GENTLE WORDS ARE A TREE OF LIFE, A DECEITFUL TONGUE CRUSHES THE SPIRIT.
TRANSPARENCY ALERT! TRANSPARENCY ALERT! TRANSPARENCY ALERT!
This Marriage Chronicles post is coming from a very fresh place. I wanted to start it off by using scripture. Most recently, as of a week ago, Veronica and I had a 'Come To Jesus' meeting. Things were just off. There was just no chemistry in the house at all. We were doing PHENOMENAL as parents...SUPERB as co-CEOs in managing the household...GREAT as admins planning our schedules. We had A+'s in all those areas but as a couple, we weren't doing so well. One of our struggle areas for us is we have the habit of finding ourselves in a 'Task-Oriented' place. Conversation at a minimum with the exception of brief exchanges such as, "Hey, did you remember to...? Make sure you... Don't forget to... Hey honey, did you...?, etc" Those types of conversations create NO INTIMACY in marriage. We've read the book The 5 Love Languages and we've discovered our languages, however compliments and positive talk are universal. Mark Twain says "I can live for 2 months on a good compliment." That means, someone close to him only has to say 6 nice things in a year to him and he'll be just fine. I know some people who give 6 compliments in a few hours.
During our 'Come To Jesus' meeting, I made the observation of how task oriented we are in our daily conversation(s) and she agreed. I'm all about the practical. We are a couple who believes in counseling as well, but with how hectic schedules are between us and our counselor....we needed something practical to do in the mean time. I thought of a suggestion. Throughout our day, we'd stop what we were doing, call one another to give each other a compliment. That's all we talk about for that conversation. Nothing about finances, Riley, the house, personal endeavors, what's going on at work, family, or anything else...just each other. There are 2 reasons why I believe this is a great-intentional-practical solution to change the dynamic of everyday task oriented conversation to intimate-connecting conversation.
1. It fills the other person up- Gary Chapman uses the illustration of a gas tank when he talks about the concept of 5 Love Languages by saying whenever you give someone a compliment (words of affirmation as he calls it in his book), it adds to their love tank. The more you fill them up, the more positivity will take place in the relationship.
2. It easier to have tough conversations- Picture this. You and your spouse haven't exchanged positive words in a few days and a difficult conversation about finances (oh boy) comes up. That's going to be a tough one simply due to the fact that there has been little to no connection conversationally, emotionally, and definitely not physically. If no intimacy is taking place in either of these areas, the two are entering into a difficult conversation on running on fumes or on 'E' because neither one of them have filled up each other's tanks. Create an atmosphere to have tough conversations in.
Since our 'Come To Jesus' meeting, things have been super pleasant around the house. We've been consistent with the complimenting phone calls throughout the day, gone on date (both her and I as well as family dates. YES, I DATE MY GIRLS! LOL) and today I got a little creative with my compliment. I surprised Veronica at her job with a few gifts and a card to express my compliment. She was so surprised!
By this time, you should now understand why I started this post out with the scripture Proverbs 15:4. Speak words that give life to one another in your marriage. I really hope this challenge of ours was able to help somebody, encourage somebody, or even let somebody know we struggle with the same thing that they do. Too many marrieds struggle on their own island and in silence. Let's win in our marriage and let's win together!