Communication. What Works? What Doesn’t?

Today we will tackle one of the biggest problems in marriage. COMMUNICATION. 15171129_10207590915986747_7176525610080932430_nCommunication is and should be a part of the foundation of marriage and is essential to the life of a marriage. I cannot stress enough; how important it is to have effective communication with your spouse. Even though we hear and know that, it doesn’t make it easy. My husband and I struggled with this very issue, early on in our marriage. When dealing with an introvert, it is hard to get them to communicate. Lack of communication led to many pointless arguments. Behind the wall that I have personally put up, to protect myself from being hurt by others, communication would have caused me to be transparent. Transparency equaled vulnerability to me, and I did not want to allow myself to become vulnerable. That was part of the problem, I didn’t want to be vulnerable and he didn’t really know how to communicate how he felt. We began to do the work, read and prayed that God would work on us both individually, so that we could be a better partner to each other.

Here are some points from the bible that talks about communication:

Colossians 3:8 (NIV) “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

No discussion about good communication would be complete without including a discussion on negative words. Like it says here, we must put away anything from our mouth that is not good. Anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscenities are all types of sinful behavior, and they are often expressed through negatively spoken words. These words will tear down and destroy relationships and people, so the Lord forbids us from expressing ourselves in these ways. Otherwise, our communication and our relationship with the Lord, with our spouse and with others will be hindered.

Proverbs 15:23 (NIV) “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word!

In the middle of an argument, there are so many things that are said that are hurtful and we probably wish we could take back, but when you are able to communicate effectively and appropriately, you should be happy about the progress you have made.

comm2

I read an article on http://www.thefamilylife.com, that really stuck with me. There was a part that said:

“The Bible encourages deeper communication but cautions against using it recklessly. How can you tell the difference between what is appropriate and inappropriate? Deep communication takes most of us a long time to achieve. You or your spouse may have come from a family where open communication was discouraged or even punished. It may take years to reach a deep, satisfying level of transparency, but every couple needs to be headed in the right direction.”

What are your thoughts on this?

I had some special guests weigh in on this topic. Here’s what they said:

Communication can be a tricky especially in a marriage. I have learned that it takes far more than just listening with your ears but also listening with your heart. If the words you say, don’t match how you feel then you are doing a disservice to who you are communicating with, especially your spouse. Checking in with each other and asking  “what does your heart need to communicate?” has allowed us the space to be truly authentic and for that I am grateful.  (Kiana, Married for a year)
We always speak of communication as being key in marriage which it is. I have learned that it is not my way or her way but ya’ll way ( Yahweh) lol and we must always keep that first. (Mark, Married to Kiana)
Communication hasn’t always been the best between my husband and I. Through the years, we’ve learned how to communicate better with each other. When I had a disagreement with my husband I wanted to discuss it right then and there; which was not effective. One, he wasn’t listening to the issues I had. Two, he would get upset. Three, no one was listening to each other. If there’s no communication , what do you have? We had to learn to listen to understand & not reply. When you take the time to listen to each other, it makes the other person feel as if their feelings & opinions matter. We also learned that sometimes you have to come back to an issue at a later time. Not that the issue is swept under the rug , but to give each other time to cool off. In anger, we can be dangerous with our words if we’re not careful. Once it’s out, you can’t take it back. You want the words you speak to your spouse not tear them down. (Noel, Married 11 years)

What has or has not worked for you in regards to communication? We want to hear from you!

*please read and study to show thyself approved*

Next week’s topic: Friendships 

 

We are accepting advertisements now! If you would like to advertise your business here, let us know!

 

 

 

Dating-Does That Even Exist Anymore?

 

Last week we talked about how our children are blessings, even though they test our patience at times. This week we will dive into how important it is to continue dating your spouse.15032111_10207543210714145_3041434472063307819_n

The everyday hustle and bustle of life is always chaotic. Errands must be ran, the kids need taken care of, matters need to handled and the list goes on. It is so easy to become complacent in the same daily routine. After being married for 8 years, getting comfortable was a problem for us. We would forget how to care for the foundation of our family, which was our marriage. What we did when we were dating, and even before kids, was becoming a thing of the past. If we took time to get away to talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company before, then we must make it a priority to keep our marriage afloat.

Sounds easy, right? Just date each other more. It’s not always as easy as it sounds. Here are a couple of things that could make dating your spouse a difficult task.

  • Child Care- It is very hard to date your spouse if you have young children with little to no child care assistance. It was and still is a struggle for us simply because we don’t have a lot of family around. The family that we do have around, we don’t want to burn them out with babysitting all the time.

Does this sound familiar?

  • Lack of planning- When you get back to making dating your spouse a priority, you can schedule dates ahead of time. We literally have to give my mom our days a month in advance so that she knows to block of that time. LOL! Funny but necessary. When planning, be sure to be realistic!
  • Finances- Everyone’s financial situation is different. Do you have to spend big bucks to date your spouse and keep the romance alive? Of course not! Take it from a DIY’er, this is where your creativity must shine! There are plenty of ways to have completely free, yet romantic and fun quality time with each other. There are times when my husband and I will just take a drive down Lake Shore Drive, after the kids are sleep, just to embrace God’s beauty, while talking about life.

14712521_10207317294746387_4168767291113741082_o

I wanted to get a guy’s perspective on this issue, so I asked my husband to give his intake on how important it is to date your spouse. This is what he said:

Dating as a married couple is very hard, when you have children.  Let me rephrase that, dating is hard when you are married and your union truly believes children, or taking care of elderly parents, or any other number of family priorities are higher on the list than the union.  I believe married couples must set predetermined dates on the calendar (multiple days) throughout each month to ensure they are making intimate time for one another.  That time doesn’t just mean physical connection, but the emotional, mental, and spiritual connection that keeps unions close.  A date doesn’t always have to be going out to the movies and dinner (which is still important) but a date is literally a date.  The most important thing a couple must do first is agree on a date that they will dedicate some time just for one another.  Need be 30 minutes or 6hrs the time needed is for each individual couple to figure out. At a minimum, there should be a bi-weekly or monthly time the couple plans.  It’s easy to make excuses as to why there isn’t time for your spouse when both are dedicated to the family and family comes first.  But how did the family come first if it wasn’t for the union of the couple? Mixed with the predetermined dates there should be spontaneity and flirting throughout daily interactions so that the ember does not burn out.  One spouse may be very romantic while the other spouse not so much, so each person needs to take themselves out of the picture and hone in on what their spouse likes, and compromise their personally feelings because love and sacrifice go hand in hand.  There should be a happy medium that the couple can work at naturally without feeling like romance is chore.  Which brings me to my final point, empathy: “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  Unless the couple understands the definition of empathy and practices this emotion.  You can count out dates because the couple is not working in self-less mode, but in selfish mode.  Growth in a union cannot harbor selfishness.

If you are struggling with continuing to date your spouse, let us all make a commitment today to go back to repairing our foundation. The foundation that is the base to your family. Get back to doing all the things that started your Godly union.

 

Coming up next week….. COMMUNICATION- What Works and What Doesn’t

God’s Little Angels-Or Not?

Now that we have been blessed with our children, why didn’t anyone tell us how hard parenting was? There is no book on how to be a perfect parent, or what to expect on your journey. Each family and child is unique, so it will be a learn as you go type of thing. All I know is, that little fairy tale of having the perfect little angels, has been demolished. *insert laugh here*

14947783_10207510666500560_1801016506353906688_n  Have you ever been that type of mom that would just roll your eyes at your obnoxious children? I have! Let’s face it, we try to give our kids the best of everything, all for them to act like spoiled little monsters. I have three boys that are all under six years old. They were the sweetest little things when they were babies, but then, they grew up. Now, I have three boys who drive me batty day in and day out.

Guess I’m the only one who feels this way huh? Maybe, maybe not. I have to deal with one smarty pants, one who is over the top sensitive about everything, and one who just doesn’t follow the rules, so yes I roll my eyes constantly. Let’s not even get on when they are a combined force…. HELP ME. Since I have boys, there are always toys flying everywhere, jumping off the furniture, running up and down the hallways, shouting, tattling, fighting and crying. Again, why didn’t anyone tell me about this? I know that there are going to be years more to come of this. Since each child is unique, I am learning how to accept each of their flaws, just the way that God accepts my flaws. I am also learning to pick the battles. Does that make it easier, no, but I am learning. Unless there is immediate danger, I have learned to tune out all the chaos. Boy oh boy is it a glorious time when their dad walks through the door.2af2d5046b800401_crazy_mom

In accepting that this is my new normal for a while, I still have a job to build my boys up to become Godly men. Let’s look at some verses on how to build our children up in God.

Proverbs 22:6 states: Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Titus 2:7 NIV states: In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.

What does these verses mean to you guys? For me, it means that if God blessed me with my children, then I must be an example for them. Teaching them and showing them with my actions how to be God like. Don’t worry moms, it will not always be like this. Let’s keep doing our part in raising Christ like children and enjoy the bumpy ride while we can. I can honestly say, that once they are grown and out of the house, I will probably look back to now and miss when my house was in a whirlwind.

I want to hear from you, how are your little Angels treating you???

*Please study to show your self approved. Read the scriptures provided, for yourself*

Stay tuned for Date Night: Does That Even Exist Anymore? coming next week!

Why The Struggle?

 

struggle

“We did everything we were supposed to do under God. We dated, we got married, and now we are wanting to start a family.” Why was it not as easy as I thought it would have been?

I cannot stress enough on how common this struggle is. There are some women who have dealt with this, or who are dealing with this right now. Just know that you are not alone. There have been many who have dealt with this, or are going through it right now.

When my husband and I first got married, we had planned to enjoy each other by traveling and spending quality time together. After that we knew we wanted a family. That should be easy, right? Well it wasn’t. In fact, it took about 3 years before God blessed us with our babies. Let’s talk about how hard it truly is to wait for God’s timing.

I remember crying to my husband often about why we were struggling. Was something wrong with me? Was something wrong with him? Was God mad at us? I kept trying to figure it out, and while I was doing that, my husband, in his calm demeanor, kept telling me to trust God and things will happen when they are supposed to. That sounds good and all, but when a woman has baby fever, she is not trying to hear logic.

Let’s check out some women in the bible who struggled with fertility:

Rebekah was married to Isaac. She was barren and Isaac pleaded with God on her behalf. God blessed them with twins, Esau and Jacob. Read their story here: Genesis 25:19-24

Rachel was married to Jacob. She too was barren. God heard her plea’s and opened her womb. They had two boys, Joseph and Benjamin. Read their story: Genesis 30:1-24

Hannah was married to Elkanah. Hannah weeped in anguish and prayed, asking God for a son. The LORD remembered her and she conceived and birthed a child. She ended up having six children. Read that story here: 1 Samuel 1:10-20.

You see, these women all struggled, but they knew that they served a God who could turn any situation around. God did that for me and my husband. We were blessed with twins in 2011. Looking back, I know realize that God was just getting us in position to take care of not one, but two children at one time. Sometimes the waiting period is due to God preparing us. After the twins, God blessed us with another boy in 2013.

Don’t give up my sisters. God may not come when we want him, but he will always be on time. If you find yourself in a similar situation, keep going to God in prayer with your desires. Nothing is too hard for him.

*Please study to show your self-approved. Read the scriptures provided, for yourself*