"Then in 1965 I went on a weekend silent retreat at a monastery overlooking the Hudson River. We were to silence our voices, the monk leading the retreat told us, in order to hear God’s. “The Latin word for hearing,” he said, “is audire. It’s the root of our English word obedience. To obey God means to hear him.” Obey…this word I’d resisted so long? And rightly, I’m sure, if obey means the imposition of one person’s will on another. But suppose there was an older, deeper, truer meaning. Suppose “love, honor and hear” were, in fact, the best promises any bride could make to her husband.
That weekend I began to grasp how hard it is to hear—really hear! Whether it’s God’s voice we’re listening for or another human being’s, how our own fears, assumptions and expectations get in the way! For a husband and wife especially, they can drown out the voice of the actual person in front of us."