“I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders.” (John 5:30, MSG)
We, as humans, love to talk. In fact most of us talk quite a bit. Now there’s nothing wrong with talking, but I have noticed that we have an easier time talking than listening. In fact, we seem to have a very hard time listening to one another. I am guilty of this, as my thoughts are often somewhere else, and then I am startled and ask, “What did you just say?” If you don’t believe it, just ask my wife!
However, if Jesus was always listening to the Father, we should be too, and especially when it comes to our spouse. So many conflicts could be avoided if we would just listen to one another. Listening will prevent a third world war within our marriage!
“The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.” (Rom 10:17, MSG)
Trust is based on listening. As long as we don’t listen to one another, trust will be but a fleeting notion.
“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” (Prov 3:6, MSG)
To have a lasting marriage we have to depend on our Heavenly Father, for without Him, we are on dangerous waters. The only way to do so is to attentively listen to His voice. When we do, He will assuredly guide us in all things.
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?” (Mark 4:9, MSG)
Listening to one another will be the glue that holds our marriages together, especially when we are focused on listening first and foremost to our Heavenly Father.
Here is an example of what can happen when we tend to not listen:
Around the year 1222, the commoners in the town of Caithness in Scotland were in an uproar. The bishop was continually raising his taxes on butter. He refused to even listen to their complaints, so instead, fed up with the bishop’s tactics, they complained to the earl. At first the earl didn’t want to interfere with the bishop. Eventually though, he had to admit that the conduct of the bishop wasn’t quite appropriate. Frustrated, he exclaimed to the populace: “The devil takes the bishop and his butter; you may roast him if you please.” The populace gobbled up every word that the Earl said. They went into immediate action. At least they were paying attention!
In the meantime the bishop was conferring about his tithes with the “sheriff” (In those days he was called the bogmadr). This lawman insisted that the bishop listen to the complaints of the people, as it wasn’t good to aggravate them. Unfortunately, the bishop refused to listen to him.
Just then, a disorderly mob appeared at the bishop’s doorstep, shouting the exact words of the Earl: “Roast him alive!”
The bishop quickly sent a monk to calm the mob. Unfortunately, he didn’t try to listen to their complaints, either, and he ended up being trampled to death.
Next the bishop’s life was at stake. They drove him into his kitchen, poured some kind of fuel on him and ignited him. The bishop was roasted to a crisp.
Not listening can lead to serious consequences. Do you want to become a burned offering? I sure don’t. It would be much better to listen.
(To access the entire “Marriage Bliss” devotional series, please click here.)