In preparation for the giving of the Ten Commandments, G‑d says to the Jewish people: “And now, if you will truly listen to My voice, and you will keep My covenant, then you will be a treasure to Me ... ”

The giving of the Ten Commandments is considered the marriage between G‑d and the Jewish people. What can we learn from here about our relationship with G‑d? And how could this help our personal relationships?

The passuk (“verse”) stresses two parts of a relationship: listening (“if you will truly listen”) and doing (“and you will keep My covenant”).

Our ancestors replied by saying: “We will do and we will listen.” Again, you have doing and listening.

Our relationship with G‑d manifests itself in two ways. There is “doing,” which means fulfilling mitzvahs and acting in accordance with His laws. And there is “listening,” hearing G‑d’s voice. What are we to hear?

The first commandment starts with the word “Anochi” (“I Am”), which is an acronym for “Ana nafshi ketavit yehavit” (“I have written My essence and given it [to you]”). G‑d wants us to know Him, so He embedded His essence in the Torah.

Sometimes, we get so caught in the “doing” part that we lose the joy and meaning in what we are doing. It becomes a soulless action. G‑d wants more. He wants us to listen deeply, to know Him, to know what His purpose in creating the world is. He wants more than just actions. He wants depth. Chabad Chassidic teachings help you develop this area of your relationship with G‑d.

These two elements are necessary in our personal relationships as well. First, there has to be the “doing” part, without which couples simply can’t function. However, the “listening” part is vital to develop strong, deep and meaningful relationships. Without listening, any relationship will eventually begin to feel hollow. This is often followed by hurt and anger.

Many husbands work hard providing for their family, yet they get the feeling that their wives seem unhappy. Listening could very well be the issue. And that goes for both sides, man and woman, for communication is key.

Learning how to listen will bring meaning to your relationship and a smile to the mouth of your spouse.