Marital Traffic: 3 Ways to Face Marital Challenges

Periodically, when I’m performing weddings, I’ll read an excerpt from a piece written by Robert Fulghum called, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. ” It’s a fun take of how we can approach life, especially in marriage. It says”

Most of what I really need to know about how to live
And what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life –
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.

I love to linger on that last line.

“When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.”

The statement is more powerful than most couples realize. First, traffic is present. There’s nothing inherently bad about “traffic.” Cars are not evil. But the metaphor is deep enough to warn us that every marriage faces things beyond themselves that are challenging. And challenges that are not properly navigated through can/will cause pain. That leads us to my second thought: though you can do nothing about the presence of traffic, you can maneuver through it safely if you walk together, work together, and stay together.

(If you’re a wedding officiate, congrats, you now have a great ending to your wedding ceremony.)

It’s not facing the “traffic” (struggles) that makes you feel hopeless, it’s feeling like you’re going through it alone. And THAT, my friends, should not be.

Tattooed on the outside of my right wrist is a meaningful scripture I want to give you. It’s out of Isaiah 43:2 and says,

When you go through deep waters, I will be with youWhen you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

This powerful word is not the denial of tough times but the promise of the Lord’s presence within them. Our marriages will face “rivers of difficulty” and “the fire of oppression.” But His presence is what helps us “go through” them and not get destroyed by them. Together with the Lord, our marriages can make it through “traffic.”

So if we’re going to face “traffic,” perhaps we can have a simple yet strategic approach to marital challenges that produce something out of our pain.

1. Go through it together.
I grew up in metro Detroit and I know traffic. I’ve also driven though Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York. And the reason why the traffic was worth enduring was the destination that was in my vision. Why “go through it”? Because your marriage is worth it. When you see something challenging in front of your marriage, talk about it; strategize about it. Grab each other’s hands, pray Isaiah 43 over your marriage, and go through it together. I love Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”

2. Grow through it together.
Going through challenges is inevitable; learning from them is optional. Don’t waste the struggle. Look at what you face (or are presently facing) and find purpose in the pain by growing from what you have endured. What could you (or both of you) have done different? What should you do the next time you face a challenge? How can you do a better job encouraging each other through things? What tools/help can you access to guide you both? Find a growth point personally and maritally and share those with one another.

3. Share the wisdom. 
Don’t be selfish with your lessons; share them with someone who needs hope. Sometimes “hope” is in the form of “We understand. We’ve been there. We know what you’re going through.” When you share your progress and your victories, you share hope. And a sliver of hope can be the catalyst for another couple to see a mountain they’re facing moved.

Love you all. Praying over you all as you face the traffic in life together, learn from the journey, and pour that into others.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Live at the Right Level”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “sight.” And when I think about sight, I think about physical and spiritual perception God gives us. 

Check out this week’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Stop living at a level you were saved from and live toward the life you were saved to.
  • Faith in Christ has not just changed the trajectory of your eternity but the patterns of your life.
  • When we take our eyes off God’s direction, we only see our difficulties.
  • Satan instigates (infects with a thought), fascinates (develops a story line), and then assassinates (destroys).
  • The habits you maintain in comfortable seasons will carry you through a difficult seasons.
  • “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

Quality Beats Quantity: 2 Thoughts about Marital Communication

You may know what you are talking about but does your spouse know what you are talking about?

It’s a pretty sobering question if you really ponder on it. All too often, I take for granted, because of our 20 years of marriage, that Anne is just going to get what I’m saying.

Not necessarily true.

In fact, there is are more assaults on marriage through “assumptive communication.” That simply means that I believe my spouse understands everything I’ve been conveying. And if there is a misunderstanding, it’s probably their fault as I feel that I was clear enough with what I said. So instead of reviewing the “how” of my approach, I keep talking and talking waiting for them to “get it.”

More talking doesn’t mean better talking. Sometimes there is so much information given that your spouse cannot digest what came out of your mouth and your heart. Quality trumps quantity in communication. Think of it like the difference between going to buffet and a having a quality meal. You’ll walk way from a buffet “feeling” full but unable to digest the copious amounts of saying, “I’m not sure what I ate, but I’m full.” Now look at a good planned out meal. You’ll have the proper portions based off of the palette of the person(s) present. Not only will those eating enjoy the meal but they’ll be able to digest was presented (served).

1 – Quality communication is intentional; it doesn’t just “happen.” As I spoke Sunday at Kfirst, our communication has to go beyond information but strategy. So often I bring up the “3 T’s” of communication (time, tone, technique). Why? Because it is how you and I can intentionally convey that which is on our heart to share. Without that approach, we can feel like we communicated to our spouse not realizing, perhaps, that our tone destroyed our message or that our timing undermined our intention or that our technique misconstrued our heart.

In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is the process of determining the location of a point by forming triangles to it from known points. What we can do with our communication is to triangulate the communication “sweet spot” by making sure all of our information is strategically approached. Doing this is an act of stewardship. God has given us a voice as a gift and we have a responsibility to steward/manage that gift. 

2 – Quality communication necessitates a lifetime of adjustment. It’d be fine if we, or the person we are married to, didn’t change. But we all do. My oldest is 18 and just completed her freshman year of college. I don’t talk to her the same way I did back in 1999. Why? It sounds overly obvious so say she’s older, in a different maturity of comprehension, and in a drastically different season of life than she was when she was first-born.

Why is it we are able to adapt to children and their “seasons” but we don’t allow those adjustments with adults, specifically, our spouse? I think it’s, potentially, because we disassociate idea of growth with adulthood. You may not be growing “upward” any longer but you can grow deeper. And it is incredibly difficult for the marriage to grow deeper if you are unwilling to adjust how you communicate to your spouse.

I think of any athlete approaching “game day” based off the conditions they’re playing in. Rain, wind, and bright sun shine are all taking into consideration before he/she engages in their activity. Why? The conditions can dramatically affect the results. The same throwing motion in two different conditions can produce different outcomes because of the circumstances at hand.

Sounds like a lot more work doesn’t it? Actually it isn’t. When you weigh out the amount of time and effort needed to recoup from miscommunication, to forgive faults, and heal from misunderstandings, it really is beneficial in every way to approach your communication in a healthy way.  Intentionally communicating and adjusting to the time and seasons of life actually is much less work and more effective in allowing the marriage to grow deeper and aiding in seeing a greater level of joy between you two.

What do you need to start or stop doing in your communication? How can you approach each other that prevents miscommunication? Talk to each other about it. Share with your spouse how you plan on being more strategic with your communication.

Love you all. Praying for you all as you intentionally adjust how you communicate with each other.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

To my wife, thanks for letting me ramble these past 20 years…

I love you.

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Scent of the Soul”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we kicked off a new series at Kfirst. Every June we look to pour into marriages and this year our series is called, “Senseless.” It was four years ago I read Genesis 2:15-17 and saw the 5 senses at work. 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it (VISION; TOUCH). And the Lord God commanded the man, saying (HEAR), “You may surely eat(TASTE; SMELL) of every tree of the garden.

The senses were there to not just experience what God provided but to explore what God gifted humanity with. It gave a fascinating view of bringing health to the complexity of relationships, especially marriage.

This week, we look at the sense of “scent.” And when I think about scent, I think about atmosphere. As a friend of my tweeted this week, I agree that the “The Kingdom of God is a culture of leadership.” And in that culture, we don’t allow the atmosphere to dictate who we are. We are determined to know who we are in order to impact the atmosphere around us. So we don’t worry about seeing an scent/atmosphere change as much as we start with a heart change. Because the atmosphere you wan to experience comes from the heart you’re willing to possess.

Check out yesterday’s message:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • The atmosphere you want to experience comes from the heart you’re willing to possess.
  • Be what you expect to experience.
  • Whatever you fill yourself with today will come out of you tomorrow.
  • The atmosphere of expectation is the breeding ground for miracles.
  • Want to see something in your marriage tomorrow, time to start seeding in it today.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

BTW: Here’s the new song we used yesterday.

The New Norm. 20 Lessons on Our 20th Anniversary

As usual, I like to write marriage blog commemorating milestones and moments. And for today, our 20th anniversary, I wanted to address something that, I hope, will encourage and perhaps give some couples a feeling of liberty.

Quite often we get messages that say, “I just want things they way they used to be.” Usually, it’s because something has transpired in the marriage that it makes someone (or both spouses) miss what they considered “normal.”

It makes me think of Uncle Rico spending his life trying to get back the “old days” of what he thought he had. 

This experience is not exclusive to a “type of person,” generation, or a vintage of a marriage. It’s very common response to what happens when a man and woman go through this journey called “marriage.” We desire to “go back” to something that feels “normal.”

How does this change happen? The flow of life got interrupted, a situation developed, or a challenging circumstance manifested itself. For you, it could be a number of things. Maybe a change in a spouse’s health. An unexpected development in your relationship. Perhaps it is a shift in vocation. It could be a change in the season of life you find yourselves in. Change will always be a threat to comfort. The issue of “change” will attack the “norm.”

Anne and I get it. Our marriage was shaken up at the birth of our daughter just a year and a half into marriage. What little “normal” we knew was already removed. Everything “normal” was out the window. And we discovered that marriage wasn’t about fighting to get back what we thought had but to move forward together with what we have.  

We call it, finding the “new norm.”

So today, I thought I’d give you 20 areas we’ve had to discover the new “norm” in our 20 years of marriage. We had to discover the new norm in…

  1. Expressing and receiving “love.” Our love languages changed dramatically when Cammi was born. It takes careful evaluation and intention to keep up with the changes.
  2. Having fun as a couple. We’ve had to work hard finding things we like doing together as a couple. What was fun five years ago may not be as exciting as it used to be. We need to keep trying and discovering what is fun for the both of us. 
  3. Navigating our spiritual lives. We have felt the pressure to “keep up” with a standard or do what other couples do. Anne and I love the same worship styles but do our Word and prayer times differently.
  4. Working through disagreement. We’ve learned that disagreement doesn’t mean “disunity.” We have a unified heart but sometimes different opinions. Instead of trying to benefit selfishly, we work for the good of other.
  5. Changing of Jobs. We’ve changed jobs (location, home, etc) three times in 20 years. Each job has introduced a new approach that has affected the entire family.
  6. Communicating our expectations. 20 years ago, we’d drop hints then get mad when the other didn’t “catch” what we were hinting. We love talking on Sunday evenings about our week so that neither one of us is caught off guard about what’s happening. It’s taken a lot of stress and confusion out of our lives.
  7. Expressing criticism in marriage. We believe in encouragement sandwiches. Every criticism must be sandwiched between two encouragements. But in the same vein…
  8. Being an active encourager. Encouragement isn’t saved for criticisms. Nobody will out-encourage us when it comes to our spouse. Nobody.
  9. Finding our sexual frequency. Navigating with different libidos (sex drives) and expectations wasn’t without a few frustrations. But there’s a difference in failing at trying and failing to try. As a husband with a high libido, I need to make sure that my affection isn’t laced with sexual expectation. As someone with a low libido, Anne would say (in her own words), “I am the only one gifted to satisfy my husband.” Keep talking. Keep loving. And keep getting naked.
  10. Experiencing grief. Anne lost a few family members in the first couple years of marriage. Most of mine have been in the past decade. Grief not only challenges you in the moment but it makes you evaluate how to move ahead.
  11. Parenting our children. We’ve learned to change, not who we are, but how we parent our children based upon them and the season they go through. Cammi and Ethan are vastly different and, therefore, need to be parented a bit different. The principles are the same; the methods vary. Which leads me to…
  12. The change in family dynamics. We’ve had one high school graduation and we’re 3 years away from an empty nest. It’s hits us hard at varying times. We’ve learned not to look down on each other but to be there for each other.
  13. Dealing with heartache. Our role as pastors can invite heartache. I can put up a good front, but I take the loss of church attendees to heart and criticism very hard. Anne digests it different. But again, we refuse to allow the other to journey through heartache alone.
  14. The role of hobbies. Hobbies in marriage are an enriching outlet, not a beast of burden. 20 years ago, video games were great for me, Anne scrapbooked. Today, Anne loves to workout and I love to rock climb. We do it when it fits best for our marriage so that it doesn’t take away from it.
  15. The evolution of friendships. One of the hardest things is to navigate friendships. God has brought a number of people into our lives and it’s always pained us to see circumstances and seasons change the nature and scope of those friendships. Though our “closeness” is different, our love for them hasn’t changed.
  16. The necessity of “time outs.” Like a boxer sitting down between rounds, we have embraced the art of the “time out.” There’s huge value to ceasing from a fight and take a few minutes (or an hour) to cool down to remember why you’re fighting and what is ultimately important in the marriage.
  17. Developing a thicker skin. We have learned to stop looking to get offended so easily because we’ve learned to trust the heart of our spouse. If we don’t understand what’s taken place, we’ve leaned on the heart that we know and love. But in a similar vein…
  18. We look to laugh. Laughter has been the drug of choice in our house. We are hooked on making each other laugh. In fact, having an atmosphere of laughter helps us to see what things we need to truly take serious.
  19. Margin is not a luxury. Boredom, downtime, and fun is the space by which we catch our breath. The reason why too many marriages are lifeless is because they’re running without any margin (rest, recreation, and relationships).
  20. Learning isn’t optional. The only thing “normal” about your marriage is change. Which means that you can’t afford to stop learning. You both will change by nature of the seasons you go through as a couple and as individuals. Don’t stop being a student of your spouse. Be an avid learner and grow through the changes.

How can you approach where you find yourself now? It’s by first taking where you are and what you are doing and submitting it to the Lord. I love The Message’s paraphrase of Romans 12,

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Stop trying to recreate what you had and give what you have to the Lord. Like the boy who gave Jesus what he had so that a miracle could be performed, give the Lord what your marriage has. Let Him make something beautiful and majestic out of what you currently possess.

Why try to reclaim what you had when, in Christ, the best has yet to come?

Love you all. Praying for you all as you discover the “new norm” for your marriage.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

To my wife, thanks for letting me ramble these past 20 years…

I love you.

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

My Marriage Got Hacked: 4 Questions to Un-Hack Your Marriage

My wife and I were having a discussion the other day about a specific social media post we see all too often. It says something to the fact of,

Sorry everyone. My account somehow got hacked. Ignore any messages from me. 

Some people get legitimately “hacked.” And that is something to NOT take light of. It happens to thousands (if not millions) of people. “Hacking” is what happens when an outside entity tries to get gain unauthorized access to a system. Simply said: an outside source wants to work and manipulate its way inside to wrestle control from you.

What I find, more often than not, is the circumstance doesn’t constitute “hacking.” The person authorized someone/something. It could have been done by simply clicking a link and/or ignorantly agreed to allow access to their personal social media account by the game/forum/article he/she was checking out. In other words, you granted permission to something and didn’t realize how much access, liberty, and control the entity was going to take.

Do you see the difference? One situation is about something trying to get inside that doesn’t belong. The other is something that doesn’t belong but has been granted permission to come inside.

That’s when the litany of social posts come. Frustration. Embarrassment. Anger. All of it brewing out of the misunderstanding that you were “hacked.” When in reality, you may not have had an external “hostile takeover” but an unanticipated result from a guest you invited in. Don’t be surprised by the fruit of what you’ve given access to.  Don’t be freaked out when you see something happen from what you allowed in.

There is so much truth to grasp, not just in our social media experience, but in our marriage. I wonder how many relationships are inviting unanticipated and/or unnecessary challenges, not because of the natural differences between a husband and wife, but by the “entities” that have been authorized access. To name a few,

  • If you listen gossip, don’t be surprised when bitterness starts to gain access.
  • If you entertain envy, don’t be surprised when contentment dies.
  • If you indulge in isolation tactics, don’t be surprised when the “feelings” of love begins to wain.
  • If you foster cynicism, don’t be surprised when you can’t discover hope.
  • If you allow pornography, don’t be surprised when intimacy begins to deteriorate.
  • If you entertain unforgiveness, don’t be surprised when trust never gets rebuilt.

Perhaps before we have a response that says, “I don’t know how this happened but ________ has been going on,” we should turn inward. It’s easy to pick off the “fruit” of what you are seeing. It’s a who other thing to get to the roots of what is creating the fruit. Ask yourself:

  • Did I allow this inside?
    • Change begins with humility. And asking this question isn’t about dealing with things on your own but approaching every marriage situation, not with the assumption that “it’s got to be someone else” but from a place that says, “it could be my fault” or “I may have played a part in this.”  Humility is what causes our lives to be pliable in the hands of the Lord. The “we” of the marriage is much easier to shape if the “me” is contrite enough to approach it.
  • Where did the issue get access?
    • It’s easier to understand the depth an unhealthy marital issue or habit if you can identify the source fueling it. What is feeding it? Where is it happening? How did it start? Think of it like a boat taking on water. It’s pointless to get the water out of the boat if you do nothing about the leak. Find the access point and, together, deal with it.
  • What can WE do to move out of this?” 
    • Again, marriage issues are “we” issues.  The point of starting with “personal” humility is for both the husband and wife to have shapable hearts that will work with each other and for the health of the marriage.  Even in a case for which one spouse has some personal issues to navigate through, he/she shouldn’t feel like they’re doing it alone. As scripture says, the “two become one.” Make sure there is a sense that “we are moving forward together” and not “you need to do this.”
  • How do WE guard ourselves? How do WE grow from here?
    • They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Don’t just go about your marriage “business as usual.” Grow forward by making some tweaks and changes. When you see bad “fruit,” picking the fruit off doesn’t deal with the root issues. So stepping back and developing a plan of attack is paramount to marital maturity.

We can continue to defer our marriage issues as getting “hacked” as if someone/something has invaded our marriage and brought the lack of health we are experiencing. Sometimes there are just natural differences between husbands and wives that are needing to be worked through. Many times, we need to step back into humility and see that there may be the potential of something being the fruit of what we allowed access into our relationship.

Love you all. Praying for husbands and wives today as you work through, together, some root issues and see greater marital health grow.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.

Wrong Delivery: 3 Marriage Thoughts on Communication

We have an ongoing issue in the Barringer home. Our mailbox, periodically, gets mail for someone who lives 4 blocks from us. It’s not like it’s random mail from the neighborhood but from a home who possesses the same house number but on a completely different street. It’s kind of frustrating, but we do what we always do: go for a walk and drop it off in their box.

But it stirs up the question of “What have they received of ours?” The first thing on my mind is the 2-3 items we’ve ordered from Amazon that never arrived. Amazon has been great in giving us refunds, but, the point of ordering stuff is to actually have it delivered properly to the home.

(Side note: As I typed that, an Amazon notification literally popped up on m phone telling me about my next delivery. Here’s to hoping it actually comes to MY mailbox.)

Communication is the oil of the engine of marriage. As I’ve learned personally and painfully, you can have all of the parts and systems of a vehicle in place, but if you run out of oil, the car will seize and massive overhaul has to be done in order to be functional again (I miss my ’89 Chevy Blazer). So goes the communication in your marriage. In my judgement, most marriage issues are less about the actual “issue” and more about a breakdown in communication. And if proper, healthy communication is in place, the issue can be in place to be dealt with (if not solved because of clarity and understanding).

What does that have to do with today’s subject? Everything. As cliché as it may sound, communication isn’t about WHAT you say but HOW you say it. In other words, what I find happening between a husband and wife is, not a lack of information being given, but the delivery of that information. And dealing with “miss-delivery” is not just about missing necessary information from being delivered but healing the rifts cause by it.

Please understand: Just because you’ve “said something” doesn’t mean it was communicated properly. I hear from pre-marital couples all the time about this. I’ll ask them what they think the strength of their relationship is and, more often than not, communication is the first to come up. The most common reasoning: We talk all the time. But I submit again: talking doesn’t constitute that the information was delivered and received.

This may blow your mind but…Your spouse is not “you.”

In fact, he/she may be NOTHING like you. Not only is your spouse the opposite sex but could be your opposite in every way. From the make up of their personality to their background, you spouse (like mine) could be your polar opposite. So if that’s the case, care over the “delivery” of your communication matters just as much as the actual information being exchanged.

Don’t allow “time” to replace “tactic.” 
There is, often, a tendency to take the people we are closest to for granted. Because we have had more “time” or history with someone, we allow a relaxed approach to our “delivery” in our communication. I get it. From my spouse, to my staff, to the congregation I lead, it’s so easy to depend upon the amount of familiarity built over time to replace the stewardship of my words, tone, and approach to communication.

It’s effortless to put the blame on somebody else and defer ownership over miscommunication to somebody else by saying “he/she should know what we mean.” What we are saying in that statement is, “I am refusing to own up to the fact that part of the communication issue at hand has the potential of being my fault.” Don’t allow the depth of “time” be permission to not be strategic in your delivery. Think about who you are talking and the best way to convey the information.

Make it “sugar-free” and digestible.
“Straight talk” or communication through candor may feel good to you, but may come off as unfeeling and/or crude to your spouse. “Raw” doesn’t necessarily mean “reliable communication.” What I find in my own life, this type of communication is unrefined and without restraint. And, because of familiarity, I can easily allow my wife to be the pin-cushion for that type of delivery.I get it, it feels good to get things off your chest. But there’s a difference between outward processing and being crass. Don’t use you’re not wanting to “sugar-coat” the truth with circumventing the thought process. “Straight talk” is easy because you don’t have to properly own up on processing of the info and/or the delivery. You just give it without the care of whether your spouse will be able to digest it. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean it should be said in a way that fits your flesh.

I’m not advocating for tough situations to be ignored, to skirt the issues at hand, or to dancing around a subject hoping your spouse happens to catch what you’re hinting at. But, to if I’m really going to steward (manage) my communication, then I don’t need to “curb” the honesty but I do need to make sure it is digestible/understandable and, therefore, in position to be properly processed by my spouse. Watching our words isn’t “watering down” the truth; It’s increasing the stewardship of it.

Delivery is an ongoing process of change.
There’s a rule for public speaking that says, “Know your audience.” The older I get, the more apt I can be for sticking to the same old way of doing things. Reviewing the “how” of delivery isn’t calling what you’ve done wrong. It’s just recognizing that how you’ve done it may not be effective in the place your marriage is at. As human beings, not only do we see the seasons of life change, we change in those seasons. And what got you through one season doesn’t mean it will fit for the next one.

If our model of life is the person of Jesus, then the “delivery” in our communication needs to model what He modeled: Servanthood.

  • Does my spouse hear what I’m saying? How do I know that?
  • Am I passive aggressive or just plain AGGRESSIVE with my delivery style?
  • Do I give deliver something digestible?

Servanthood in marriage means that we don’t do what fits best for “me” but what facilitates the best for the “we.” To do that, takes careful inspection of how we are utilizing what God has entrusted in our care. And how we deliver communication fits into that category.

Love you all. Praying for husbands and wives today as you weigh out, not just WHAT you say but HOW you say it.

Encourage effort.
Celebrate progress.
Feed hope.

Thanks for letting me ramble…

BTW: Check out my book. Click on the link below.