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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marriage Matters: Communication

The Sunday before Valentine's Day our church had a lesson on marriage. Mr. John Klimko gave the lesson and provided us with print-outs to take home with us. I wanted to share this print-out with each of you as this lesson has had a significant influence on my own marriage. Right now I can honestly say that I am hands down the HAPPIEST I've ever been in my married life. I give much of that credit to this lesson. It was an "aha!" moment for us and kicked both of our butts into high gear. Zach especially! It's been such a blessing to enjoy talking to each other and sharing more. I know relationships are filled with hills and valleys. I'm loving being at the top of a hill right now and have faith that through the Lord and each other that it'll only get better from here :)


Rules For Funtastic Conversation

1. Be Knowledgeable: Know your spouse. People change - ask questions - learn them all over again. 1 Peter 3:7 "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect at the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life."

2. Be Loving: The Bible doesn't say you are supposed to love your spouse only if and when you feel good about them - it says to do good whether you feel like it or not. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (you can read it here on my Valentine's blog post!)

3. Be Transparent: Women seem to naturally crave this type of deep relationship more than men do and will share these needs easier. It's important for both spouses to be open books.

4. Be Trustworthy: Trust is the bank account that deposits are made into over a period of years. Yet, that account can be wiped out and overdrawn by one act that violates trust.

5. Be Positive: Building each other up is so important and you want to look for the good in each other over the bad (I love Danielle's blog entry that goes more in depth on this!)

6. Be Sensitive: Show your softer side and care for each other and your feelings

7. Be an Active Listener: We have become a culture based upon talking, not conversating. Matthew 13:9 "He who has ears, let him hear." Proverbs 18:13 "He who answers before listening - that is his folly and his shame."

8. Be Concise: Many of the sweetest and kindest words are lost or forgotten because we don't write them down. Most men don't take the time to write. Learn to do it anyway - special occasions (like Vday!) are a great time to start. To us ladies...we can make a 5 second story last an hour, if our men are willing to listen to us we need to shorten our stories some too as a compromise :) 

9. Be Prayerful: Couples will often ask what is the one thing they can do to best improve their marriage communication - conversational prayer is the answer. 

10. Be Decisive: You will never find the time to talk, write, communicate, or pray. You must make the time to do these things.

11. Be Understanding: Each day is a new day, forget the mistakes made yesterday and be understanding that no one is perfect. Not your spouse, and not you either!

It's amazing what a little effort can do for a relationship. We are both working on our communication with each other. Talking more, listening better, building each other up. This is especially important in a disagreement situation. Learning "how to fight" is really about learning "how to communicate." We're making SUCH great progress in this area and have both felt so much more joy in our relationship. The #1 most important thing you can do as a parent is to LOVE your spouse and let your child grow up in a home filled with that love. I am so appreciative that Kye sees his Mommy and Daddy so happy and that we can set the example for the type of marriage he will have someday!

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