Dietrich Bonhoeffer had this insight about relationships. Speaking of community, he meant any gathering, including our families.
“The first service one owes to others in the community involves listening to them. Just as our love for God begins with listening to God’s Word, the beginning of love for other Christians is learning to listen to them. … We do God’s work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to listen to them. So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have to “offer” something when they are together with other people. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking. Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking even when they should be listening. But Christians who can no longer listen to one another will soon no longer be listening to God either; they will always be talking even in the presence of God.”
“Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears.” Job 13:17
Listening is a form of honor. An outflow of love. Are you listening to others? Hearing their heart?
Nurture the relationships in your life. My book, Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After, gives you tips and practical helps.