Note: If you’re looking for a powerful and uplifting faith-filled movie this weekend, I’d encourage you to consider “WAR ROOM“– a new film from the creators of “Fireproof” and “Courageous.” My colleague, Adam Holz, writes that War Room shows “…what it really looks like to create space for prayer in our lives amid the real struggles that inevitably conspire to crowd it out.” To read his full review, please visit our Plugged In website. -JD
Hannah was a happy, vibrant 17-year-old. That is, until she received a text message from her father that turned her world upside down.
“Just spoke to your mom,” the message read. “We’re going to divorce next month.”
Hannah’s heart thumped in her chest, and she started to panic. Just then, another text from her father came to her phone.
“I’m sorry, honey,” he said. “I wrote ‘Disney,’ and my auto-correct changed it. We’re not going to divorce, we’re all going to Disney.”
I don’t think the importance of good communication can be overstated, particularly when it comes to a man and wife. Next to our relationship with God, communication is the lifeblood of a marriage. It’s what gives a relationship its vitality and strength.
But sometimes it’s not all that easy to do. The pace of life can reduce an opportunity for emotional intimacy into a business meeting. Instead of sharing feelings and connecting with one another at a deeper level, a couple ends up discussing the budget, household chores, or whose turn it is to pick up the kids.
That’s just one of the obstacles that hampers good communication. Another – in fact, one of the most common – is differing styles of conversation. I’m sure most wives will attest to the fact that their husbands don’t exactly engage them in the same way as their girlfriends do.
Women are used to sitting down over a cup of coffee with a female friend and going emotionally deep quickly. But their husbands don’t relate with them like that at all. Men tend to listen to their wives like Sgt. Joe Friday from Dragnet: “Just the facts, ma’am.” They’re looking for a problem to solve, not an opportunity to share their feelings.
Add all of the pieces together, and it begins to make sense why research shows couples only spend an average of four minutes a day in meaningful conversation.
That’s not very much. And that frustrates a lot of women.
The obvious question then becomes, what can wives do to overcome the obstacles that stand between them and life-giving, positive communication with their husbands?
Joining me in the studio today to answer that question are Focus’ vice president of Family Ministries, Dr. Greg Smalley, and his wife, Erin. They contend good communication starts with the willingness to study and learn who our spouse is and how they connect.
God has wired husbands and wives differently. It’s natural, but it presents its challenges. We have to understand our mate’s communication style and “speak their language,” as it were, in order to develop the meaningful connection we’re after.
That’s just one of the strategies we’ll discuss. Be sure to tune in to the program, “Learning to Effectively Communicate With Your Husband,” for the full conversation. You can hear it on your local radio station, online, or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
And though I don’t often use this space to say so, I want to offer my heartfelt appreciation to all of you who have supported Focus on the Family and made it possible for us to provide counseling and resources to couples in need. Last year alone, we helped 140,000 marriages out of trouble. Your prayers and willingness to give through us as we work hard to strengthen marriages makes it all possible.