“Speak Your Kind” is a 14 day marital communication challenge.
The purpose of this challenge is to renew marital intimacy and to bring peace and warmth into the atmosphere of your home.
Throughout the years, I have been asked to give a short marriage advise statement from a counseling perspective. My response is, “Live intentionally, speak with grace, patience, and kindness, show love and affection in the way that your spouse feels loved, live sacrificially and above all put God first.”
In marriage counseling, I see that 99.9% of all relational success and failure depend upon communication. The gateway to true closeness, to intimacy, is through communication. Every couple struggles with what to say and not to say to one another. I am constantly taken aback by the toxic name calling, shaming, bringing up every wrong doing, ignoring and the cold shouldering between couples. This is the person that you are supposed to love, accept and protect above all. Yet you allow your words to hurt and destroy. Ephesians 4:29 says,”Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth.” When you speak, you make a conscious decision to either agree with our creator who loves you or to agree with the deceiver and your enemy.
Your home’s atmosphere
You generate and emit a specific kind of energy, that we commonly call “communication.” Communication is not only the articulation of words, but also your tone, inflection, demeanor, body language and your over all attitude. It is this communication-energy that creates the atmosphere and temperature of your home. Your “energy” is shared with and felt by your spouse. It creates good and bad feelings between you. Your positive energy fills the atmosphere with warmth and creates pleasant feelings of peace, joy and happiness. While your negative energy releases a coldness and creates feelings of anxiousness, discord and despair.
Take pause and reflect on the type of energy you emit and receive from your spouse. How does this make you feel? Is the atmosphere and temperature of your home positive, warm and inviting or is negative, cold and distancing? Do you emit encouragement or disparagement? Do your words agree with Christ or the enemy? What is your contribution? Do you have any control over your home’s atmosphere?
It’s a matter of the heart
The Bible says “the words you speak flow from your heart.” How you think and how you feel come from your heart. If your heart is righteous, in right standing with God, then you will communicate in a Christ-like way. When you communicate with patience, kindness, grace and humility your spouse instinctively translates this as “I love you! I am for you and never against. You are my priority. There is nothing that is more significant to me than you!” Likewise, impatience, anger and selfishness translates to “I don’t love. You’re not a priority to me.”
You are in control of what you say and how translate your words. Begin to communicate in a loving and kind way. The biblical definition of love is: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Show love through your overall attitude and demeanor as well as the words you speak.
My Life Counsel’s “Speak Your Kind” 14-day challenge.
Take these steps for the next 14 days:
1. Pray. Ask God to change your heart. Every morning pray “I am called to glorify you, Lord. This is your home, you have purposed me here and I belong here. You are my strength and all wisdom comes from you. Forgive me of all my unrighteousness, make me brand new. Help me to be aware of my heart and renew my heart. I surrender my heart to you. I give my words and my attitude to you, Lord. Help me to always speak in a loving, graceful and kind way. Create a new loving relationship between me and my spouse. In the name of Jesus, Amen.”
2. Read and meditate.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Think about what love is really all about.
Galatians 5:22-23, Does your communication sound like these fruits? The fruits of Christ.
Ephesians 4:29 What does God say about the words you speak?
3. Think. Use a filter before saying anything. Ask, “How will my spouse receive my words? How will he/she feel about my demeanor? Is this loving and kind?” Slow down and think before you speak.
4. Intentionality. Be intentional with your communication (words, tone, demeanor and body language). Fill the atmosphere of your home with love, kindness, grace and patience. Continually express a positive and optimistic attitude and continually repress negative and pessimistic attitudes.
5. Speak love. Start with the articulation of your words. Always speak through love, grace and patience. Verbally express your appreciation! Cut out all criticism, appreciation builds and criticism kills. So many couples get stuck in criticism.
Although, people emphasize the importance of physical attraction at the beginning of a relationship, it’s your overall communication that sustains the relationship and keeps you connected or keeps you disconnected. You express your emotions and feelings through your communication (words and demeanor). With consistency over time, those expressed emotions and feelings create the relationship’s level of spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy.
Continue to reflect on the way you speak to your spouse and the way he/she speaks to you. Create a new loving and kind atmosphere in your home.
Another way to think about the atmosphere of your home.
Through this creative narrative, I hope to illustrate how communication affects your home’s atmosphere.
In preparation for the Vietnam War, soldiers underwent military nerve-gas training. During one exercise, two soldiers were locked into a 10’ x 10’ chamber lit by red lighting. After a few seconds inside the cell, a highly potent tear gas was released and a gas-like fog immediately engulfed the entirety of the room. The two soldiers were provided with a gas mask that could be worn after enduring a full 100-seconds of the gas. A flashing green light and a horn blast would indicate that it was time to apply the mask.The recanting of this experience went something like this, “I was a bit timid as I approached the open chamber door. The dim red light seemed to provide very little hope and a feeling of despair was overcoming. I heard a slight hissing sound as the gas filled the room. My eyes were immediately attacked by the gas and I became blinded by my own tears. The pain was so intense that it felt like fire was literally consuming my tongue. I could barely hear my friend gasping as my own senses drove the increasing pain. I did my best to hold my breath but had to gasp for air. The burning sensation was then washing down my throat. It felt like death was griping ahold of me as the toxic fog filled my lungs. Though it was only 100-seconds, it felt like a lifetime of agony, time seemed to just stop and stand still. Finally, the horn blew and a green light flashed signaling to apply the mask. Blindly and painfully gasping, I desperately fumbled to put on the mask. Once the mask was firmly against my face, a sense of indescribable relief rushed over me. As I forced the first gasp of oxygen, I felt an intense release overcome my entire body. The second deepest and full breath ushered life-breathing calmness over my mind. The third full deep income of oxygen brought the tiniest sense of normalcy. Safety and security began to come back around the fourth and fifth breath drawn. As panicked and fearful thoughts started to leave, I became overwhelm with thankfulness. I was thankful to be alive and thankful that the exercise was over.”
Proverbs says “death and life are in the power of the tongue.”Proverbs says, Think of the words released into your atmosphere as either the life giving oxygen or as the death wielding toxic gas. Speak life! Speak Your Kind!