Watch this 40 second video about communication: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmOTpIVxji8
For the most part, men and women speak different languages. Men speak in facts while women speak in feelings. Men prefer the bottom line while women enjoy the entire story. Men tackle one task at a time while women engage one relationship at a time. So it’s no wonder we sometimes struggle to foster meaningful, effective communication in our marriages. Poor communication can turn a minor issue into a major conflict.
Heroic Husband Challenge #3: Invest the needed time learning a new language. Her language! Foster the five C’s of Good Healthy Communication spelled out for us by Paul in Ephesians chapter 4.
- CLEAR: (Ephesians 4:15) We are to speak the truth in love. This is different from saying what is true using a tone that can hurt your wife. Men often speak clearly but with a brutal harshness. That is not “speaking the truth in love.”
- CALM: (Ephesians 4:26) In our anger we are not to sin. Anger is a legitimate emotion, but when we are unwise and careless our anger can become sinful. Anger becomes sinful when it is motivated by pride, when it lingers, and when we use it to attack the person instead of the problem. Take a “time out” or a break if you need to calm down.
- CURRENT: (Ephesians 4:26 & 31) We are not to let the sun go down while we are still angry. Bitterness and resentment are marriage killers. Those two ugly dogs can rip a marriage apart. It is your job to protect yourself from bitterness. Do not allow ill feelings to linger.
- CONSTRUCTIVE: (Ephesians 4:29) Our communication should be wholesome, helpful, and beneficial. Constructive is always future oriented. A complaint is always focused on the past and usually makes the receiver feel like they need to be defensive. A request will usually be aimed at the future and therefore can be much more constructive. Communication is not constructive when we beat someone up over what they have already done. Constructive communication makes a clear request for the future, “In the future would you mind _____?”
COMPASSIONATE: (Ephesians 4:32) We are to be kind and compassionate to our wives, forgiving them just as Christ forgave us. Men sometimes claim that they were absent the day that God was handing out mercy and compassion. That is a lame and passive excuse. Compassion is not a gift that we either have or we don’t have. It is a posture we must choose when relating to our wives.
Which of the five C’s do you need to put intentional effort into over these next few days? Why not start by apologizing for ways that you have blown it and ask your wife for her forgiveness? Are you bold enough to share with her your desire to improve in that area and ask for her help and patience?
Keep in mind, the five C’s are for you. Don’t point out her communication mistakes. That is both unwise and cowardly. It is the husband’s job to lead when it comes to wise and tender communication in marriage.
Going Further: Enhance communication in your marriage using ideas available at the INTENTIONAL HUSBANDS page.