I think we all can agree that communication is the key to healthy, productive relationships. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier to accomplish. If you’re like us, sometimes you may find yourselves triggering each other to slip into the same old patterns of thinking, behaving and reacting. Makes you feel kind of like you’re running in place, maybe while chasing each other, huh? That’s why we’re calling this show “Hamster Wheels”.
Table Talk Notes
What’s the difference between Internal and External processors?
Most of the married couples I talk to—once they understand how they process information—have better communications. External processors “talk to think”—they are looking for opinions and what feels right to them. Internal processors should let them talk things through, and realize what they are stating is not facts they have decided on—they are searching for possible answers.
Internal processors can be seen as ‘withdrawing” to the external processor. Give them time to think through things—do not pressure them until they are ready to talk.
Triggers & Filters
A “trigger” is a word or circumstance that causes us to become unsettled or highly emotional. Often we do not even know it happens to us. Help one another understand what the trigger is and why it has such a strong effect.
A “filter” is sort of like our perception or view on things. It could be issues like racism, political divide, etc.
Let’s talk Life Commandments
What are some of your life commandments?
The Silent Treatment
Is it “abuse” or “protecting”? Read: Carolyn Hax column from Aug 5
This is always a potential “danger zone”. Do we expect things from others but get upset when they expect similar things from us? Are our expectations reasonable? Are we expecting something from another that they cannot deliver?
Considering the perspective of others: Here we attempt to have empathy with others. Trying to understand why they think what they do and respect it, even though we do not agree with it. This helps to ratchet down the emotion. When you understand the other’s perspective, you can empathize, even if you disagree with it.
How far can it go?
Proverbs 4: 23 | “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Philippians 4:4-7 | Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Deut 4:9 | “Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life…
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 | For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…
Philippians 4:8-9 | Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Ephesians 5:25 | Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Practical Tips for Loving our Spouses unconditionally
Before you do something nice for your spouse, ask God to search your heart and check your motives:
Am I secretly hoping to gain something from what I will do for my spouse?
Do you know the acts of love your spouse really values?
- Love languages—acts of service, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, physical touch
- Would you be willing to do it if you never received a reward or reciprocation from your spouse?
- Are your acts of love something that stretches you? Or are they easy?
- Do you trust that God will work in the heart of your spouse to love you as you love her?
- Think ‘long term” in your marriage—investing in your relationship even if there is not an immediate “return on investment”.