“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19
It always amazes me how kids, who don’t know each other, can come together and immediately start communicating/playing with one another. Just a simple look in another kid’s direction and they are playing like they’ve known each other for years. So why, as adults, is it hard to communicate with our spouse, especially when it comes to conflict? We expect our spouse to know what we are thinking or what we feel without communicating to them our wants and needs. When it comes to conflict, many of us will let a situation linger without discussing the issue with our spouse and then there are some of us who communicate in more of a negative way with our tone and attitude. If I can be transparent for a moment, I’m the one who would rather let the situation linger and not discuss the issue. I’m the one “who doesn’t like conflict” (yep, I used quotations) because I don’t want an argument to occur. What ends up happening is far worse because there was no communication concerning the issue. When we don’t confront the issue and allow it to linger, we then manifest anger, resentment, hatred and any other ill feeling. At this point, anything our spouse says or does becomes an issue that continues to pile up and cause more issues in your marriage. Talk about it – confront the issue and don’t let it linger. Now, for those of you who communicate all too well in a way that may not be…nice, you have to remember you want your spouse to hear you and understand how you feel. If you are coming at them like a wrecking ball, they aren’t going to want to hear what you have to say and will dismiss your feelings. They can’t read your mind and may not know there is an issue until you come with an attitude. We have to remember our goal is to communicate how we feel in a way that our spouse understands us better and to solve any conflict we may have. Also, another part of communication is listening to what our spouse is saying. Don’t just hear them so you can respond, listen so you can know their heart. Let’s follow the kids’ example and communicate in a way that reaches our spouse so a resolution can happen. So how do you communicate? Are you the spouse who doesn’t communicate your thoughts or feelings or are you the spouse who needs to pull back on their approach to communication? Why don’t you take the time and ask your spouse if they think you are a good communicator…you may be surprised at their answer.