It’s a guy thing.
We don’t think in terms of listening and empathy. We think in terms of hammers and duct tape.
When the wife says, “Can I talk to you for a minute?” What we hear is, “I have a problem. I want you to fix it.” As soon as she starts talking, we fixate on the workbench in the garage fumbling through tools we’ll need to fix it. She’s not even to the part where her best friend snubbed her. She’s still laying the emotional and psychological foundation for what’s on her mind. She’s giving you the long version of her back story.
Inevitably she’ll interrupt her story with a curt, “Are you listening to me?”
And we lie, “Sure, honey. I’m listening.” This works most times, unless her follow-up is, “What did I just say?”
Today in Jesus Calling, one phrase caught my attention. Jesus said He is “yearning to help” us when we come to Him confessing our weaknesses. Jesus teaches in Matthew 11:28.“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus WANTS to help. He WANTS us to lay our burdens down at His feet. He wants us to wear His yoke. Then He can give us His full attention and listen intently and compassionately to every word we speak. Then He makes His unfathomable resources available to us, lifts our burden and can fix anything we have that’s broken.