Do you remember any books you read from the 5th grade? Maybe it was a Choose Your Own Adventure tale, 101 Ways to Eat Fried Worms, or the one about a Lion, a Witch, and a Wardrobe.
The one that immediately comes to my mind?
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. My dad knew my intimate knowledge of Star Wars would only get me so far in life, so he made me read this book with no pictures. I would soon learn the value of reading books to help me become a better man.
Carnegie, the sensei of sales, said if you want to have friends and success in life, simply get people talking about their favorite subject–themselves. It’s not terrible advice for husbands. But we rarely take good advice, do we, men? So, then, how do you begin understanding your wife?
Peter, one of the first followers of Jesus, an accomplished fisherman, writer of Scripture, and married, wrote, “Live with your wives in an understanding way…” We may never completely understand the woman we live with, but here at UNCOMMEN, we attempt to live in an understanding way.
After you’ve been married for a few years, it’s easy to move from investigative journalist to anchorman. Although anchormen simply report what’s happening during the day, journalists seek to understand the person they’re interviewing.
When marriage comprises two anchors, it can weigh your relationship down. First, you get home, report your day, and binge-watch Netflix. I’m sure that’s not what you had in mind when you said, “I do.” Let’s be honest, most of us have two questions after work: “How was your day?” and “What should we eat for dinner?” That is not how you grow a marriage. If you can’t seem to handle a deep conversation when you walk in the door, let each other know you can speak during dinner.
I channeled my inner Carnegie and asked many women on Facebook how our husbands can be more investigative.
One woman wrote: “I think women crave sincerity and want to go beyond the surface of ‘How was your day?’ So get specific and wait around for an answer.”
If you spend the same time speaking with your wife as you do picking your pizza toppings, you will have problems. You basically get out of what you put in, and I can guarantee your wife wants more than one-word answers.
You don’t have to be smarter than a 5th grader to win and influence your wife–you need a few well-placed questions.
The best way to find out what to ask her is to listen to what’s important to her.
Example: If you have children, ask, “what do you think (insert child’s name here) is doing in school? Do you think we need to help with homework or get a tutor?”
If you asked your wife that question after she woke up from fainting, she would give you a detailed answer and be thankful you asked.
Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
When was the last time you asked your wife about something important to her?
Did you hear the answer? What was your takeaway?
Did she seem to enjoy speaking about it?
Would you be willing to do this every day?
I challenge us all to spend the time investing in our wife and what is important to her. After all, she could probably care less about what your favorite NFL player did Sunday. But he listens all the same.