Getting to the Other Side

Are you happy in your marriage? Do you and your husband share laughter? Smiles? Hugs? That describes us, now. But it wasn’t always that way. There was a very long season of pain in our marriage. We’re sharing again today with Bob Lepine and Dennis Rainey at Family Life Today and I hope you’ll listen to our story and receive hope (or pass on to a couple who is struggling today). Click on this link to listen online.

A lot of the destruction that went on in the early years of our marriage was due to a lack of understanding in how to communicate. Yesterday I gave you an example of ways your words can crush your husband and I’m listing them here again.

Bad Girl Communication Skills:

  • Blurt out what you’re thinking (always need to let others know what’s on your heart, ya know?) no matter how it might make someone else feel.
  • Use a tone of voice that conveys that you’re hurt, but keep him guessing what you’re hurt about (that touch adds to the drama).
  • Lay on a thick layer of guilt if he’s hurt you, left you in the dark, not included you, or somehow “caused” you to feel insecure.
  • Punish him verbally if he’s hurt you (that’s what destructive “Fierce Women” do, right?)

Yes, hurting people do tend to hurt others. And they can destroy a relationship with this kind of communication. The way that LeRoy and I talk with one another now looks much differently than in those dark years. I want to share some of those principles with you today.

New Life Communication Skills:

  • When you are hurt, before talking about it, first consider whether that hurt stems from selfishness, self-pity, or a sinful attitude. Take time to seek the Lord and ask Him to open your eyes to where you are. Spend time in prayer and the Word seeking direction and timing before holding this conversation (James 1:19–20).
  • Release unrealistic expectations. Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart and his heart, and to lead the conversation. Resolve in your heart that this work belongs to the Lord.
  • Share your heart and express your needs in an honest but gracious manner—not accusing or placing blame. We can’t come to our husbands with a pious/holier-than-thou attitude and expect to be heard. God opposes that kind of heart (1 Peter 5:5). To honor God, and your husband, approach the conversation with grace, forgiveness, humility and love (Ephesians 3:17; 4:31-32).
  • No matter how you feel about your husband, how much he has hurt or disappointed you, ask God to give you grace to communicate to him with a respectful heart (Ephesians 5:33).

Changing communication patterns really starts, not with our mouths, but with our hearts. For more practical help with this, you might want to read a blog post from the Archives:

“A New Way to Communicate”

If you listen to today’s program and find it hepful, I hope you’ll let the folks at Family Life Today know that you appreciate them sharing our story!

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