All of us know couples who seem to have a genuine sense of “oneness”. Unfortunately, most of us know couples who seem unable to “get it together.” The major difference between those two types of couples is that one has developed positive patterns of communication while the other has not. One makes time for conversation, while the other, simply ‘lets things happen’.
Share Life Together
Verbal conversation is the primary process by which we share life. You will never know what I’m thinking unless I tell you and you choose to listen. What’s so hard about that? The hardest part is making time to talk and listen. Typically, we do what we plan to do.
The scriptures indicate that in marriage the ‘two become one’. This does not mean that we lose our individuality, but it does mean that we share our lives with each other. The typical husband and wife spend many hours each day geographically separated from each other. Simply coming into the same house at the end of the day does not bring them together.
“Becoming one” is the result of many shared thoughts, feelings, activities, dreams, frustrations, joys, and sorrows. In short, it is the result of sharing life. Establishing a ‘daily sharing time’ is the best way I know to make this happen. It is as vital to the marriage as food is to the body.
Do you listen when your spouse is talking? There is an ancient Hebrew proverb that says, “He who answers before listening – that is his folly and his shame.” So many times we are re-loading our guns while our spouse is talking. We can’t wait until they finish so we can make our points. Are you trying to win an argument or build a marriage? You will never have a healthy marriage until you learn to listen.
Listening means that you ask questions to make sure you heard correctly…
“What I hear you saying is that you wish we could get a weekend away this month. Am I hearing you correctly?” … “Well, it doesn’t have to be this month, but yes, I’d really like for us to get away.”
Listening encourages conversation. Conversation fosters good communication. Good communication strengthens marriages.
Put it into Action
Today, why not schedule a daily conversation time, just as you schedule time for lunch? If you do, you might just find yourself that much closer to the marriage you’ve always wanted.
adapted from Love Language Minute with Dr. Gary Chapman