Stop, Look, and Listen
"Son of man you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people." Ezekiel 12:2
Since this pandemic and the stay at home order was issued I have had two little ones in my home each day. We spend a lot of time outdoors and we are all in agreement that it's our favorite place to be. One of the highlights of our day is our long walk on these country roads, some days two walks being a necessity.
One thing I am aware of is Nate and Finley's perception of the traffic that passes us while we are out. As we cross the street or change lanes I am sure to take proper precautions to stop, look and listen. I have trained them (an ongoing work in progress) to always listen for cars and be aware of staying on the edge of the road. They must listen as well as look to hear what they may not see. We have to slow down and focus to be able to place our attention on the traffic we might come across (thank goodness we live in a rural area; we might see five cars while out) (oh, and most times two of those are tractors).
Now we also have to be aware of the creatures that hide out in the grass along our way. So as we stand on the edge of the road, in the grass waiting on the passing automobiles we are also keen to what might be under our feet (we do not want to find ourselves on top of no-shoulders).
What does this have to do with Marriage Monday, you might be asking? I think we all, that are a couple, get so busy at times (in the fast lane of life) that we avoid taking time to stop, look, and listen to our mate. It is easy to get caught up in the daily demands that life places on us, that we miss each other and our signals we might be sending. We have our blinders on and don't take the time to notice the other's needs they might be revealing to us.
I believe most of us desire an intimate, open and loving relationship with our spouse, but it's hard work. We must stop, look and listen, just like Nate and Finley do for the passing vehicles. We must care enough about continually cultivating a healthy relationship that we take the time to stop and look each other in the eye and ask how the other is doing. Then we can see the signs around us. A lot of the messages we send to one another is communicated in shrugs, glares, and also tender glances that we can not see if we aren't looking.
We need to also be careful not only with our words, but how we convey them. Our verbal messages to one another are only a small part of our communication. Think about your tone of voice. Don't think that you must yell every request or angry word because your spouse is hard of hearing. Our tone is vital to allowing the other to see more of our heart than our emotions. Think about whether you are getting your spouse's message, and what kind of message you are sending.
And for goodness sake be alert to the snake in the grass. He waits (disguised as many different things and people) longing to destroy what God has joined together.
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, May You guide us on our way as we travel these marital roads. Help us to navigate with our spouse in a healthy way of conditioning a marriage that will stand the test of time. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.