Tune up your talk time

Do something! Fight for your marriage. Don't let Satan build walls between the two of you.

Like most couples you probably go through stages when your communication seems to flow easily. You can't wait to share what's happening with each other - the exciting, fun things that make your day enjoyable as well as the disappointing or heartbreaking events that make you feel hurt or needy. Times when you are sharing your heart with each other, either as the talker or the listener, make you feel close to one another, and this is good for your ongoing, growing relationship. But you may also go through times when you seem to have lost the easy communication that perhaps you had taken for granted. Who knows why this happens? Perhaps the busy lives we lead, with all of the distractions and challenges at work and at home move us away from the normal, easy, intimate conversations.

So, whether you are struggling with a disconnect between you and your spouse right now or whether you have been there in the past, my encouragement to you today is, "Do something! Fight for your marriage (aka best-friend relationship). Don't let Satan build walls between the two of you."

Intentional talking

Recently I was in conversation with a family counselor and he offered a simple but profound suggestion for married couples. Each day set aside 20 minutes together. This can be any time of day. Now, one of you goes first and talks for 10 minutes, just sharing what is going on inside him or her. This conversation can be about anything - feelings, fears, things going on with the family or at work. The focus must be the person who is speaking, not the spouse. When 10 minutes are up the other person takes over and shares for 10 minutes whatever is on his/her heart that day. Again the focus must be the person who is speaking and this is not a time to complain or mention anything about the spouse.

It is amazing what will take place when you take time to do this a few days in a row. I challenge you to give it a try. I think you will find that understanding, empathy, love, desire, and a sense of reconnection will begin to take place. We all need to be heard and sometimes it is necessary to be very intentional in order to keep our most important relationship alive and thriving.

What have you got to gain?

Satan would love to destroy your marriage and unraveling your communication is a good starting point. So be on your guard! What have you got to lose? A lot - and you don't want that to happen. What have you got to gain? The preservation of your marriage and family, and it is worth it! The older I get the more I realize that in marriage we need each other. When God makes you one with your spouse there is a natural dependence on each other that develops. Together, pooling your strengths you are much better than you are standing alone.

Daily, meaningful conversations with each other are critical to keep you strong individually and together. So make the effort; find 20 minutes today and challenge your spouse to share his/her heart with you and you do the same for them. I'd love to hear what God might do in your life as a result of this simple exercise!

JB & Shugie Collingsworth lead marriage seminars and retreats that impact couples around the world. They are based in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.