Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Listen With Grace

We hear plenty of talk about our talk.

Choose your words wisely.
Think before you speak.
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. ~Colossians 4:6

(That is one of my favorite verses!)

And I am in full agreement with that advice.
Our words are powerful; able to lift up, or cut down. However, I recently participated in a conversation which convinced me: it is just as important to consider the way we listen.

We were talking in small group about the communication we have as married couples. And some of us confessed to getting annoyed with our spouses when we're having an argument, er, heated discussion, when we're talking, and the charming love of our life comes up with a line like, "When you X, I feel Y."
One group member commented, "Yeah, because everyone knows that's the way you're 'supposed' to talk so the other person doesn't feel defensive." And we nodded our heads in understanding. Each of us knowing there have been times when we've thought, You're only saying that because you're supposed to. Because someone told you that's the best way to talk to me so I won't feel defensive and get upset.

Then another group member pointed out that it really ought to be significant to us to know that our spouse is intentionally speaking to us in a manner intended to put us at ease. We ought to be thankful our spouse is trying to be gentle with us. And right about then, we coined the term Listen with Grace.
Oh, that we would seek to understand the heart of the one speaking to us. Just as our conversation should be always full of grace, let us filter what we hear through grace, as well.



Steph said...

A very timely reminder. Some times I get annoyed with the "auto" response when I should be thankful...just like you said.

Also something I need to remember with my children :)

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I needed this today, and yesterday and tomorrow! ;o)

I have a really hard time "listening with grace". Something I truly need to and have to pray about.

Irritable Mother said...

Stephanie - I'm glad this was a good reminder for you. :)

Jodi - Yeah. I need it, too. Until our conversation that night at small group, I hadn't really thought about "how" I listen.

Mom of 12 said...

I find that when I get angry if I just take a minute to think before I speak I can remember all the good things I love about my sweetie and my answer changes. It's the times I don't think and I just blow up that I regret later.