Have you ever noticed that you're speaking and your spouse nods away as if listening. Then when you ask them, "Oh, what was I saying?" They have no clue. We want to be heard because sometimes we are sharing things that are important. Maybe we had a bad day at home, at work, or just feel sick. Perhaps there is a question we want to bring up and need some input. As loving husbands and wives, we have to be good listeners. When we stop what we are doing to give our significant other time and attention when they share, we are then showing that we are capable of listening with our hearts, and not just our ears.
Some spouses are always thinking quick fixes, like eating out. It's not only expensive but so very unhealthy. The guilt trip begins and someone gives in, more times than needed, and it's Chinese again. I know that there are times we have a tough day at work, especially when both work and come home exhausted. But, what if it becomes a pattern? Do you really think your family prefers take out instead of a homemade dinner?
You might say, "I'm sick. (cough, cough)"or "I'm tired." or "Well, you don't understand. I don't know how to cook." Okay. Then, love your spouse and your children enough to take classes, buy a cook book, or ask someone you feel comfortable with to guide you and work with you until you are one amazing cook. Cook as a family. Make it an event in your home. A homemade meal is served with heart. I've learned in my most tired moments, when I went out of my way to serve a simple meal, the kids and my hubby said, "Thanks, mom/honey. I was hoping you cooked. Last time I got so sick." And those words have made all the difference. Regardless of how I feel, even if it's white rice and an egg, I'll be making the meal.
If things are falling apart between your and your spouse, (and we've all been there) ignoring the issues won't resolve them. Ignoring one another and then taking turns throwing angry, foul mouth darts around the house every now and then will not bring a peaceful resolution. Some couples decide a time out is needed and I can agree that we all need space sometimes to just think and relax. But, when we start ignoring one another, we are crushing one another as well.
Staying quiet to prove my point only proves I am not mature enough to sit and listen to your side of the story. It also shows anger has won and I cannot work at meeting you half way. Silence shows us to finish your argument and kill your relationship. It can separate you from one hour, to one day, to weeks and then what? You won't even remember how you got here in the first place. Talk it out. Agree to disagree. Plan on giving one another a fair say and listen without shutting the other person out. In the end, the only silence between you two should be that moment when you share a kiss.
Our words can build up or destroy. A wife can encourage her husband with her words and make him feel stronger than Superman. A husband can demolish his wife's self esteem with his words, his tone, and sarcasm. You chose to marry your spouse. You didn't see their faults when you were dating because back then they seemed perfect to you and you seemed perfection to them. Now that you can see the cracks and the flaws, you think you have permission to say what you want to say and how you want to say it. A marriage license is not a license to kill with words. Use your words carefully. God is going to hold us accountable for speaking encouragement of declaring destruction.
With today's economy, going out on a date may not seem realistic. What if I suggested doing something simple. I'll give some examples of my wild and crazy nights, (you may laugh or even say, "Gosh, that's horrible!), but just give it a chance.
- Going out for a walk, regardless of the weather
- Sit somewhere to enjoy a cup of coffee
- Plan a home movie night but first go outside and get the munchies
- Take a ride in the car listening to your favorite music
- Walk to the park, sit down, and enjoy time together
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