A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Friday, October 12, 2007

Communication in Marriage

".... A rope made of three cords is hard to break." Ecclesiastes 4:12 Good News Bible

After many years of marriage I would say that we are closer now than ever, although we still have our moments. It has not all been plain sailing though, we've certainly had our trials and difficulties. In fact we would both agree, that following Jesus has kept us together.

We used to attend the occasional marriage conference. I'll never forget the first one. I was quite apprehensive beforehand, as I thought the leaders would 'hit me over the head' with what the Bible says about marriage and declare that I had failed as a husband. I was however, pleasantly surprised and found the weekend most encouraging.

It was at these marriage weekends that we learned how communication is paramount for a marriage, or any other relationship to succeed. We were shown ways of improving communication. One was to write each other a letter. Boy, was that an eye-opener, some men freaked out of that stage. We came away with 'tools' to help us deal with potential confrontational situations, before they developed into a full-blown row.

Most useful is what we call the twenty/twenty, where we give each other twenty minutes. After asking the Lord to help us, I listen to my wife, who has my full attention without interruptions. I then mirror back to her what I believe she is saying and feeling. We had to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings. For example we say "When you do this, I feel ...!" not "You make me feel ...!" I found this difficult in the early days, as I was a bit lacking in the feelings department. We then change places and repeat the process. Finally we may have to negotiate and come to some agreement over the issue. That's how it goes, although we tend to take short cuts these days.

We certainly have not got it all right, but I thought I would share something that we found helpful in our time of need.

"God, the best maker of all marriages, Combine your hearts into one." William Shakespeare

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
Mignon McLaughlin

"As the scripture says, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one." Ephesians 5:31 Good News Bible