What about people who need to discuss issues as soon as they arise? I believe part of this characteristic is personality and part of it comes from upbringing and childhood experiences. This is foreign ground for me, so please feel free to leave any comments if you have something to add.
Through the years of living with a man who wants to talk immediately, I have learned to be much more assertive in my ability to voice my opinion on the spot. Still, I sometimes spurt hurtful words at him that I hadn’t had the chance to think about first. I know Rick will forgive me because he adores me, so I feel safe with him. He’s the only person with whom I can speak freely. I really don’t like the way it feels, though, after saying unkind words I hadn’t thought through.
Talking in the heat of an issue could be a danger zone for people who want to discuss it right away. (It certainly is for me, who wants to think about things first.) When your emotions are charged and you have an issue to deal with, you run the risk of voicing harmful words.
I heard Joyce Meyers talk about her father and his critical tongue. With her bold personality, she tended to be just like him. She used to speak out when she ought not to be speaking out, and said things she ought not to be saying. By the grace of God, she has changed this offensive style.
The key to communication, whether you have to think things through or you want to talk immediately, is the words you speak. Contrary to what the world will tell us, we don’t have the liberty to speak whatever we want, according to the Bible. We are told repeatedly to ‘watch your tongue’.
Our words run through our minds as thoughts before we release them out of our mouths. We seriously need to take those thoughts captive and practice releasing only the positive, edifying words that will lift up our spouse (and others), not tear them down.
I know I’ve written about this a few times on this blog, but I find it to be the utmost important key to a successful marriage (after making sure to place God in the middle of your marriage.) If we can’t control the words we speak to our spouse, the chances for a healthy, divorce-free marriage are slim.
The issues in your marriage become issues because they aren’t communicated properly. Criticism is never healthy or accepted. Find a way to voice your concerns in an objective, positive way. Don’t attack your spouse, but discuss non-accusing ideas for improving a situation.
It all starts in your mind. Realizing that is half the battle. Take control of it and you will see how easily you can learn communication skills that work for you and your spouse.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” (Author unknown)
For more information on taking your thoughts captive and holding your tongue, check out the April postings on this blog.