The Marriage Knot 

knotHey Wife, I'm Listeningknot

bride and groom

To those men who have found a wife, "Hooray, Hurrah!. Three cheers! Hip, hip, hooray" - what else! For you have found a wife and she is yours. God has given her to you. I don't know how long you looked for your one - and-only. Everybody looks a different length of time. Sometimes God just places a person right there at the right time. We praise God that He has instituted the American home.

Men, has your wife ever asked you, "Hey! Why don't you listen to me?" "You are not even listening." "Hello". The wife insists that you are looking at me, but you are not tuning me in. As a husband we should really be working on hearing what our wife is saying. For that matter - listen to what the children are saying and even listen to what people are saying.

I came home after an appointment and when asked by my wife, "How did the meeting go?" I replied, "He did not hear a word I said."

Now that you have found your "one and only", and you have chosen your mate listen to what she has to say. There are so many men that I know that not only treat their wife with disrespect, but never listen. Certainly the man who takes the advice of his wife is a husband that is on the right course. There will never be a train wreck.

But history does state its case. One wrote, "The pages of history are red with blood of men who should have listened to their wives. Calpurnia pleaded with Caesar on that fatal Ides of March not to leave the house. She had a restless night, and three times she cried out in her dream for help. It was a sign to her, and she urged her stubborn husband to heed her warning. But Caesar was not about to join that pathetic minority who give credence to the silly feelings of their wives. He would rather die than admit a woman's intuition had any validity and so he went out for the last time and died."

Now that is an interesting bit of information from the "secular" history. But what about the "sacred" or "religious" side? Well, some of you know where I am heading. Interestingly it was another Roman leader. He did not take his wife Claudia Procula's advice. She was, of course, the wife of Pilate. She was one that did come to the defense of Jesus when he was on trial. The Bible says that she had a dream about Jesus and sent word to her husband, "Do not have anything to do with this innocent man."

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Guys we are talking about listening to our wives. Yes, Pilate ignored his wife. Yes, he goofed. In the eyes of some he takes his place along side of Judas as being despised. Now, I know it was in the destiny of Jesus to die. It was the plan of God. The Jewish people would have no doubt ignored Pilate. But the point is well made, I think, about this chapter. "Hey, wife, I'm listening".

To put the American home back in order the husband must take his responsibility. OK, we have already addressed that. Now the next step - guys, listen, listen and then listen again.

If you are the "band around the house" and she is the "weaver", then it is important to see what she is weaving/saying. To repeat, let's back up. Genesis 2:22, "He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. Then the man said, 'At last, here is one of my own kind, bone taken from my bone and flesh from my flesh. Woman is her name because she was taken out of man.'" That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife and they become one. He made woman. He made a wife.

Now the "weaver" has a lot to do. It is an important job, but she needs help. Often time she tries to communicate and - I am going to use the phrase "the thread breaks" Why? Because too much tension. Why tension? Hey, honey, lend an ear.

Back to the weaver phrase. The literal translation of wife is just that word: "weaver" She is trying to weave stability into your home. In days before the cotton mill, I am told the girls were called the spinsters and the mothers were called weavers. Another remnant of old truth is the word heirloom, talking about the sword loom, showing that it was an important article in the house.

So when Paul states (1 Cor. 7:3) "Let the husband render unto his wife due benevolence." that includes listening with 2 ears. We do have 2, right. In this relationship of husband and wife, there are duties and obligations that we have already gone into. Today the husband must say, "Wife, I want you to know I am listening to you. I am listening very much." The suggestions I want to give out will make the home the real happy place that you want your home to be.

Hey Guys, Really Try to Listen to Your Wife.

I made a note of the following. I don't know where I got the information, so I can't give the author credit. What I noted was:

Try to be in the moment. Most of the time, when we are not listening, we have our minds a million different places except where they should be, in the here and now. Take a few breaths, turn off the TV, your phone or whatever other distraction may be out there, let go of what is swirling around your head for a bit and actually allow yourself to listen.

Wives like to go around the bush … not tell you directly … so you need to read between the lines. If your wife says "I am so tired of making coffee every morning" … she really means "Can you make the coffee a few days a week for me?"

Listen without bias. Everyone has selective hearing and will only hear what they want to hear. Much like step one, this is also about letting go and this is about letting go of emotional baggage, preconceived notions and your daily bias. You don't have to agree, but the goal is to understand.

Husbands, if you listen better, you'll hear the clues sooner, before things get out of control. Wives tend to mention things first, then complain, then rant and rave. Wives really love it when husbands pick up the clue upon the "mention" … or not having to mention anything at all … be it take out the trash, make the bed with the clean sheets, fold the basket of clean laundry that's been sitting for three days.

It's difficult for wives and mothers to ask for help when they have been doing it for several years. Sometimes they just need a break! Take the time to be involved in the household, if you are not.

bride and groom

Listen earlier and avoid conflict. Help without her having to mention anything … you are GOLD!! Remember, your wife loves you, and will do anything for you … wouldn't you do her the honor of listening to her and doing anything for her?

Like I said, the above words are good.

Now, here is something that happens every day. The husband comes home. He is tired and has had a hard day's work. Maybe he is even frustrated and on edge. He has just a few hours before he has to go to bed and then start the whole routine again. The children have been fussy and rebellious all day and his wife sad, "I want to go out!" "Go out? You have got to be kidding. I just got home," he says, "And you want to go out." You know what is going to happen next, don't you. Even if the two would communicate together, the problem may not be solved., One thing could happen. The sympathy and concern that each could show for the other would go toward making life a little smoother in that home.

The needs of that wife have to be known and recognized by the husband and all of the others in the family. The heart of that or any home for that matter is communication. I am not just talking, gentlemen, it is listening. It is in the other ways of sharing and understanding that are available to human beings: the touch, the feel, the concern, the help. Wives are reaching out today and the children are reaching out and what bridges the parties is communication.

Listening also is seen by the way we guys respond to their deep hurts, deep needs, deep secrets, deep confessions by ridicule, either verbally or otherwise.

The husband comes home and says, "Honey, I've got this problem. "Guess what happened to me today at work." The wife says, "I've got my problems too!" There is no communication, no talking about "their problems". Consequently both blame the other for not listening.

Let's face it, men. If we don't have time now to listen to our children, to our wife and to others, there might come a time when the family will not be there to listen to us. Take Jack, for example. Jack gets up in the morning. He gets a cup of coffee and two slices of toast. He drinks and eats behind the newspaper and he says, "Bye, honey." And he goes away to work. He comes home to the same routine. He flops in front of the TV, gets up to eat, goes back to the TV and then he goes to bed. He's got no time at all for the wife that God has given him, nor does he have time for his precious children, the neighbors or anyone else that may be lifting up or reaching out their hands for help.

He is the kind of guy who spends all of his weekends playing golf or working on the car or watching TV. The children know that he can't be depended on for anything constructive so they go to other people to talk to and get help.

One day he comes home and his wife is not there. She is out having an affair with another man. He blows his stack. He hits the roof because this has happened. He calls her names and says she has been unfaithful and of course threatens divorce.

The question is: Who is unfaithful? Is the wife unfaithful or is the husband unfaithful? Men, when we take the marriage vows, and when we promise at the altar (or where ever) to love and to cherish - this means more than not looking at another woman. It means more than this. What you do to fulfill the vows is more important than what you do not do to keep from breaking those vows. The unfaithfulness, in the case of Jack, started months and years earlier when he just closed himself off from his family and when then just would not listen. Jack: Have you ever hear the phrase "…hey wife, I am listening."

Wife I am listening…..I am listening to the silence in our relationship. I am also listening about worshipping with you. I am listening about being faithful and forgiving. I am listening through playing together. Yep, Guys, this is not the kind of play that wears you out. Not the kind that finds you in competition and wondering who is going to win. It is the kind that puts the two of you together.

As you play - you listen - you are together. There are statistics out there from psychologists that says % of the marriages failing today are failing because they did not have time to play together. The man is too busy working and the wife is too busy with the children.

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Most people when asked "What do you two do for recreation?" Answer: "We watch television." That is really lame. That is really being "spoon-fed" Actually they are being what a sponge does - absorb. Guys, put in it your planner: "Honey, let's do something together. Let's go out - take a meaningless drive.

Nancy and I like just putting the top down (obviously we drive a convertible) and take that ride……to nowhere. Now, that IS a place!

Hey wife, I am listening. Do you know that one ear we have is "respectful ear" OK, I just made up that word. The idea is being respectful. Now, that is a non-verbal sound bite.

God has said to us men, "Respect your wife" How many times in my life when I have been with couples that - out of the blue the husband will say some dumb thing about or to his wife Please guys, have great respect for your wife. Respecting her translates to listening to her.

Now, some of you might be thinking - "How can I respect her when she is always talking?" OK, let's address that. It is a known fact that many marriages have broken up because of non or poor communication. Fact is many women love to talk. Fact is many men hate to listen. However, even in light of this it is a good idea to listen to her. She could be relating some really important information. Maybe she is having a rough/tough day. Ask her about her day. Then just listen. I know from experience that this will enable you to draw upon a closeness and will address her needs. In fact, it may well put romance back in your marriage if, in fact, you have a negative balance.

I guess this drops back to trying to know what your wife's needs really are. If you think that money and provision are the biggies, think again. You wife does have other basic needs. How will you find out if you don't listen.

The bottom line? Learn to listen. Take time every day (did I say, "every day"?) and communicate with her. Wow, what will she think if you come in - sit down (not be on the run) even sit back - throw your leg over the arm of the chair - or give her a bear hug and say, "Hi - what's up?" In listening to your wife you will learn a lot and you will make her feel appreciated and loved. You will find yourself living in "Happy House".

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