I’m a talker. Those of you who know me in real life know that for a fact. I’m sure it’s one of my most endearing qualities. I’m equally certain some people avoid me because of it. I have lots of words and I want to say them all. I’m an external processor—meaning talking about it helps me think and make decisions. But Jesus continues to teach me that my thoughts and words may not always be a blessing to my husband. His teaching has made me a better wife, too. Let me explain what I mean by that.
Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13, frequently referred to as “The Love Chapter”, are powerful reminders for anyone in a relationship. I’ve been familiar with God’s instructions written there since I was a child but I still have a lot of work to do in the love department. I believe that God’s word is perfect just as it is and that the Holy Spirit speaks and illuminates the Word in our hearts. So as I read what the Bible says love does, my spirit hears this:
If I interrupt my husband to speak, even with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, that’s not love. I sound like the creaking of a rusty gate and fingernails on a chalkboard.
That’s not what I want at all. So I listen to the One who is Perfect Love and He shows me a better way. He says:
Love is patient.
Love listens patiently.
Love waits its turn to speak.
Love doesn’t interrupt.
My husband is a listener. It’s more than what he does—-it’s who he is, really. Anyone who knows him would agree. Being a good listener makes him a great counselor. He hears and notices things most people miss. As a person who loves to talk, I’m thankful he’s a good listener. But there are times he wants to talk and I want to give him the gift of respect. Wives, here’s what I’ve learned:
Gift #4: Don’t Interrupt
I Corinthians 13 speaks of love. But the way we best communicate love to our husbands is by showing them respect. One of the ways Jennifer mentions in 25 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband is:
Don’t Interrupt: Let him speak without cutting him off mid sentence.
Wives, I don’t know about you but this is something I really need to work on. Interrupting is rude under any circumstances. We teach our children not to interrupt; yet, we may be guilty of it in our conversations with our husbands. I know I don’t intend to be rude or disrespectful to my husband but the Holy Spirit has convicted me of this often through the years.
Reasons I interrupt:
- I already know what he’s going to say or at least I think I do
- I’m helping him finish his sentence because I already know what he’s going to say
- I feel impatient when he doesn’t speak as quickly as I’d like
- I’m thinking more about how I’m going to respond than really listening to what he’s saying
I could go on but you get the idea. The issue in all my reasons is me and my ego. I’m so self-focused that I can’t possibly hear his words or the point he’s making.
Love listens without interrupting.
When I listen, without interrupting, I communicate respect and when he feels respected, he feels loved.
As his wife, that’s what I want more than anything.
I’ve heard so many women say, “My husband never talks to me.” I’ve said it plenty of times myself. My husband’s not a big talker. But he’s a wise, thoughtful, fun, imaginative man with big ideas and dreams. I want to be the kind of wife he knows he can talk to and not be interrupted.
Thankfully, the Lord helps me see the role I play and how to be the kind of wife my husband enjoys talking to. I’ve really had to work at not interrupting and I’ve had to ask the Lord for help over and over. But I’ve learned so much about my man. It makes me sad to think of what I would’ve missed if the Lord hadn’t corrected me.
Y’all, I’m still a work in progress and our marriage is far from perfect. But God is so good to come alongside us when we submit our ways to Him and invite Him to teach, correct, and guide us. I hope today you’ll ask the Lord how this applies to you and what you can do to be the wife He wants you to be.
If you missed the previous posts in this series, click here to read.