Is your marriage vulnerable? Might one of you have an affair? There is a very simple and yet powerful way to protect it. It’s found in just one verse in the Book of James. If you actually do what this says, you could “affair-proof” your marriage. This verse is easy to understand but hard to remember to do because it runs contrary to human nature.
Here it is:
” My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” (James 1:19)
When you are in a conversation that is even slightly adversarial, while your partner is speaking, isn’t it true that you seem to listen, but are really thinking through how you are going to respond? Coming up with some killer logic, so you can win the argument and emerge the victor? That is what most people do. It’s human nature.
But if, instead, you put aside your own thoughts and rebuttals and actively try to understand what your partner really means and also how they really feel, you will be amazed at how it changes things. If, before you respond with your own thoughts, you take a moment to make sure you really have understood your partner, understood him or her to their satisfaction, that one little move will really calm the storm.
But it gets better than that, especially in a marriage. When people “fall in love” they spend a lot of time listening to one another and really trying to understand one another. It’s a key ingredient in romance. Think back to your first dates if you don’t believe me. When a marriage goes stale, if one partner begins to listen – really listen – in an active and interested way, it’s amazing how quickly that one simple thing can begin to restore the lost romance. It’s like maple syrup on pancakes.
Listening to really understand your partner is an effective way to “affair-proof” your marriage. Most affairs do not begin with sex. They begin with listening. When someone seems really interested in you. You know the old line: “My spouse doesn’t understand me…” And it goes from there…
Marriage counselors charge $100 an hour – maybe more. Apply James 1:19 and you can save a bunch of money. Probably save your marriage, too.