Showing posts from April, 2009

Communication: Conflict

God created us with free will, meaning we could make our own decisions and live life according to His way or our own way. Because of the fall of man, we have a bit of rebelliousness in all of us. We constantly struggle with SELF. SELF always wants its own way, not Gods way or a spouses way. Our selfish and sinful nature interferes with God’s plan for us. When we give into our SELF, we jeopardize relationships and cause disruptions in society. Our society has fallen to an immoral state of ‘no right or wrong’ because the trend has been to think about ones SELF. If it feels good, do it. We no longer are taught to put the needs of others ahead of our SELF. We bring this worldly attitude into our marriage relationship. Conflict starts with the rising of that inner beast called SELF. When SELF feels threatened to not get it’s own way, ridiculed, or offended, it needs to strike in order to justify it's SELF. We are taught in the world to “defend your SELF! Don’t let them talk to you

Communication: Edifying Too

It is vital to edify your spouse around other people. Don’t ever talk negatively about your spouse to friends, co-workers, or family. First of all, it’s not fair to them. Second of all, when you express the words, they only reinforce your thoughts and encourage you to believe what you are saying. It also gives the devil a lot more ammunition to shoot back at you. I Thessalonians 5:1 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” Women, especially, need to be emotionally nourished with praise, never broken down with criticism. Women love compliments and need to hear positive reinforcement from their husbands. A woman’s sense of well-being depends greatly on what her husband thinks and says about her, and how attractive he makes her feel. Women are usually more sensitive than men and easily hurt by negative words. A critical word will wound a woman permanently. Most men don’t have that sensitivity and don’t understand why harsh words make such a deep impact on

Communication: Edification

I talked earlier about the “P” in GPS standing for praise and positive, one of the most important aspects of communication. We should only speak positive words to our spouses, words that edify or lift them up. This often takes a lot of SELF-control to achieve, especially in the marriage relationship. You need to stop the flow of malicious words that can destroy a marriage. Those words come from the negative thoughts in your head. You CAN break that vicious cycle of cruel and harsh words too often shared between couples, once you change your thinking. Roman 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Edification is the building up of individuals. Along with edifying our spouse, we should also bless them. To bless our spouse means to speak well of them and to respond with good words - even when the other persons’ speech may be harsh, critical, or insulting. Other ways to bless your spouse are by doing nice things for

Communication: How do you take your thoughts captive?

Whether our thoughts are from the devil or from our flesh, we need to decide not to dwell on negative thoughts. We need to choose not to take action on those thoughts. We must realize our thoughts are NOT just a part of our character we can’t control. We DO have power over our thoughts! How do we take our thoughts captive? First, we recognize that we are human. We are born with a sinful nature and need to crucify that nature, and rid ourselves of fleshly thoughts, daily. We are not alone in these struggles. The Bible includes endless stories about wonderful people of God who continually battled the desires of their flesh. Then, we need to make a conscious effort to stop those negative thoughts. Immediately halt the thoughts by turning your mind to something productive. Start reading your Bible and begin to pray. Ask God to help you take those thoughts captive. Sing praise music! (That is the biggest deterrent to the devil!) When battling with the devil, we need to s

Communication: Take Your Thoughts Captive

The overflow of your heart runs through your mind before exiting your mouth. Your thoughts are the driving force behind the words you say and the actions you take. “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” (author unknown) Everything begins in our mind. That is why the Bible tells us to ‘take our thoughts captive.’ II Corinthians. 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” What we think will eventually become what we are. When we don’t think before we speak, harmful words flow freely, e

Communication: Controlling the Tongue

I always seem to think of one more thing to say from my last post as I’m publishing the latest post, so don’t be surprised when I use - End note to previous blog: I find a big area of conflict between my husband and me is often our difference in standards. He doesn’t share the same level of neatness I do. Does that make me a better person than him? No. I’ve learned to compromise and lower my standards a bit, while he has definitely raised his standards from the early years of our marriage. We’ve learned to be comfortable in our compromise. We can’t dictate rigid rules to our spouses for keeping up the house; we need to cooperate and learn to share duties without causing conflict. Discuss with your spouse how to do that without creating unnecessary friction. Find a healthy balance for both of you. Again, it’s HOW you communicate your wishes. On to communication: Communication is a very intricate part of the marriage relationship, the core of every kind of relationship. Not limited

Communication: What are you saying?

Although “Women’s English and Men’s English” (see April 3rd blog) sounds humorous, it hovers very close to the truth. We don’t always say what we mean or hear what the other person meant, especially between men and women. In order to experience a successful marriage relationship, couples need to learn to communicate properly. We need to learn each other's language. The ability to talk to your spouse and understand one another acts as the glue that will hold a marriage together. It’s amazing we humans can communicate with each other at all. When you take into consideration what someone says, you also have to look at what they meant to say. Did the words come out precisely as they had thought? Were they able to find the correct words to say in order to relay those words as close to their meaning as possible? Did their tone of voice match the intention of the message? What about the person receiving the message? Did he hear every word spoken? Did he understand every word as the me

One More Thing About Self...

Now that I have my blog running smoothly, I can finally get back to writing. I plan to post articles on Mondays and Fridays, so please stay tuned! Before I get into the heart of communication, I feel it necessary to backtrack a moment on the topic of self. I intended to address an issue still on my mind at a later date. Then, my mother-in-law confirmed my thoughts when she read my last blog and said, “But what about…?” But what about the woman who feels like a doormat, a slave; the woman who gives, gives, gives and only feels taken for granted? This is not putting your spouses' needs ahead of your own, but compromising your self worth. There is a very fine line between the two. Psalm 139:13, 14 says, " For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful." Read all of Psalm 139 to see how amazingly well God knows us. We are children of God. He loves us and

“CLIP” Along at a Happy Pace!

The GPS directions to a joyful marriage give you an instant response for immediate help in a relationship. Making a habit of them will benefit every marriage, even those not at a crisis stage. Now I’d like to discuss “CLIP”, four main issues we find to be crucial for a successful marriage. (You’ll notice that I tend to like acronyms: "CLIP", “GPS”, and our website is “RPM” ministry.) A lot more detailed than GPS, CLIP’s are changes that may take some time to implement. Following GPS directions, though, will make the CLIP points much easier to apply. If you struggle with the GPS, try to focus on the ‘G’ most importantly. (Read the first posting on this blog if you missed it - it stands for ‘put God first in your life.’) Once you get that down, everything else will fall in place. “CLIP Along at a Happy Pace” is the subtitle for my hope-to-be-published-soon book, “GPS to a Joyful Marriage.” (I’ll keep you posted on that.) The car theme kept surfacing unintentionally. I hap