Job 32:11 “Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.
12 Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:”
Sometimes someone will put their fingers in their ears or hands over their ears and say, “I’m not listening to you. I can’t hear you.” Actually, in Acts 7:57, the Sanhedrin did just that when they became convicted with Stephen’s Spirit-filled preaching! They stopped their ears, threw Stephen out of the city, and stoned him. What we do with our ears is a good indication of what we are doing in our head and our heart while someone is talking.
Continuing our lessons on Elihu, we notice that while Elihu was patiently waiting for Job and his 3 friends to finish talking, Elihu “gave ear to” their reasons. In the next verse, vs. 12, Elihu states “Yea, I attended unto you.” In fact, Elihu paid attention so closely to the discussion that he was able to quote Job throughout chapters 33 and 34! Whether or not Elihu completely agreed with Job and his 3 friends, Elihu still gave them his full ear and attention. That is a good friend and a man of character.
Do you really want to excel in your marriage and in your communication skills? Then learn to truly care what others say, listen to them, and pay close attention as they speak. Good listeners are hard to come by, but are essential for a marriage to blossom. Although good listeners are rare, every Christian should be one.
Philippians 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
One final thought: throughout your conversation, repeat back to the person what you thought they were saying. “So, you’re saying…” This is what we see Elihu doing in Job 33 and 34. This important step greatly helps communication flow smoothly. The other person feels listened to, you are making sure you heard and understood them correctly, and the other person can add or correct you as needed. If you want a prosperous marriage, have an ear like Elihu’s ear and “give ear” to your spouse, then let your spouse know what you heard and understood before you give your side of the conversation.