Fear of rejection and disapproval stifled Sally’s words. She believed “no” meant she was a “no”. Instead of telling her husband, Jim, she was overwhelmed and disheartened she simply stuffed her feelings and stuffed her face allowing fear to dominate.
Weeks past and “small talk” ruled. The lack of honest communication lead Jim to believing Sally was not happy, and he began to feel rejected, disrespected, and unappreciated. With every “missing” word the tension between them grew. Sally turned to food and Jim turned to work. The enemy was gusting winds of lies throughout their home and neither was heeding the warning signs.
Sally didn’t feel needed so she found delight in a box of chocolates; she didn’t feel understood so she sought comfort in a bag of chips; she was gong crazy with all the change-taking place in her life so she sought stability in the cookies that were always in her cupboard; she was afraid of “no” so she grabbed the “yes’s” in her pantry. Momentary fulfillment. Sally’s physical food choice left her heart starved as if every crumb of truth had been vacuumed up. However, her great need for honest communication with her loved one and ultimately her Lord was still prominent and prevalent. It was precisely woven into every fiber of her being and nothing else could substitute.
Is this you? Instead of talking you eat? Instead of truth you chew on lies? Have you stuffed your emotions and your face instead of communicating your heart? What are you afraid of?
Lack of communication is one of the slightest ways the enemy can divide a marriage, destroy a family, and hinder our relationship with God. You are created for communion. Your greatest communion is with your Father in Heaven and then with your loved ones. Your words are important and you have something worth saying/communicating. Don’t let the enemy deceive you any longer.
- Begin choosing truth over lies. A “no” to one of your suggestions or to your opinion/feeling does NOT mean you are rejected.
- Your words matter and healthy communication is key. Decide you will communicate ultimately with the Father and then with your spouse before you hide behind food. God is your true source of spiritual food. “Man can not live on bread alone”.
- Begin sharing your feelings daily and not stuffing them inside. God created you to feel things. I have learned to say, “I am not saying this is right or wrong – but this is how I feel…………” Most of the time it is not whether someone agrees with what I am feeling, it is just that I am important enough for him or her to simply listen.
- Always be respectful, honest, kind, and seek wholeness and healing in your communication. Our words bring life or death so make them count.
- Never use your privilege to communicate to manipulate.
- Set the precedent early and make communicating fun. For example, establish a weekly date night and take turns planning. It could be as simple as a picnic in the park, or something new and adventurous, like a rock climbing class!
- Practice eye contact when speaking, and rephrase what’s being said to be sure you understand each other’s perspective.
- Do you understand your partner’s needs… On a day to day basis? When they are struggling with stress? In different situations, like traveling, at parties, paying bills, etc.?
- Does your partner understand your needs?
When was the last time you both shared what you appreciate most about each other and the relationship you are in? Do you express what you would like to improve in the relationship?
- Practice acknowledging when your partner goes beyond the call of duty, even for little things, like doing that chore you hate to do.
- Speak honestly about any actions that make you feel hurt, stressed, guilty, or bad in any way, but avoid blaming, shaming, or isolating your partner. Listen to one another and have a productive conversation.
- Be open and share your strengths, weaknesses, pet peeves, and preferences.
- Create a safe, judgement-free space for your partner
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