Is your spouse a good listener? Are you comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with him or her? How about you? Does your spouse feel safe enough to open up to you about what's going on inside him or her?
According to a recent poll, a pretty significant number of people would rather talk to their pets instead of their spouses. Why? Because they listen.
A friend of mind posted the article on Facebook. You can read it here. Take a minute and give it a read.
The most unique person noted in the study is Bill Rothschild, a 44 year old man who openly admits that he prefers talking to his pet Crayfish - named Cray Aiken - over his wife. And he shares this in the AP report. I think the article came out today, so please keep Bill in your prayers. I can imagine how his dinnertime conversation is going to go tonight:
Wife: "I can't believe you said such horrible things in that national news article."
Bill: "It's just that you don't always hear what..."
Wife: "What do you mean I'm not a good listener!?"
Bill: "Well, sometimes you don't take the time to really..."
Wife: "I'd be a great listener if you ever had anything worthwhile to say!"
Bill: "I'm taking the crayfish out for a walk."
The findings from this study led me to consider how effective a listener I am. Many times, I interrupt with questions before I let my wife and kids share their complete thoughts. Sometimes, I encourage them to "wrap it up" because I think I already understand where they are going. When I do stupid and impatient things like that, I communicate that I would rather do something else than listen to them.
Perhaps that's why pets are so attractive as listeners. Because they shut up and listen. And they will still show you unconditional love (if you want to call it that) no matter what you share with them. At the very least, they won't pass judgment or make a bunch of comments. Maybe we can learn something about how to listen from our four-legged friends. (Or eight-legged in Cray Aiken's case.)
James 1:19 reminds us that "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Most of us probably feel like we are good at the listening part. But the "slow to speak" part comes a little harder. That's a great principle to work on in every marriage.
So how would you rate yourself as a listener? Perhaps it's something to ask your spouse about.