Thursday, September 29, 2011


I hate when people don’t respond. Whether it be to a voice mail or an email, whether they don’t RSVP to a party invitation or a Facebook message, I feel that if they cared at all, they’d at least acknowledge that they received the message. I’d even be OK with them lying and telling me they’d say more later even if they never did, or didn't even plan to. At least I’d know the message I sent was received. No one likes to feel they are being ignored.

In marriage, do you feel that your messages to your spouse are not being received? Do you feel you’ve made the same requests or comments multiple times and have gotten no response; not even an acknowledgement? Sometimes all we want is for our spouse to acknowledge our feelings, validate our needs and desires. Of course there are two sides to this coin, two sets of feelings, needs and desires. Is your spouse sending messages that you are not receiving? Is he or she expressing feelings that you are not acknowledging? I am not saying you need to drop everything and immediately meet their every need. They need to know that they are heard though, just as God hears all of our prayers - even if the answers to them aren’t always to our liking. Open your heart and mind and talk to your spouse; knowing each other’s desires is the first stop towards fulfilling them.

There is another aspect to this as well: how are you delivering your messages? With what attitude are you voicing your wants and needs? There are many Proverbs that deal with the tongue, and the consequences of how it used. Proverbs 12:18 says The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing and in Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death. In Ephesians 4:29 we are implored Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

So consider your words carefully. Is what you are saying “ministering grace” to who you’re speaking to? Are your words coming across as a demand instead of a request? Instead of “I would feel loved if...” is your spouse hearing “You never...” ? Be sure that you are speaking from a place of love and mutual respect, and that you are giving equal weight to your spouse’s wants and needs when making requests. Lastly, 1 Corinthians 13:5 - Love does not demand its own way. No ultimatums; always give your partner an ‘out,’ because no one likes to feel forced, pressured or trapped.

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