The human soul runs deep and many times language fails to communicate the deep movements of our heart. We must learn to listen deeper, beyond the mere surface talk, to care for the true needs of each other’s souls.
For example, there’s likely more to the story when we’re faced with complaints about being late, how we spend our money, or what chores we do around the house.
While these can certainly be issues in their own right, they tend to carry more weight beneath the surface when they become repeated points of conflict.
Listening deeper is then becoming curious about what this repeated conflict might mean for the other.
What would it mean for them to have their desires fulfilled? And what do they fear if it’s not?
This is not to dismiss their surface requests. And sometimes love calls us to simply meet these needs even when we don’t fully understand.
But, at other times, we realize we’re just attempting to appease and we’re not truly loving.
Learning to listen deeper opens the door for us to love again and not merely be a Yes Man.
Beneath their anger and bitterness, immaturity and even selfishness, what are the deep desires of their heart? What is it that their souls are longing for and desperate to realize more fully?
To be sure, these answers will not always be immediately clear to us or even the other. But the more we plunge beneath the waterline the more we can get to the heart of the matter and free ourselves from the same surface fights over and over again.
In the end, pay attention and respond to the words you hear. And learn to listen also to the heart behind the words and care for each other’s souls.