annual exercise to listen to your wife’s words and hear from her heart…….
By Dennis Rainey
many years, Tom Elliff and his wife, Jeannie, took time away from their normal
routines to get away and be together. They read Scripture together, they
prayed, they had a wonderful time time talking about their lives.
year Tom decided to elevate the discussion and, in the process, open himself up
in a way few husbands ever do. He developed a list of questions over a few
months, basing them on issues he knew were of concern to Jeannie, and then
sprung them on her at breakfast one morning during a retreat in the Rockies.
1. What could I do to make you feel more
2. What could I do to make you feel more
3. What could I do to make you feel more
4. What could I do to make you more secure?
5. What can I do to make you feel more
confident in our future direction?
6. What attribute would you like me to
7. What attribute would you like me to help
8. What achievement in my life would bring
you greatest joy?
9. What would indicate to you that I really
desire to be more Christ like?
10. What mutual goal
would you like to see us accomplish?
Optional: Have I overlooked any question
you would like for me to ask?
probably thinking, There is absolutely, positively, no way I’m
ever going to ask my wife questions like that.
type of vulnerability takes courage.
I interviewed Tom and Jeannie on FamilyLife Today®, I asked her how
those questions made her feel. Jeannie replied that the first thing that
crossed her mind was a sense of tremendous honor that her husband wanted to
know how she felt about important issues in their lives. “I was almost blown
away,” she recalled. “It was wonderful.”
her death in 2015, Tom reviewed these same 10 questions with Jeannie many
times. When he told me about this experience, I couldn’t help but think it was
a perfect illustration of 1 Peter 3:7, which instructs husbands, “You
husbands likewise, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a
weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of
the grace of life …”
these questions, and actually listening to the answers, helps a husband
understand his wife’s heart. It connects them in a deeper way, and makes them
accountable to each other.
is the type of love, understanding, and leadership we are called to as men.