You might recall the opening theme to the original Superman TV series. The announcer proclaims that Superman is “faster than a speeding bullet”. Well, God has been showing me how a part of me is also faster than a speeding bullet….and can cause as much damage as a live round of ammunition. That part of me is my mouth!
You may have the same challenge as I did in my marriage to Raul. Do you often get impatient when your husband is trying to express himself and end up finishing his sentences? I did. Do you interrupt your husband when he pauses mid-sentence? I did. Do you sometimes jump in and tell him how he should handle something as he’s trying to explain a challenging situation? I did. Do you get frustrated with him and react with harsh, disrespectful words that you can’t take back? Hmmm.
Let’s pray that God would give us the ability to be good listeners, patient talkers, and respectful communicators! This is definitely God’s will for us, as revealed in James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” The first step is to coach yourself at the beginning of a conversation with your husband. Remind your soul…”I will honor the Lord and my husband by listening quietly and responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…(repeat as necessary!!).
I have had some deep conversations with several women recently, and I walked away from those talks with spirits lifted. In fact, my heart seemed lighter and my path ahead seemed clearer. Even though I used to have some pretty good talks with my husband, it was so delightful to have an extended chat with some females. Talking with women filled a definite need for empathy. It also really helped me to more clearly process some things going on in my life as I verbalized what was happening and how I felt about those events in my life. These women were good listeners. They were able to handle my long and detailed account. They were able to empathize with my feelings. I’m so glad I have friendships with women, and not just with a man.
How about you? Do you have at least 2 deep friendships with other God-believing women? Do you have at least 2 women in your life who encourage you, empathize with you, or make you laugh? We NEED each other! A husband cannot possibly meet all your relational needs. Men aren’t wired the same as women. In case you haven’t noticed, most women need to talk about all the things happening in their lives, and we need listeners who will empathize with us! Most men are not wired to listen to a lengthy discussion, and they generally aren’t wired to express a lot of empathy either. But a good female friend can fill that void for you, and you can do the same for her. We need another woman to speak sweet words of empathy and encouragement in a way that most men just don’t understand. Proverbs 16:24 reminds us, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
So, be intentional about making some solid female friendships. Invite a woman from church or work to coffee. Be a good listener yourself. Ask her to tell you about herself, her children, her challenges, her successes, her spiritual giftings, her hobbies. Be a good listener. You’ll be on your way to developing a good friendship.