My Spanish is limited to “Si, Senior!” My wife’s Spanish vocabulary is not much greater. But with that and a small paperback English-Spanish dictionary, we set off of for an overnight adventure to Tiger Island in Honduras with a native pastor and his wife.
She spoke no English, and he had a very limited vocabulary. In spite of the language barrier, we had a wonderful time. It was fun trying to communicate. We had to work at it. Even using sign language, miming, and the dictionary, we were not always successful. But there was something that transcended the language barrier. It was our joy and love for each other.
That reminds me of one of Stephen Covey’s habits of highly successful people: It is more important to understand than to be understood. The Bible gives this advice. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19) Someone has said we have two ears and one tongue, so we need to listen twice as much as we talk. For one of my classes in seminary, I had to read a book entitled, The Awesome Power of the Listening Ear.
I don’t think our problems in communication have much to do with our inability to articulate our thoughts. I am convinced that our problems in communication are largely because we do not listen well.
It will definitely improve your home and family life if you listen with both your ears and your heart to each other. Try it!! Try hard to understand what the other person is saying and why. Try it!! Listen!!