In every type of discussion, we have a difficult time listening. And it is more difficult if someone is criticizing you or chastising you. It is much easier to become defensive and argue then it is to quietly listen. God knew His people well. He even called them stiff necked and stubborn. They would go through the motions of reciting their prayers and offering their sacrifices, but their hearts were filled with evil thoughts and desires. Remember the adage, you have two ears, listen twice. Or as the Bible has it those who have ears ought to hear.
Communication in marriage is imperative. That means always willing to listen before you speak. In marriage, or even a business relationship, we become comfortable with each other. We may even begin to know how the other person will respond and what they say. When that happens, we slip into a bad habit. We are thinking about our response without listening. When the other person stops talking to take a breath, we respond immediately with our thoughts.
I work with many couples to help improve their communication. There is one technique that is highly successful. When in a discussion, it is best if you take the time to acknowledge what the other person said before stating your opinion. It works this way: I think I heard you say . . . Then you repeat what you think the other person said in your words. If the other person agrees now you can state your opinion. If not, you have given them the chance for clarification or correction. This is true communication.
God speaks to us in the same way. Did you ever notice that when you go to prayer it is you saying everything? You start in right away with your prayers, your petitions, your wants, followed by a quick Amen. What did God say? I would suggest a few minutes of quiet time, putting yourself in the presence of God, and listening first to Him. What do you think God will say to you?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen