MARRIAGE Caring Enough To Listen Communication PART II
by DeBorrah K. Ogans
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Caring Enough To Listen=Communication
An emotionally safe marriage establishes a foundation of trust. Your partner is supposed to be your helpmate. Someone to help and encourage each other to improve. Someone to tell you when you are wrong. Someone to allow you some space, or room to think when needed. Someone to learn to love you the way God defines love. Marriage was meant to be a safe place to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. This is why God has given us healthy boundaries. Jesus died so we might truly experience God’s love. God is the only One that really knows how to love unconditionally. This is why it is important to consult Him often. No one is ever right about everything. Life is too short. God is quite clear about some things. Choosing to do otherwise will always cause some type of conflict. Our lives are supposed to be centered around God and His principles. It is very important to personally study and know His Word! When you know that you have stepped outside of those boundaries. Repent! Get back on track! If you have an addictive nature get help! God is able to keep you from falling! Never want to be right just for the sake of being right. This only hinders your relationship as well as your own personal growth.
Do not seek out someone to support you when you are wrong. This is one of the biggest problems in relationships. There are too many people who are willing to support wrong. This may give you some immediate self gratification. But in the long wrong it really just weakens you and will eventually erode the moral fibers of your relationship. You really are being the bigger person to simply just admit when you are wrong. It is not always an issue of right or wrong. Sometimes you just do not agree. Sometimes you just feel quite strongly about something. But it has not manifested in a way that you can explain it or define it. This is when patience is developed. In its abstract stage just wait until “a little more paint gets on the canvas”. This is why your relationship with the Lord is so very important! God really does know, in His time He will help you and guide you, when you allow Him. Remember His idea of Marriage is having a “helpmeet”. That has not changed. It is very important that you develop your personal intimate relationship with the Lord. Trusting Him will further help you to effectively communicate to your spouse or whoever.
If trust has been broken it is vitally important that you immediately make it a top priority to do whatever is necessary to begin to restore it. Don’t wait or put it off any longer, and let it continue to fester and ferment. This will become cancerous and further help to erect an emotional barrier. This greatly hinders intimacy. Remember intimacy helps you to be transparent. To openly say how you feel, what your needs are and how you deal with those needs is not always easy. But you must start. Quite often in life one has been hurt. They have been abused emotionally and or physically. Barriers have been erected. Unresolved issues are really the root cause of a lot of emotional outbursts. In some cases this can also hinder your ability to develop a strong healthy deep marital relationship. To fill that void in many cases you will just develop a lot of surface unfulfilling non threatening shallow relationships. Or you become a people pleaser. You often go along with the majority even when it goes against what God has said not to do. If this is the case you really lose who you really are. If you do not stand for something you will fall for everything. Did He not say “Don’t be conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of your mind”? God does not want you to change like a chameleon just for the sake of acceptance. Nor does He want you to keep your hurts locked inside. God wants to transform you from inside out and help you discover a healthy balance. Pray and ask Him for direction or to place someone in your path to help you. Then listen and trust God. Learn how to respond differently. God really does know what has happened, is happening and will happen. If this has been the case start by opening up to Him. Remember God already knows. God is Omniscient! He knows everything. He is there for you and He really does want to help you become all that He created you to be.
Jesus came that we might be free. Not free to say and just do anything. Not free to dibble and dabble into any and everything of the world. He wants you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But free to live your life to please God. In many instances Biblical concepts have actually been laid aside and secular ways and very worldly social methods have been embraced and taken a stronghold. The ways of the world have become accepted and are quite commonplace within the Church. Lord help us! God wants to help you have a quality existence. God really can make a difference in your life and marriage. God will allow whatever you have been burdened by to lift. His yoke really is easy and His burdens are light. God is Omnipotent. Ultimately everything is under His control. He has all power! When you are burdened down by anything begin to commence to learn to give it to Him. How do I do this? By taking responsibility for your part and giving the rest to Him. God is more than equipped to handle what we cannot. Remember He created us therefore He knows all our limitations. He is just waiting for you to submit to His will and way. Then just wait on Him. Waiting can be hard. It is also an opportunity to grow spiritually and acquire patience. God has promised to supply all of our needs. Don’t always think carnally when it comes to your needs. God is more than enough and has healthy ways to fulfill all our needs. It is important to know as well that God has put in all of us a void that only He can fill. You can count on all of God’s promises!
As you grow spiritually you begin to mature. This will help you to develop as the person God intends you to be. God knows where you are but He does not want you to stay there. This also may require you to walk alone sometime. But know with God, you are really not alone at all. He did not leave us alone here on earth to be tossed to and fro. His Holy Spirit can fill you in a way that nothing or no one else can! When you allow Him to fill that void that only He can fill you will never have to feel lonely again. Nor do you have to carry any burdens alone. As you learn to trust Him you learn to lean on Him. He is able to anchor you! Jesus Christ carried the burdens of the world for all of us! You owe this to yourself as well as to your spouse. As you react and respond to them in a way that pleases God you help them as well as yourself. This will help you to point the finger properly. Meaning whenever you properly point the finger, remember the biggest finger points back at you. Always remember to check yourself as well as the person you are putting in check. Here is an opportunity for spiritual growth. This encourages them and reflects the spiritual benefits acquired by spending time with God. Remember as a help meet you want them to be all they can be for the Lord. You want them to break free of whatever strongholds they are shackled by. You want them to grow spiritually, mature and learn to give whatever hinders them to the Lord as well. Ultimately this is our purpose in life. It is not to please man; But to please God. Living to please God will help you immensely. As a matter of fact it is really easier.
Man looks from the outside. Too often what is temporal (temporary) is the focus. What is eternal is much more important. Take personal inventory and see how much you are caught up in superficial stuff. Too often worship becomes banal and ritualistic. God is put on a quick time construct. Too often the ways of the world are adopted and given more priority. Your goal should really be to live so that when you pass through this life, God will not be a stranger when it is time to meet Him face to face. This does not at all mean you live in a “fantasy religious zone”. God really can direct your path. He also wants us to enjoy life despite the serious situations that arise from time to time. God knows and looks at the heart. God is so very awesome! He really does know just what you need and when. He really does want you to have a rewarding and fulfilling marriage. You cannot change anyone. But when you submit to the Lord He can and will help you to change. This is true of anyone that is willing to submit to Him. “God is not a respecter of persons.” This in turn will strengthen your inner spiritual life. You will begin to reflect the brightness that God’s internal Comforter provides. This also makes way for a balanced life. Any seasonal disappointments, trials, situations, past or current issues that arise will not define what the sum total of your life is all about. God wants to be included in every area of your life. Remember He is Omnipresent! God will help you rise to each of the challenges life presents and see you through each and every one of them. God wants to be the captain of your soul! His peace surpasses the understanding of man!
Communicating with the Lord is very important. Meditating on His Word is important. Applying what you are learning is crucial. As you spend time with Him He will help you to communicate effectively with your spouse. Take time to listen to your spouse. Then take some more time to listen to God. Remember it is necessary to listen attentively and objectively in order to hear. Be willing to make whatever changes that are necessary to take responsibility to improve your part in the relationship. God is able, willing and ready to help you. God is always just a prayer away……
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the basic principles of communication in marriage. Next Developing Intimacy
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and has released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".
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