Great morning last Sunday! Not sure what got into y’all but it was wide open…and a whole lot of fun! The following Levels of Communication are ALL important! Take a look again and keep working towards Level #5… You will be glad you did.
Hope this is helpful,
Hixon and Margie
Phil 1:6 He who began a good work in you, will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.
“A couple needs to learn how to communicate with each other” – says every counselor, teacher, preacher worth their salt. We all know it to be true. But what exactly does that
mean? I communicate like a man (through small words and guttural sounds). My wife communicates like a woman (lot of words and details) So How are we supposed to communicate with each other? I’m Glad you asked…
1. “PLEASANTRIES” – “Thank you!”, “Please”, “Have a great day”, “Be safe” etc…. Usually these words come out of our mouths with little or no thought when we are dating. But after time many couples forget to treat their spouse, dare I say it, courteously. While we are kind to the barista, the clerk and the person we pass in the hallway at work, we often overlook the need to extend that same kindness to our spouse.
Kindness and being pleasant can “grease the wheels of your marriage”. It isn’t difficult, there is no risk involved and we don’t really have to feel anything. Just say it.
Margie and I, like many couples, tell each other “love ya” after most phone conversations and when we leave for the day. In fact, it is so common we usually don’t think before we say it. I once told my boss “love ya” as I hung up the phone…after a conversation and could only cringing after I hung up. I have been more careful since then. 🙂
Years ago I explained this principle to a group of newly married couples when a hand in the back shot up to express her disapproval. “Saying I love you should be heartfelt and important! Aren’t you cheapening it by saying it with no feeling behind it.” she said bringing her four months of marital experience to bear on the subject.
While I would never roll my eyes at someone (at least where they could see me) I explained that we cheapen the word love every day. I love french fries, I love that song, I love Star Wars, I love my house, I love my new dog, I love my new dress, I love that tile, I love my car, I love America, I love this and that and everything else…and by the way I love you too!
My point is not that I am cheapening my love for my wife…I am reinforcing it with kindness and a simply reminder that I am still “in this with you” and not going anywhere.
Pleasantries must be the backdrop if you are going to make a pleasant environment because every conversation can’t be deep and meaningful….
2. REPORTER TALK – “Just the Facts Ma’am”.
All of the moving parts to your life, at leas the vast majority of them, need to be communicated to your spouse. “The life you share has to be shared.” The facts. T
“I’ll pickup Katy from school if you can take Johnny to practice”
“Game is at 4 but we have to be there early”
“I’m going to be late for dinner”
“Your mom called”
“Dog ran off but neighbor found it”
Sometimes the success of marriage and parenting hinges on just the facts of life.
3. INTELLECTUAL TALK – “Do you know what I think?”
We are sharing opinions, judgements and interpretations about whatever the subject happens to be. We are letting our spouse in on how we process the information we receive.
Conversations in this LEVEL usually start with “ITHINK…” and it involves some risk. When you share your opinion there is a chance that your spouse will disagree with you. That in itself isn’t a problem, in fact it is to be welcomed. But not every marriage handles disagreement very well….this THE RISK.
I think we should buy a boat with our tax refund…
I think the church should give more to missions…
I think you mother isn’t doing well…
I think If Throckmorton doesn’t get his grades up he does go camping..
Usually people watch the response of their spouse. If it is positive they continue of it is negative they may quickly bring the conversation to a close and retreat to a safer subject.
Some couples don’t spend tons of time on level 3 bc they dolt ike their ideas questioned or challenged
4. EMOTIONAL TALK _ “Let me Tell you How I Feel
Getting a little more risky. If their is one thing men and women clash over it is the emotional impact of different things in our lives. While men and woman have the same emotions they are expressed differently and applied to different situations.
Men get mad, happy, glad, angry, nostalgic, protective, wounded etc…. just like women.
Example: They may agree they should join a certain church. But they have different feelings about it based upon their history, personality and background.
He wants to join but has mixed feelings about it bc his uncle is a pastor in a different denomination. She loves the children’s programs but hasn’t found a place yet for them as a couple to connect. So she joins for her kids… Same Event…different emotional attachments.
Many couple rarely communicate on this level because they fear their emotions won’t be accepted. They said something early on in marriage and she hasn’t recovered from if. She set limits on what could be discussed because of poor self esteem, insecurity of or just plain old stubbornness. He shuts down when it gets emotional cuz he cant keep up with her…and the list goes on.
YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE FACT: I will feel differently than my spouse….and it is OK!
LEVEL #5 LOVINGTruth Talk
This is the Apex of communication. Allows you to speak the truth in Love…It allows you to be fully known and ideally, fully loved. It is honest but not condemning, Open but not demanding
So much is wrapped it this level including:
- Seek to understand our spouses thoughts, desires, emotions etc…
- Look for ways to grow together inspire of our differences.
- MUST ACCEPT your spouse….must accept their past….
- Must accept their personality
- Must accept their wounds
ALL of these levels of communication are important. You should flow freely between the different levels. It takes some work, but is is awesome when you and your spouse flow freely !
Hope this is helpful,
Hixon and Margie
5 Levels of Communication concept from “Covenant Marriage” by Gary Chapman. B/H 1992