This morning was an excellent example of why people who attend this conference are counselees as well as counselors. Pastor Brad Bigney (always a treat) finished a workshop he started yesterday about managing conflict in a way that pleases God. He gave an acrostic (L-I-S-T-E-N) he had found in a book somewhere that is designed for husbands. I will include it here with a confession that I have repeatedly violated God's command to be understanding toward my wife in the area of listening. Here it is:
- Look at her.
- Inquire by asking, "Tell me more."
- Stop interrupting with your solutions.
- Tell her what you think you heard and say it back.
- Express sympathy; something like, "That must have been hard."
- Never look at your watch.
When my buddy shares with me the trouble he's having with his car he's not wanting a hug. He's wanting a solution. When my wife shares how she feels about a hard day homeschooling she's not wanting a solution. She's wanting a hug.
I don't get it. But I think I need to be a learner anyway.