Those who answer before they listen are foolish and disgraceful.(Proverbs 18:13, CEB)
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:2-3, NLT)
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31, NLT)
How many times have I assumed that I know what is going on inside my wife or another person based on my observations? Too many to count. We must remember that the presenting problem, challenge, or issue is rarely the real difficulty.
We must make it a habit to never assume anything, but, instead, ask our mates to explain the concern before attempting to fix, resolve, or rescue. Proverbs 18:13 indicates that it is foolish and disgraceful to answer before first listening for understanding. It’s always important to ask clarifying questions about statements heard to allow for the greatest opportunity for a true exchange of information. Rather than just exchange words that are partially received, it is far better to make understanding your goal and priority in having these discussions.
Galatians 6:2-3 instructs us to share each other’s burdens as a means of obeying the law of Christ. This law is defined in Mark 12:30-31 as allowing the love of God to be demonstrated in loving your neighbor as yourself. I think it is very important that we make our spouses our closest neighbor and second priority for love only to God Himself. These scriptures make it plain that if we feel that we are too important to help someone else, we are fooling ourselves. The implication is that no one is too important not to provide help and assistance to those in need. Providing assistance or help requires understanding the need.
I believe that when we make understanding a priority, we will make loving others a priority also. When we take time to seek clarity in our daily communication, the people we talk to will begin to believe we care and possibly love them. In many instances, our mates are not looking for fixes but listening ears and open hearts of empathy and acknowledgment of their importance to you. Listening to your mate or others will allow you to understand and provide the best response representing your true feelings and desire to express love. This will require that you also listen to your heart and work to communicate your true self to experience being loved in return.