Monday, February 13, 2012

Close Knit Couples Communicate

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 Whatever book you pick up on marriage, whatever marriage conference or retreat you attend, whoever you seek for marriage counsel- one key topic is bound to come up: communication. Communication (or the lack of it) can make you or break you as a couple. Nothing has the potential to affect your relationship with your spouse as much as the words you do or do not say to each other. While I am no expert on the topic and this list is not comprehensive, here are some things to keep in mind as you communicate with your honey:

  • Time- Having good conversations and keeping open lines of communication takes time. Lots of it! Take time throughout your day to speak with each other; at the breakfast table, calls and texts sprinkled through the day when you are apart, at dinner, and in bed at the end of the day. And make sure to set aside times in the evenings and weekends to get out or stay in together, for the purpose of communicating, enjoying one anothers' company, and getting on the same page.
  • Timeliness-Knowing when to say things is of the utmost importance in healthy communication. For example, last week when Niall came home after work and was discouraged about something that had happened that day, it was not a good time for me to knit pick him for not hearing something I'd just said. Yeah, timeliness is not my strong suit. I've heard several women say that when your husband comes home, give him time and space to unwind before you start yacking away. It is tempting when you're alone with little people who don't speak proper English all day to just unload on the one adult in your life when he walks through the door. But be patient. Also, read his moods. If he is already down, don't add to his burdens by unloading your grievances.
  • Tenderness- "A soft answer turns away wrath," goes the Proverb, and it is very true. This is another difficult area for me. I have a sharp tongue. I am quick to get frustrated and speak unkindly. A passage that has been convicting to me recently is Ephesians 4:1-3; "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Good communication words; humility, gentleness, patience, love, unity, peace. Soak it in to your speech.
  • Truth- God's Word teaches us to "speak the truth in love." This should go without saying, but we MUST be HONEST with our husbands (no secrets). We also must be careful to kindly address sin we observe in our spouse (don't forget timeliness and tenderness when so doing!), and graciously and respectfully explain frustrations we may feel (not letting them build, causing bitterness or an explosion). Note, all in love.
  • Thoroughness- As married couples we need to discuss everything; finances, church, our days, work, parenting, extended family and friendships, the car, Scripture, what we're reading, etc. Cover all the bases with the man in your life. You should know what he thinks on all important topics (and on a lot of the less important things too). Healthy friendship and marriage thrives on broad and deep conversation. 
What tips do you have to add to the list, married ladies? Bonus points if they start with a "T" ;). 

3 comments:

  1. These are all wonderful esp "Truth" ... I guess I'd say "Trio" because in marriage it's not just the husband and the wife. It's those two plus God. Whatever you can't communicate with your husband, you can consult God and yeah maybe request God to tell Hubby. =D

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