Tonight we deal with Listening Blocker #7 – Sparring. Sparring is what it sounds like it is like, a boxing match with your spouse, but using words instead of gloves.
#7 – Sparring
In sparring, you listen only to disagree, argue, and debate. You take a position and defend it, regardless of what your partner says. In many troubled relationships, sparring is now the standard mode of communication.
For example, whatever topic Jenny brings up – the kids, money, vacation – Ron starts a tirade, repeating his usual attacking regardless of any new ideas his wife tried to explain. Ron is so argumentative that he is incapable of listening to Jenny any more.
So if you were Jenny, how often would you look forward to even speaking with Ron? Never maybe? No one wants to be attacked every time they try to start a conversation. It is not healthy in the least and it truly shows just how little love and affection that Ron has for Jenny if every time she speaks, he chimes in with attacking words.
Sparring is where we counsels meet the most couples. They can no longer seem to speak to each other in civil tones or with civil words and at that point they need professional help because all they know how to do is hurt each other with their communication.
If you are at the sparring stage with your spouse, seek help immediately and jump off the ‘hate train’. Your communication with each other can certainly be fixed. I have seen it fixed over and over, but I will tell you it takes a lot of work because a ton of hurt has been built up behind your years of sparring.
The road to healing starts with learning to actively listen and ends with asking for forgiveness for all of the hurt you might have caused each other, so you can see that healing is a part of the plan. But again, pride must be killed off and hurts must be dealt with.
Ok only 3 more to go! Hope your weekend is off to an amazing start and I will see you back here tomorrow for Listening Blocker #8.
Pastor Brad Komgenick