Are you listening?

September 12, 2017
SONG OF SOLOMON 2:14 - Let me see your form, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your form is lovely.

Some say finding true relational intimacy is as difficult as finding gold. Many husbands and wives are tired of feeling estranged, lonely and uninvolved. They long to exchange their emptiness for a loving, intimate relationship with their mate. And I can tell you something: real intimacy with the one you love is possible. Some prospectors do find gold – and the one who finds relational intimacy with his or her mate finds something a lot more valuable than gold. How is this intimacy achieved? I believe it begins with the ears. That’s right. When a husband or wife decides to plumb the depths of their mate’s heart, mind and emotions, they must begin by listening – really listening. I hope it is no surprise to anyone that being in the same room while another person is talking does not constitute listening!

My middle son Ben taught me this lesson in a graphic way many years ago. He would talk to me as I was reading the paper or just sitting quietly. Realizing he did not have my full attention, he’d crawl up into my lap, take my face in both of his hands and say, “Daddy, I’m telling you something. Are you listening?” Don’t just hear with your ears. Listen with your mind and heart for the emotions behind the words. Is your mate worried? Glad? Frightened? Hopeful? Do they want your advice, or just your agreement that what they are saying is indeed significant? You won’t know unless you listen. Listen with your body, too. Lean in when your mate is speaking. Touch them gently as they talk. Make eye contact. Nod. Put anything you might be working on down. There is nothing more precious than a moment in which your mate opens the door to his or her heart. Don’t miss the opportunity for deepening intimacy because you were too lazy or distracted to listen.