We don’t normally think of writer C. S. Lewis as a humorist, but he made me smile with this line: “Husbands were made to be talked to. It helps them concentrate their minds on what they’re reading.”

But what’s funny in an obviously tongue-in-cheek remark is not funny in real life. That’s why those of us who are husbands need to realize how rude and insensitive we are when we show more interest in the newspaper than we do our own spouses. If we are guilty of reading or watching TV when we should be zeroing in on what our best friend and lifelong companion is saying, we need listening lessons, beginning with these suggestions:

Look at your wife when she talks to you. Respond when she makes a statement. Participate eagerly in conversations with her. Show by your attitude that your other interests can wait.

Actually, these basic listening principles apply to all relationships. It’s one of the best ways we can demonstrate that we care about the welfare of others.

If a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church— and that’s what he’s commanded to do in Ephesians 5:25—he will spend time focusing on what she has to say. It will show her she’s worth listening to.