Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Quote of the Day

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Demands sever the flow of love while requests coupled with appreciation increase it. –Ashley McIlwain


Hot Pursuit: Communication

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

So far we have discussed the need for emotion and sexual pursuit in marriage. There is another area though that is equally as important to pursue our spouse in. I am talking about communication-the mental pursuit.

Communication is one of the leading issues and causes of divorce in marriages. So, it’s no secret to hear that communication is important; it can make or break us. We obviously know this to be true in all relationships – work, friendships, family. We see just how difficult life can be without the means of verbal communication when we go to a foreign country where we don’t speak the same language. Suddenly you find yourself frustrated as you are trying to communicate everything through the enlistment of signals, speaking louder, and a comical stint of charades. While a husband and wife may not literally speak two different languages, they do communicate differently. Communication is so absolutely imperative to every single marriage though, which is why we have to pursue the constant perfecting of that process in our marriage. Keep listening, keep talking, keep trying.

The mental pursuit of our spouse through communication helps us to learn our spouse – what makes him/her tick, what is important to him/her, how does he/she think. Communication is a powerful tool of connecting with and understanding our spouse. When we take the time to understand and learn our spouse, we are pursuing them in a way that makes them feel significant and important. Communication also opens the opportunity for us to build up our spouse with words of affirmation. Perhaps it is telling them how special, beautiful/handsome, amazing, and wonderful they are. Maybe it’s telling them all the things they are good at. Regardless, words allow us to share our hearts with one another while learning each other and mentally pursuing our spouse to make them feel loved, validated, connected, and affirmed.

The fact that we have communication is such a phenomenal opportunity we are given each and every day to share encouragement and love with our spouse. It’s so easy, and it’s a tool we are all equipped with in one way or another. It can be with the words we speak, words we write down, or our body language, but all are avenues to a journey of pursuit for our spouse to feel loved and special.

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Grow Together, Not Apart: Maintenance

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

How do you keep a car on the road and running? Do you buy it, drive it until something goes wrong, and then just throw it away to move onto another new car (where the cycle will just repeat)? No! You maintain your car with oil changes, tire rotations, brake replacements, battery replacements, and all sorts of other maintenance things. Just because the battery goes or the brakes squeak doesn’t mean the car is a piece of junk and should head for the dump. Cars just need a little tweaking here and there to keep them running at their best. Marriage is very similar.

Marriages require maintenance. Sometimes they just break down, but usually the problem is a fairly easy fix if someone is willing to take a look at it. Often times it’s a pretty obvious problem that you can work through together. Other times the problem is a little bit bigger, and the help of other resources is needed. The bottom line though is that just because the marriage needs a little tweaking here and there doesn’t mean it should get thrown away. Just like a car, marriages need maintenance work to keep them operating on all cylinders.

There are several ways to get marital “check-ups.” The easiest and first way is to just check in with one another. Talk about what’s going on, what might be going awry, what could be improved upon, and how things are going. Taking time to really communicate and check in with one another every day is so essential to the health of the marriage. Really listen to what your spouse is saying. There are times when we don’t need to wait for the car to stop working to know there is a problem. Just like a car starts shaking as you are coming to a stop is a sign that the brakes might be an issue, our spouse often gives us some feedback and warning signs of a problem present if you are willing to pay attention. Talking, listening, and communicating are a wonderful, simple, and inexpensive way to maintain your marriage. Another way to maintain your marriage is through “continued education.” The reality is that most people don’t take a class or really learn much at all about being in a marriage; they are just thrown into it. There are a lot of resources out there though that can help equip you with the right tools to work on and maintain your marriage. One of the easiest resources to get your hands on are books. There are so many wonderful books out there with great information on keeping your marriage thriving. I have some suggestions for you to help get you started – There are also a lot of classes, seminars, and groups out there waiting for you to jump on them. Your local church is a great starting point. Educating yourself is such a wonderful way to keep your marriage on track because it means you are constantly working at making it the best it can be. Finally, there is professional care. A lot of people have a negative view of the mental health profession, but the truth is that it isn’t just for the severely mentally ill. Therapy and counseling are a great place to just make sure things are on track or to iron out some hiccups you are experiencing. It is better to go when there isn’t a major issue because often times both people have already given up on the marriage by that point. Think about this, if you weren’t feeling well physically, would you refuse to go to the doctor because you don’t know that it’s life threatening or because someone might think there is something seriously wrong with you? Of course not, you would want to go as soon as possible to make sure whatever is going on in your body isn’t serious. A cancer patient’s chance of survival is greatly increased if it’s detected early. The later it’s detected, the more dangerous and fatal the disease is and the worse the prognosis is. Don’t wait until your marriage is dying before you get some help, especially when it could have been prevented.

Marital maintenance is so crucial to the health of your marriage! Keep it going strong by communicating with one another, educating yourself and each other, and get professional help from time to time. Those 3 things are wonderful ways to keep your marriage on track and full speed ahead.

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting.

Parasites of Marriage: Love Tip #1

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I want to take a little break in the action to pause and reflect on this week’s series so far. There are so many things out there that come at us slyly and attractively pulling us away from one of the most important and wonderful things we are blessed with…our marriage. The sad and challenging part about these parasites of marriage are that they don’t come on all of the sudden but rather slowly, piece by piece, taking more and more of who we are. The goal is to identify problematic areas, keep them in check, keep each other accountable, and always remember the importance of your marriage.

This weekend I want you to pause and reflect on the things already discussed:

  • Communication
  • Finances
  • Harmful Influences

Are any of these pulling you away from precious and quality time and connectedness with your spouse (and children if you have them)? If so, which ones? Once you have identified if any of these areas are problematic for you and your marriage, think of ways you could put these back in their place. Maybe it’s turning your phone or computer off or putting it in the other room when you get home from work so that your spouse and/or family get your undivided attention. Maybe it’s limiting yourself to a certain number of hours watching the television. Maybe it’s sitting down with your spouse to come up with a budget and setting some ground rules about your finances. Maybe it’s sitting down for 15 minutes every day to just talk with your spouse & hear about what’s going on in his/her life that day. Maybe it’s going to see a professional to work through some of this stuff. You figure out what you need to do to get your priorities in order. Take time to communicate this with your spouse, so you can go at it together.

If at all possible, do a date night this weekend. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours, plan an outing. If money is tight, make dinner at home, light some candles, grab a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, write down a couple of sweet things to your spouse in a card, and just spend some quality time together at home with the 2 of you. If you can afford to, take your spouse out to dinner and then to somewhere fun and/or romantic (mini golf, movie theater, ice skating, bowling, etc.). Laugh, talk, and love one another…fill each other’s love tanks up!

*To comment on this entry, simply click on the “no comment” link in blue just below the post (if someone has already commented, you will see a number instead of “no” in front of “comment”). Fill out the form that pops up. Your name & email are not required. Once you have entered your comment, click on the “Submit a Comment,” and it will appear once it is approved for posting. 

Communication is Key: Love Tip

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Alright, well I think you get the point that communication is essential to any and every relationship. I hope you also got the point that it’s not just about communicating but how you communicate. The goal is to build up (our spouse, our relationship) rather than tearing down. Also, don’t forget that not communicating really is communicating…just not anything good. All that being said, our church (Mariner’s Church) did a series awhile ago on making marriage better (“As Good as it Gets?” by Kenton Beshore & Jeff Pries – They gave us cards to take home to get the conversation moving along at home (singles – make sure to look for the questions for you too in italics). I thought I would share one of them with you to try out yourself.

  • Introduction (Lean in): What is a fond memory you have of your wedding day? Singles: What is a fun memory from a wedding you were part of or attended?
  • Observation (Look Down): Read Colossians 3:12-25. Why should we forgive and how does that bring about healing?
  • Understanding (Look out): What gets in the way of this kind of forgiveness? What happens when people do (or don’t) forgive this way?
  • Application (Look in): Is there something you or your spouse has done that needs to be forgiven? How will you ask for forgiveness or extend it, and how will this change your relationship? Singles: Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive, or ask for forgiveness?
  • Pray: Spend time thanking God for His forgiveness in your life, even thought you did nothing to deserve it. Thank Him that he has also given you the relationships in your life and the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt. Ask For for the capacity to forgive and extend grace, remove all anger and bitterness from your heart and replace it with the peace that comes from Christ.

Happy weekend! Enjoy it and have a blessed one!