One of the best ways for a man to love his wife is to understand her. Peter explains that it is imperative for a husband to “dwell with [his wife] with understanding” (1 Peter 3:7).

This principle works both ways. Husbands want to be understood as well. Actually, we all do. Everyone, married or not, longs to be understood by others at the deepest possible level. We’re born with that need, and we never seem to outgrow it.

It’s feeble avoidance to say we can’t understand one another. We can and we must. It takes time—time spent in one another’s presence asking questions, listening intently, then asking again. It’s as simple and as difficult as that. No one, of course, can fully plumb the mystery of another person’s heart, but we can learn something new every day. The wise man of Proverbs called understanding “a wellspring of life” (16:22), a deep source of wisdom to all who seek it.

Again, I say, understanding takes time—one of the most precious gifts we can give to others. How we choose to spend our time is the surest indicator of how much we care for those we love.

Ask the Lord today to give you the grace to take the time to understand the important people in your life.