"I want two eyes, not two heels. Two eyes equals respect. Two heels shows disrespect."
Clinton Anderson about the horse he is training
So, I've caught some flack about drawing lessons about women/wives through horse training. This time it's the men's turn to play the horse part.
I have been known to not give eye contact when my wife is talking to me. Sometimes it was intentional, many times not. Gwen would even move her body and face into my line of sight to emphasize the fact that I was not looking at her when she was talking to me. This would, of course, make me embarrassed, defensive and upset. What was the big deal? So what, I'm not looking at you! I can hear you and talk to you without seeing you!
Well, in the first place, I've come to see and believe that it was just plain bad manners. In the second place, I realize that by not looking at Gwen when she was talking to me I was sending the message that I did not value, agree with or respect whatever it was she was saying to me. Many times, I actually would not remember her saying things to me, in part, because I truly hadn't been paying attention.
When I think about it, I don't want to send that message to her. I do value and respect the things Gwen wants to say to me. I do want to pay attention to the things she wants to say to me. So I'm making every effort to look at her face and her eyes when she's talking. Even when she's not talking to me, but to someone else in my presence. It lets her and others know that I care about her and what she's saying. This has even gone to my phone etiquette. Gwen can actually feel through the phone whether I'm listening to her or distracted. She can hear when I'm tapping away at the computer while she's talking to me. So, now I make every effort to stop whatever it is I'm doing to BE THERE when I'm talking to Gwen on the phone.
One added benefit is that I'm better able to read Gwen's spirit when I have eye contact with her. I've always heard that the "eyes are the window to the soul." Eyes can be "wide- open," "shifty," "beady," "averted," "downcast," "sparkling," "rolled," "riveted," "teary," "shut tight," "squinted," "hardened," "baleful," "sad," "happy," etc. Notice that any emotion you can think of can be attributed to or expressed in the eyes. To be an effective spiritual leader, I must be able to read my wife's spirit so that I can know how to minister to her and represent Christ well. Looking at her eyes is my window into her spirit. And my eyes are her window into mine. We become one. That's what it's all about.