The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now
bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
- Genesis 2:18-24
[About resolving marital issues…] “Please, listen to me: communicate, communicate, communicate. Deal with your differences immediately. Don’t store up grievances. Talk with one another about hurts, problems, and patterns of sin. If you have to schedule a time each week for a ‘gripe’ session, free from the heat of emotions, do it. If you voice your concerns once, and the other spouse doesn’t seem to get it, voice them again. Don’t ever adopt the attitude ‘I’ll just suppress the things that are bothering me until they go away.’ They won’t. When a person hides a grievance, it will boil and stir, gather other concerns to itself, and come out much the way lava explodes from a volcano.”
- Bill Hybels, from a devotion entitled ‘Communicate, Communicate, Communicate’ found in God’s Abundance, edited by Kathy Collard Miller
My wife has suggested that I place a disclaimer on my blog that reads something along the lines of “The content of this blog does not adequately represent the actions of the writer. If he could practice what he preaches, the world would be a better place.”
Now, I call that communication.
Seriously, we communicate a lot. It has been harder since her open-heart surgery. For a few months, she had to ride in the backseat of the car. The airbag would have caused damage to the repair of her ribcage, and possibly the heart. She enjoyed being driven in a chauffeured mini-limousine so much that she continues to ride back there. (Our car is small for an intermediate size.) I then must shout to be heard, and she usually emotionally shuts down when I shout. This eliminates our talking while I am driving.
Since we have been ‘zoom, zoom, zoom’ since the late Spring, it is hard finding time to communicate, but we manage. Before this most recent spell of medical issues and the resulting surgeries and recoveries, we seemed to have a lot of time to set aside for communication.
We may have to do as Hybels suggests and set aside a scheduled time for communication, not necessarily a ‘gripe’ session, but the scheduled cardiac rehab sessions end this week. There is light at the end of the tunnel. She wants to continue at a gym of some sort, but we can then dictate the schedule, even skipping a week if there are too many scheduled activities.
I once had a pastor who pulled his ‘busy’ people aside and told us to place at least one evening each month, preferably each week, on the calendar for “Family.” That way, if anyone asks you to help out with something, you can say that your calendar is full that day, which it is. People tend to ignore the people that they love the most. They get the idea that they are doing the rest of this stuff for those they love, but half the time, their loved ones have no idea what they are doing, and many times, they don’t care.
Why do so many marriages end in divorce? There are too many reasons, or excuses, to count, but many might be resolved by better communication during the courting phase (or whatever they call it now) and during the marriage.
And communication with each other needs to involve the One in the room along with the two spouses. If God is not part of the communication, the communication may not achieve the goal, and the communication may dissolve due to the ‘heat of emotions’ as Bill Hybels puts it. Praying is effective communication and necessary for effective marital communication.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory. f