“Use your head…so…your love is sincere…not sentimental gush.” Philippians 1:9 MSG
Ever notice when you were dating somebody, you could talk effortlessly for hours, but when you have been married awhile, unless you work at it, conversation can become superficial and even lead to awful disagreements?
The Bible says, “Be willing to listen and slow to speak” (Jas 1:19 NCV).
There is an art to communicating.
(1) Look for opportunities to compliment one another. You may think your partner is wonderful, but they need to hear you say it frequently. It takes twelve compliments to neutralize the effect of one criticism, so when life beats your mate down, build them up.
(2) Don’t try to change them by nagging. Questions like, “Why can’t you?” or “Why do you always?” can sound more like parenting than partnering. Tell your partner once—not a thousand times—what’s bothering you. And before you speak, ask yourself, “Would I say this to a valued friend?” If not, don’t say it!
(3) A marriage can only stand so much “soul-baring.” As a rule, shorter is better. “Honey, can we talk for a few minutes?” is less threatening than the ominous, “We need to talk” announcement. People can only stand so much “soul-baring”; pressuring them just gets the wrong result. If your spouse is unresponsive on an issue, discuss it with a trusted friend or counselor. Then give your spouse the condensed, less emotional version.
(4) Let your mate lead. When your spouse is talking about things you’re not particularly interested in, remember the Scripture, “Submit to one another” (Eph 5:21 NIV). Sometimes that means asking, “What would you like to talk about?” If you want a good marriage, use those four principles every day.
Borrowed gratefully from The Word For You Today, August 27
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
There will come a day when life for one of you will cease. Harsh words can never be unheard or unfelt. Will your memories be of kind and loving and supportive words spoken or full of fault-finding, meanness, self-righteousness and anger.
This is not a dress rehearsal. Please make each day and each word count