Smart Listening for Couples is the culmination of 19 years of work in teaching family life seminars and 10 years in the pastoral ministry. One would think that living together day by day would bring about improved communication for most couples, but just the opposite seems true in today’s world. The book opens by citing a survey taken from Redbook Magazine. In the survey, 730 marriage counselors state that the number one cause of marital breakdown is “poor communication or the lack of meaningful communication.” In fact, the first five issues out of the top 10 that result in a marital break-up were communication related!
Reading through the chapter on bonding, you will learn the 12 steps of intimacy and will be amazed at how many are rushed through in the world’s dating scene (perhaps, for many Christians as well). I particularly needed to read the “4 minute formula” for beginning and ending each day. The pitter-patter of little feet on the staircase sends my mind off and running to the day’s activities before my eyes are even open! The section on listening bloopers also hit me hard. My husband naturally has a quieter personality than me, so I often find it difficult to really focus in and listen to what he is saying. What about your body language? What are you not saying, but conveying? What is your arguing style? Your mate's? How can you reach the mate who resists any attempt at intimacy, or the one who just doesn’t want to talk?
Would you really like to learn more about the innermost thoughts of the person to whom you are married or to experience the intimacy that God intended for your marriage? Smart Listening for Couples addresses these issues in a non-threatening way. I guess you could say that it is a “labor of love.” Most of us could stand to improve our communication skills, why not begin with the most important relationship of all? Who knows, you just might find it spilling over into other relationships as well.
Smart Listening for Couples cannot be read through lightly, moreover, it should be read by both partners in a marriage. It would definitely be one of those books that I would be inclined to include as a “pre-wedding” gift to the bride and groom-to-be. Just given the differences in the communication needs of men and women makes for enlightening reading, not to mention the changes that take place shortly after the honeymoon which leave many a young bride asking, “Do you still love me?” And as the age old saying around here goes, “Well, I married you didn’t I?”