20 Listen to advice and accept discipline,
and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Isn’t it interesting how we think about a new year? We tend to think more of losing that extra 10 pounds than on gaining deeper, more vibrant relationships? The beginning of a new year gives us a choice regarding the core relationships in our lives. For men who are single or for those who are married, we are all in the workshop of relationships. Wouldn’t it be great if we made the choice to become more like Jesus in every relationship? What would that look like? What if we made a commitment to every member of our family? The following resolution could be a game-changer in 2019 for anyone close to you, but especially in your marriage.
Each day I commit to really listening to your voice, to engage in the process of validation, which is the first step toward intimacy. When you are speaking to me, instead of thinking about my response, I will simply listen. I will listen to your point of view and try to find the kindest, least offensive way for sharing mine. I will learn to trust a little more, lean in a little closer, and risk vulnerability. As I do so, I will base our connection on forgiveness. Today I will begin to release the baggage so that I may fully embrace you. As Christ walks in grace with me, I will walk in grace with you, knowing that will ultimately bring healing to the wounds of my past.
I know that when it comes to listening and being empathetic with my wife, Stephanie, I have fallen horribly short in the past. I don’t want that to be the reality. I want her to know that I am focusing on changing that in this New Year. I want to be kinder and gentler in my communications with her and want her voice to be more fully heard. I pledge to her that I will do my best to improve in this area.
Max Lucado said, “The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: “grace.”” I think we could all do a little better with giving more grace to others, just as Jesus gave to us when we didn’t deserve it.
I challenge each of us to reflect today on how we can grow as a listener in 2019. I also challenge us to write our own resolution for becoming better listeners. Then share it with those we love the most. We need to take the challenge of Proverbs 19:20. We all need to strive to be better listeners and to grow in wisdom.
Here are a couple of questions for us to think about this week:
- Why is it so important for the ones you love to be heard?
- What is your greatest obstacle to listening to them?
I know that I am not a great listener, but I am going to do everything I can to get better at this in 2019. Who knows, maybe I can lose 10 pounds too. That would just be icing on the cake!