Husband and Wife Counseling Team Teach the Art of Listening

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. (James 1:19)

by Allie Martin

(AgapePress) A husband and wife Christian counseling team says in even the best relationships men and women often discover that the key to good communication is listening to what the other person has to say.

In their book Can You Hear Me Now? (David C. Cook Publishing Co., 2003), Dr. Dallas and Nancy Demmitt use their own experiences --both as trained counselors and as veterans of their 43-year marriage -- to help couples develop listening skills.

The Demmitts say they have learned that good communication begins with individuals understanding their identity and relationship with the Lord in a personal and practical way, and embracing that identity as God equips them to become people who communicate according to biblical principles.

"We've come to recognize that the big thing that's often missing is that it's a God thing to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. That's a value that we really emphasize in this book," Dallas says.

Nancy says the book also discusses how people's feelings often hinder good communication. "If we're hearing something that we don't like -- for instance, maybe we're hearing another person say something about us that hurts our feelings or makes us angry -- emotions can get in the way big time. When that happens, instead of listening we want to react; we get defensive," she says.

The Demmitts say their own marriage was strengthened when they took time to learn how to listen to each other without becoming emotional. In Can You Hear Me Now?, they impart the principles of listening that they have been teaching for more than 20 years, skills that have helped countless adults grow in relationships, in outreach, and in self-understanding.

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