I have been married for quite a while now, and I find it so amazing that women appreciates a man/husband that listens. Buy a woman the best gifts, she will appreciate you, take her on a date to see a movie, she will appreciate it as well. But if you do all these as a man and you are lacking in the area of listening to your wife whenever the need arises, every other thing is meaningless. As a man that wants a peaceful and loving home, you must make listening an habit. Even if you are the type that is busy and a workaholic, you must always make out time for your wife and children.
Women needs men with real intentions, and not a boy who cannot pay attention. Listening is not only limited to you being physically present when she is talking to you, No! As a matter of fact, a man might even be present physically pretending to be listening; and his mind is not even there. Listening as a husband includes all of the following: taking her advice, maintaining a robust eye contact when both of you are having a conversation together, showing you are interested in the topic of discussion, seeking her opinion on important matters before taking the final decision on things that has to do with the home at large and react with appropriate words to make her feel that you are actively listening to her.
There are a number of factors that are responsible for men (some actually, not all men), not listening to their wives. An arrogant man for instance would find it difficult to listen to anybody, talk less of his wife. Arrogance is when you think your wife is subject to you and therefore, she does not have anything to offer in the running of the family. You know, many men have assumed that since they are the head of the home, no other person within the home setting matters, especially when it comes to giving their opinions and voicing out. A lot of men out there rule their house like military barracks in which they are the commander-in-chief and every other person – wife and children, civilians.
You understand how a typical military regime looks like, isn’t it? Civilians don’t always have a say in military regimes. When those few that are courageous enough to speak are mistakenly caught, they are either jailed for unjust reasons or even get killed along the line. When homes are run like this (like it is a military regime), so many things are bound to go wrong if care is not properly taken. Arrogant men beat their wives and often instill unnecessary fear in their children, which may in the long run affect those children’s self-confidence.
As a wife, one way to overcome your husband’s arrogant behavior is to strengthen your self-confidence and build your own self-worth. If you read the story of Abigail in 1 Samuel 25, you would understand what I am talking about perfectly well. Abigail was a wife to Nabal, an arrogant man. In fact, in verse three of that Scripture, the Bible says "Abigail was a woman of good understanding and beautiful. But the man (Nabal) was rough and evil in his doings..." Another translation described Nabal as intemperate, foolish and mean. Another word you can use to qualify all these is arrogance; Nabal was an arrogant man.
It happened that Nabal in his arrogance offended David and his men, and David was determined to deal with him and his household ruthlessly. The messengers of David told Nabal about how they had been protecting his shepherds, and all they asked for was a little provisions, that would probably last them for some few days in return. But Nabal refused them. But thank God for Abigail, a beautiful and intelligent woman, whose bravery and a sense of self-worth and self-confidence saved the day. As a matter of fact, David attested to the fact that it must have been God that sent her to persuade him and his men from refraining from what they were about to do to her husband.
Abigail, demonstrating her intelligence; approached David and, with great diplomacy, humbly offered him a “peace offering”. She gave David and his men plenty of food. Her quick actions saved her household from disaster and kept David and his men from unnecessary bloodshed. The lesson here is simple, especially for married women. When your husband displays arrogance, just respond with some sense of self-worth.
Pride is another factor that usually hinders most men from listening to their wives. Love is not proud, according to 1 Corinthians 13:4, but what do you do as a woman when you are married to a man, just because he is proud; always assumes your opinions does not matter? There are a number of ways pride shows itself. First is that, a prideful husband believes that he is always right, his opinions are the final, and every other person's opinions are wrong. A prideful husband believes he is self-sufficient and therefore, does not need to carry his wife along in certain decisions. A prideful husband criticizes his wife, but yet; when criticized, takes offence.
Husbands who are proud finds it very difficult most times, listening to their wives' point of view, and this usually results to a feeling of resentment in marriage. The wife feels she is not important, and this feeling may further breed disconnection. Men should understand that, although the Bible admonishes women to learn in silence, but this it said should take place in the church and church matters, and not in the home (1 Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-12). It is good that women also learn in silence at home, it is not bad; but this does not connote that their opinions does not matter. Many men would even use this Scripture to justify why their wives should never say a word, or be carried along in major matters that concerns the home.
We must understand this, that in marriage, both the man and the woman are expected to journey together towards fulfilling their marital destiny, and not just one of them trying to subjugate the other. What the Bible says is "two heads are better than one, and not one head better than two." Never see your wife's opinion irrelevant as a man, and never see your husband as someone whose words does not matter. When we understand this, then our marriages will be heaven on earth.
God bless you.
Source: [Centre for New Dimension Leadership]