sound, but tells the one sitting next to you that you care. It can say to the hurting heart, “I want to free you to think about yourself, your failures, and your goals. Because I love you and am interested in you I am willing to sit in silence with you.”
Can you sit with a friend without talking? Ecclesiastes 3:7 tells us there is “a time to keep silence and a time to speak”! Can you sit with your husband in silence? Or do you, as I am wont to do, complete all his sentences for him? That particular habit irritates my man to distraction, but I find myself doing it anyway. It’s such fun to guess the ending of his story and race him there! I have to confess, though, that both God and Stuart have been working on me lately to exert more self-control. I am learning to use a short reply, because it invites more response! I have thanked God that He has graced me with a companion, and have reminded myself that he is indeed a companion and not a competitor in a word game!
I have learned to listen and discover with joy the unusual and unique facets of the one I love. I pray hard to fight down my impulsive, emotional response and let him talk.
For this I need to rely on Jesus, of course. I love to gab. I have discovered that God is delighted to tame my tongue and tune my ear; and whenever He has been allowed to do so, He has filled my heart with the knowledge that listening with love begets love in return!