His world is mostly made up of words.The man reads them, writes them, speaks them. Plenty of words.
As both writer and literary agent, my husband's days and many evenings are filled with information and conversation. And since he works out of our home, he has the convenient flexibility of no set office hours. This also means he’s veryinconveniently available to all who need, or want, his attention most any time.So perhaps it's not too hard to understand why we occasionally have the impulse to GO? To grab a mocha from Joe's Coffee Depot, turn the cell phone to silent, and simply get out of town...
This is the perfect date---he drives and I talk. Only him and me. I have his full attention and few interruptions. What could be better?
Except this one time I decided to do a little experiment. What if I didn't talk? What if I sat in the passenger seat and quietly looked out the window? How long would it be before he began speaking to me...?
If you've already guessed that it was way too many miles down the road, you've guessed correctly. Far, far too many miles. And it began to make me mad.
As his silence burned deeper and deeper into my soul, I suddenly did the Exploding Wife Thing, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?!"He nearly swerved off the road. Completely baffled, “Doing what??"
"Well, why is it that you are not talking to me?"His astonishment was apparent and it was a minute or two before he replied. Then ever-so-slowly, "I don't know, Beautiful, I thought we were having a really nice time. Just being here together."
It was my turn to be astonished. How could we be having "a really nice time" and not have said two words to each other since we pulled out of Joe's?
And his answer, “But, you see, I thought we were communicating.”
“Yeah, when you’re sitting here close to me, you’re communicating that you’re content to be here by my side. And I’m telling you that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. “There was more.
“When we’re holding hands and you’re leaning into me, you’re saying that you’re physically drawn to me. And I’m telling you that I like you, and that I want you too.”I swallowed.
“And when we’re sitting together softly in silence, you’re saying that I am all that you’ll ever need in a man. And I’m telling you that I love you more than words can say. “
I’d not thought of it quite like that before. Because for me? Communication means discussion, and especially the kind of discussing which leads to better understanding. To be specific, him better understanding me. Like how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking.
But on that drive, I learned something new about communication. I learned that we were both “saying” much more than I realized. Also, that he was “hearing” more than merely my words.Many books have been written on marriage and communication, but I’ll confess I’ve not read them. Nor am I an expert - I’m simply a woman and a wife. But I can offer a few brief communication principles I’ve found in Scripture and in my own experience.
Communicate with warmth. A gentle touch, admiring eyes---these go far in communicating love and affection. Try greeting him with a delighted look and lingering embrace. He’s usually far more ready to “hear” this than he is a shower of words. Then later, when I do need to talk, he’s more apt to listen because I’ve already “told” him that he’s the man I love.
Communicate that you’re listening. Not only to his words, but to his heart. For instance, I want him to know I care about the weight he carries to provide for our family. While he rarely wants to talk about it, I’m “listening” when I offer a kind word of appreciation for all his hard work. Or, by making his concern for tidiness my priority, I’m “hearing” what’s important to him.
Communicate without accusation. When I accuse, he shuts down. If I initiate a conversation with “YOU always...” then he’s out of there. It’s far more effective to ask, “Can I tell you how I feel about something?” I’m not informing him how things ARE---only how it makes me feel. Or “I might be mistaken here, but it seems....” and then give him a chance to explain himself. Decide you’re going to be his lover, not his judge.
Communicate at the right time. If we talk about something late at night, or when he’s worked up? When I’m emotionally strung-out? It’s almost guaranteed a disaster. If at all possible, avoid a conversation under these conditions. Wait until a better time and he (or you) is in a better place. It can make all the difference in the world.
And communicate with words. Yes, at some point it takes talking. Silence is not always golden and some things need to be said. Choose your words carefully, wisely, but most of all, lovingly. Remember not all communication leads to perfect understanding, but it should always end in good loving. Search the Scriptures for verses on loving speech – there are many (See Eph.4:29-32; Phil.2:2-4; Col.3:12-17 and Proverbs). Keep in mind they apply to how you talk to your husband in your home, not limited to people out there.
Today’s challenge: Seek the Lord for specific ways you can communicate love to your husband. Not only in words, but in touch, in looks, and by listening.
Obviously, communication is a two-way deal. But as we can only work on our part, that’s the one piece addressed here. Why wait until he gets his piece in place before we begin working on ours? Start by letting him know that you love him more than words can say.
Will you ask the Lord how to communicate the depth of your love to your husband?
In His grace,