I got up one morning and said to my husband of two months, “Let’s go walking.” He agreed and we headed out to walk around the lake near our home. I began to fall behind him and reminded him that I couldn’t walk as quickly as he did. I noticed that he wasn’t saying much which began to frustrate me. We continued on in silence until I began to explain to him that I thought a walk would be a nice outing for us and that perhaps he needed to be more spontaneous. He replied, “I thought we were going to exercise.” I realized he was just as frustrated as I was. What followed was a very interesting conversation. It became clear as we talked that I had one idea in mind and he had another. Neither one of us had clearly communicated what we were thinking. It reminded me that true communication requires understanding. How often are we intentional about understanding what someone is saying to us? How many times do we miss it by being focused on what we want to say instead of what we need to hear. Scripture tells us to be “quick to hear” and “slow to speak,” (James1:19). We tend to be a lot quicker on the speaking side and way too slow to hear. As we choose to change this, we become “slow to anger,” because we understand where the other person is coming from. Good communication can help us across the bridge of understanding. I think it might be well worth the effort. It could bring peace instead of confusion. It could turn a tense situation into a humorous one. It just might make all the difference in the world. So, let’s talk……I’m listening.