“Good Morning Babe, Thanks for doing a great job at falling asleep as I poured my heart out to you last night.”
“GOOD MORNING MY LOVE, OH HOW I ENJOY WAKING UP TO YOUR SARCASTIC TEXT MESSAGES. I GUESS NOW WE’RE EVEN SINCE YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME.”
“See, there you go, always taking stuff out of context and making it about you.”
“I WOULD MAKE IT ABOUT YOU BUT YOU ARE ALWAYS ON YOUR PHONE!!!”
“Maybe I would get off my phone if you would stop binge-watching crap on Netflix.”
“GOTTA FIND SOME WAY TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF. IT’S BETTER THAN LISTENING TO NAGGING AND YELLING!”
“I’ll stop yelling in real life when you STOP YELLING IN TEXT MESSAGES & EMAILS.”
“YOU’RE SO PETTY.”
“I learned from the best.”
How we speak to our spouse is extremely important. As you can see from the example above things can get messy real fast. What assumptions would you make about this couple? Would you think they just met or have been married for a while? Generally, communication goes well in the beginning stages of a relationship. All those warm fuzzies we get when we are getting to know each other make us feel connected. Over time familiarity starts to breed contempt, and we find ourselves taking cheap shots at someone we once handled with care.
When you are seeking to grow close you care about how you come across. This kind of caring creates a connection. And if you want that connection to be sustained you maintain a level of sensitivity in your correspondence. Connection creates an openness and sense of oneness. But somewhere along the way we get wounded, feel disrespected, or maybe even rejected and we start to withdraw. When we stop making consistent deposits of consideration and kindness our connection starts to break down and so does our communication.
I don’t want to hand you a checklist of what to do, or a script on what to say to improve your communication. I want to instead prompt you to ponder what is taking place in your heart. The Bible tells us, “. . . Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45) The greatest reflection of what’s going on in your heart is what’s coming out of your mouth. Take our couple above. If you revisit their correspondence can you gauge from the tone of their text messages what might be taking place in their hearts?
Communication techniques are fine for therapy sessions and fun activities to participate in at marriage conferences but in the heat of an argument, they can make a person feel like a pawn in their partner’s game. Ancient wisdom says, start with the heart. Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Proverbs 4:24 & 25 (NLT) If you care about someone you naturally want to hear what they have to say. If you want to connect you will be slow to speak so that you can choose your words wisely. And if your ultimate goal is oneness you will won’t be so hasty to get offended. Rather than jumping to conclusions you will seek to gain an understanding.
I will offer you a list but not for the purpose of pointing your finger at your spouse. The following 5 suggestions are for YOU to be reminded that whether our communication is non-verbal, verbal, or written if we maintain a heart connection healthy communication will follow.
- Avoid using terminal language. Never say “never.” Don’t always use “always.” (Apologize for the use of terminal language in the past.)
- Be intentional. Give your spouse your undivided attention. List some areas in which you desire to improve your non-verbal communication skills with your spouse.
- Check your tone to preserve your home. Reflect and repent for any use of improper tones in the past. Write down Proverbs 15:1, post it in a public place in your home.
- Seek to deposit, not withdraw. Share 3 things you love about your spouse with your spouse. Sometimes we tell others what we appreciate about our mate and fail to tell them personally.
- Create a connection, avoid rejection! Look each other in the eye for at least 2 minutes daily. (Studies show that passionate eye contact coupled with stimulating conversation causes people to fall in love.)
If you are tired of communicating about bills, work schedules and household chores with your spouse try discussing 36 Questions that lead to Love or Create a Closer Connection
Click the link above. It should take you about 1 hour to complete all 36 questions. It’s the perfect activity for a date night.
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