Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Your S.W.E.E.T Guide to Marriage Communication

I have the wonderful privilege of working alongside my husband, each and every day.

We both sit here with our desks set just right so we can look at each other, share our Paraguayan tea (terere), throw out tidbits of news or input, ask a question, and get into deep discussions.

Marriage is . . . an amazing adventure and a significant challenge. (Lisa Jacobson)

There was one particular day, as we sat at our desks that he laid back in his chair with his feet propped up, and I knew he wanted to discuss something that was on his mind. Being married for almost 14 years, you learn about your spouse and I knew his posture well, this was not going to be a short conversation.

We began talking about a particular issue, yet – instead of guarding my words right from the beginning – I let them roll, one after another.

My words were not supportive, as I pointed out his failures.

My words were not wise. Instead, I compared him to another.

My words did not edify my husband.

My words did not encourage him, but hurt him.

My words did not communicate thankfulness, for this amazing man who God gave me.

And when his words came back in response to mine, they stung me. His words hurt deep. There were words that I never thought I would hear from this husband of mine.

I never imagined that once he leaned back in his chair to talk, it would have ended in a war of words and one hurting the other and vice versa, but that is exactly what happened.

And, of course, here is where I would like to say that we asked for forgiveness when we finished the discussion . . . but we didn’t.

My husband went back to his work on the computer, and I went off to find something to organize or clean. The discussion was over, and it was not going to get any better if we did not part for some time.

Later in the day, we did forgive each other, and once again, we were ready to move forward in our marriage.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

There are two things that I want to bring out with this story.

I first want to emphasize that my husband and I struggle like any other husband and wife. We may be missionaries overseas, but we are far from perfect. We daily have to decide to be committed to our relationship, because marriage “… requires that you invest heavily in your relationship.” (L. Jacobson)

Secondly, I see the importance of investing in my speech. Ephesians 4:29 says, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Your  S-W-E-E-T Guide to Marriage Communication

*Are my words supportive?

“Express enthusiasm for his plans and ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words wise?

“A wise woman knows when she should wait to speak or never mention it at all.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words encouraging?

“Kind words can have such a powerful impact on your marriage.” (L. Jacobson)


*Are my words edifying?

“Speak only those things that EDIFY.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words thankful?

“Babe, you’re the champion of my heart. A true winner. And I thank God for you.” (L. Jacobson)

Now, friend, there is nothing magic about what I am sharing.  I know that there will still be wars of words, because life just isn’t that simple. Yet as I grow as a wife who loves her husband, I know that to be sweet with my words is a few ways to say “I love you” and I value our marriage relationship.

Marriage truly is “a life-long journey of learning to love each other” and Lisa Jacobson’s book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, was a wonderful tool to help me on my journey of loving my man!

*Will you join me in not only applying these 5 S-W-E-E-T guide words as you communicate with your spouse, but also read Lisa’s book and be challenged to love your husband more?

Serving Him wholeheartedly,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband

In Paperback: 100 Ways To Love Your Husband

On Kindle: 100 Ways to Love Your Husband

 

**********************

 Now in Spanish

We’re very excited to announce that 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife are now available in Spanish as well!

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

*This same article can also be found in Spanish: Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo.

Trisha GoddardTrisha is a born again believer, created and called to express her faith through love, especially by finding ways to serve her family and women in ministry. Trisha enjoys traveling and reading. She is married to Mike, and they have three children. They live in Paraguay, where they have served in ministry since 2004.

You can read more about Trisha on their website: www.mtgoddard.com .

Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo {A S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Communication with My Husband}

Une Guia Dulce para Comunicarma con mi Esposo

Tengo el maravilloso privilegio de trabajar junto a mi esposo cada día. Ambos nos sentamos en nuestros escritorios, colocados de forma que podamos vernos, compartimos nuestro tereré, lanzamos ideas y aportes, hacemos preguntas y nos sumergimos en discusiones profundas.

Es “…una aventura increíble y un desafío significativo.” (L. Jacobson)

Hubo un día en particular en el que, al sentarnos en nuestros escritorios, él se recostó en su silla con los pies levantados y yo supe que quería discutir algo que había en su mente. Al estar casada durante casi 14 años, aprendes sobre tu esposo y yo conozco bien esa postura, no iba a ser una conversación corta.

Comenzamos hablando sobre un tema en particular, pero, en lugar de guardar mis palabras desde el principio, las dejé salir, una tras otra.

Mis palabras no eran de apoyo, sino que apuntaban sus fallos.

Mis palabras no eran sabias. En lugar de eso, lo comparé con otra persona.

Mis palabras no edificaron a mi esposo.

Mis palabras no lo animaron, sino que le hirieron.

Mis palabras no comunicaban gratitud por este hombre maravilloso que Dios me dio.

Y cuando sus palabras llegaron como respuesta a las mías, se clavaron en mí. Sus palabras me hirieron profundamente. Hubo palabras que nunca pensé que escucharía de mi esposo.

Nunca imaginé que, una vez que se recostó en su silla para hablar, terminaríamos en una guerra de palabras una más hiriente que otra, pero eso es exactamente lo que sucedió.

Y, por supuesto, es ahí donde me gustaría decir que nos pedimos perdón cuando terminamos la discusión, pero no lo hicimos. Mi marido volvió a trabajar en su computadora y yo salí a buscar algo para organizar o limpiar. La discusión había terminado, y las cosas no iban a mejorar si no nos separábamos un poco.

Más tarde ese día, nos perdonamos uno al otro y, una vez más, estuvimos listos para avanzar en nuestro matrimonio.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Hay dos cosas que quiero destacar con esta historia.

En primer lugar, quiero enfatizar que mi esposo y yo luchamos como cualquier otro marido y mujer. Podemos ser misioneros en el extranjero, pero estamos lejos de ser perfectos. Diariamente tenemos que decidir comprometernos con nuestra relación porque el matrimonio…”requiere que inviertas fuertemente en tu relación”. (L. Jacobson)

En segundo lugar, veo la importancia de invertir en mi forma de hablar. Efesios 4:39 dice, “Ninguna palabra corrompida salga de vuestra boca,  sino la que sea buena para la necesaria edificación,  a fin de dar gracia a los oyentes.”

Se me ocurrieron un guía dulce para aplicar a la hora de comunicarme con mi esposo, ¡y pensé que también podían ayudarte a ti!

¿Mis palabras son de apoyo?

“Expresa entusiasmo por sus planes e ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son sabias?

“Una mujer sabia sabe cuándo debería esperar para hablar o nunca mencionar algo.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de ánimo?

“Las palabras amables pueden tener un poderoso impacto en tu matrimonio.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras edifican?

“Habla solo de aquellas cosas que edifican.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de gratitud?

“Querido, eres el campeón de mi corazón. Un verdadero ganador. Y agradezco a Dios por ti.” (L. Jacobson)

Ahora, amiga, no hay nada mágico en lo que estoy compartiendo. Sé que aún habrá guerras de palabras porque la vida no es así de simple. Pero al ir creciendo como una esposa que ama a su marido, sé que ser dulce con mis palabras es una de las maneras en las que puedo decir “te amo” y valorar nuestra relación matrimonial.

El matrimonio es “un largo viaje para aprender a amarse el uno al otro” y el libro de Lisa Jacobson “100 Maneras de Amar a Tu Esposo”, ¡fue una maravillosa herramienta que me ayudó en mi viaje de amar a mi hombre!

¿Me acompañarás no solo a aplicar estas 5 palabras al comunicarte con tu esposo, sino también a leer el libro de Lisa y ser desafiada a amar más a tu marido?

Sirviendo al Señor incondicionalmente,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa by Matthew L Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

Trisha GoddardTrisha es una creyente, creada y llamada para expresar su fe a través del amor, especialmente al encontrar formas de servir a su familia y a las mujeres en el ministerio. A Trisha le gusta viajar y leer. Está casada con Mike y tienen tres hijos. Viven el Paraguay, donde sirven a Dios desde el 2004.

Puedes encontrar más sobre su ministerio aquí: www.mtgoddard.com .

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

At 7:30 p.m. my son was leaving the house for a dodgeball intramural tournament at school. (Can you imagine doing that for fun?)

Mom, if I brought laundry down…he said.

Oh no. Please don’t tell me you need your choir outfit for tomorrow’s concert, and you’re just now thinking about it, I said.

Well . . . he said.

This does happen at your house?

But he’s my baby, and he’s about to graduate, so I was gracious. Soon he was off to play, and I was bent over his hamper of dirty clothes.

My husband came downstairs to visit with me while I sorted.

He should do this laundry himself, he said.

Probably, I said.

It was quiet for a minute.

When he’s gone, will I be enough for you?  he said.

I looked up quickly.

Of course! I said.

I looked back down at the bright green sock in the hamper.

But maybe right now isn’t the best time to ask me, I said. Then I was staring up at him with tears pooling in my eyes.

Oh baby, he said, and I was wrapped in his arms.

Soon we were upstairs snuggling on the couch, and Matt picked up his Nexus. In the fall, our church had gifted us with a weekend get-away, to honor Matt for 10 years of service. We decided we would use the gift soon, while our son was gone on choir tour.

Do you want to help me choose what kind of room we get? he asked, typing the resort name into the search bar.

Do you want a fireplace? (People in Montana still need to consider this in April.)

Do you want a lake view?

As we dreamed about an extravagant two nights away, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the answer was yes.

He would be enough for me.

I woke up in the night thinking about Matt’s question to me, but this time I could hear Jesus speaking.

Am I enough for you?

Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about wives and husbands, but at the end of his talk he says:

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 ESV)

This relationship we have with our husbands is an echo of the relationship Christ has with His followers.

I can see myself bent over the laundry hampers and the cold lunch boxes and the reading logs that need signed, caring for my children day after day for a few decades. Loving them with all these little chores I do. But always there is this question.

Will I be enough for you?

And I need to say yes to my husband, because in this I learn to say yes to Christ.

We have to get good at this, my husband said to me a few years ago. We have to be good at enjoying each other, because pretty soon the kids will be gone from home.

So we’ve been practicing.

Going on dates.

Laughing over silly things.

Holding hands.

This is marriage.

And marriage is the picture of what it means to know Christ –working to find joy in our relationship with Him and looking to Him to fill the deep places of the soul.

May we be women with satisfied hearts.

~ Christy Fitzwater

*So what are some of the ways you’ve been “practicing” at getting good at enjoying each other? 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What If You’ve Tried and Tried and Tried? {Encouragement for When You’re Ready to Give Up}

What If You've Tried and Tried and Tried {Encouragement for When You're Ready to Give Up}

I like to think that I am pretty easy-going when it comes to my parenting style.

In general, I don’t stress out over spilled milk, smashed cheerios or broken mirrors. I don’t mind uncontrollable giggles, nonstop chit-chatter, or even a rumbustious game of tag. The only time I am known to lose my patience with normal child-like behaviors is when I need a nap.

When I’ve been sleep-deprived, I am slow, impatient and dare I say . . . mean. I am a firm believer that children behave better and are generally happier when they are well-rested and, well, so do I!

That’s right folks – My name is Wynter Pitts and I am a napper!

When my kiddos were very young our days would be strategically planned around naptime, and bedtime would be deliberate and swiftly executed. We enjoyed our days together and played hard, but we had definitive boundaries and a system of shut-eye!

Then something happened.

Enter my 3rd and 4th daughters –twins.

We welcomed these beautiful girls into our world at once, but apparently they missed the memo. My new angels would . . . not . . . sleep!

It was not pretty.

Desperate for Help

I called for help.

Yes, I did. In my desperation, I reached out to a “baby sleep expert.”

She requested our current sleep schedule and then provided me a revised plan that was guaranteed to help us regain normalcy, well-rested children, and peace-filled days.

The new routine required me to make some adjustments to our already strategic sleeping schedule.  She prescribed intentionality and exactness to ensure the success of the program.  This required waking my sleeping children (wake up at precise times in order to ensure they would be ready to rest again when it was time).

Do you see the dilemma?

As I mentioned previously, sleep is a big deal and I didn’t particularly like to wake sleeping children. Especially a set of twins that were already not sleeping! Several conversations with the “baby sleep expert” gave me courage to begin the program in hopes that scheduling down to the minute would result in two sleeping babies, 2 happy big sisters, and an overjoyed mommy!

Reluctantly, I tried.

And tried.

And tried.

For a few weeks that seemed like an eternity, I would lay my girls down for a certain amount of time and keep them awake for the designated time. The intention was to train them to sleep at night with adequate nap times during the day.

I needed this to work and, frankly, it wasn’t.

I was definitely doing more waking up than they were sleeping, and I was miserable.  My efforts were not paying off and I was exhausted.

In a final attempt, I reached out to my “expert” and shared our trials with her.  I informed her that I was just about at the end of my journey with this experiment. I thanked her for her efforts and time but just before we finished our conversation, she said a few words that would be locked into my memory.

“Keep following the schedule as if it is working, because it will work.”

I am not sure why these words hit me so hard, but they did. I began our conversation with the intention of giving up, but I ended the conversation with a brand new drive, determination, and perspective.

What If You've Tried and Tried and Tried? {Encouragement for When You're Ready to Give Up}

When You’re Just About Ready to Give Up

A few more days went by with me putting down wide-awake babies and waking up barely sleeping babies.

I was working –  hard I may add – as if the plan were working . . . until one day, finally, it did!

One morning I woke up rested from a full night’s sleep and so did they.

Have you ever poured all of your blood, sweat and tears into something day after day with no result in sight? Maybe you are exhausted and just about ready to give up.

Well, I want to encourage you today with the same words that encouraged me . . . .

Keep  ______________ as if it is working, because it will work.

Fill in your blank.  Is it . . .  

Trusting God?

Being faithful in marriage?

Disciplining your children in love?

Friends, I encourage you to keep going as if it’s working. God promises that one day it will. 

~ Wynter Pitts, For Girls Like You

*What is something that you could use encouragement in right now? Anything we can pray about for you? 

Wynter Pitts is the author of the newly-released, Wynter PittsFor Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens. She is also the founder of For Girls Like You, a ministry to girls that includes a print magazine. She has a drive to introduce young girls to Christian values so they can walk passionately and boldly. A native of Baltimore, Wynter resides in Dallas, Texas, with her husband, Jonathan, and their four daughters.

You can find Wynter on her blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens

For Girls Like You DevotionalTween girls have access to an unbelievable amount of media and information with just a simple click of the remote or mouse. Every outlet they turn to attempts to subtly influence their worldview…and what they believe about themselves directly affects how they live.

Wynter Pitts, founder of For Girls Like You magazine, gives girls a new devotional showing them a correct definition of themselves, opening their eyes to God’s truth and the difference it makes in their lives. Each daily devotion includes a prayer to help girls apply the lesson. ~ from the Publisher

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

For Girls Like You!  is available for purchase HERE:

For Girls Like You: A Devotional for Tweens 

If You’ve Never Said, I’m Sorry {An Unapologetic Word to Wives}

If You've Never Said I'm Sorry I thought it was just me.

One of my particular quirks.

Because I happen to be terrible at saying, I’m sorry.

Oh, not to you. I’d apologize all day long to you. I’m sorry if I was a little late. I’m sorry if I forgot to call you. I’m very sorry if I hurt your feelings or let you down.

I’m actually quick to tell you I’m sorry, my friend.

The problem is with saying sorry to my husband.

When it comes to him, I’m much better at brushing things over. Willing to work on stuff, mind you. But not necessarily to come right out and say it.

I’m sorry.

Or, I was wrong.

And, Will you forgive me?

Maybe you think it’s because I’m proud. That I’m so hesitant to apologize to him. But I don’t like to think of it that way because . . . .

I’m proud.

And I don’t like being wrong.

And it’s not easy for me to say I’m sorry.

I’ve got my reasons and if I was going to be totally honest? I don’t believe what I did was really all that bad. Or maybe it’s because what he did was so much worse than what I did, it doesn’t seem like it should count. Or, I’m convinced that all the right stuff I do outweighs the wrongs and so I should get a pass.

You see how it is. The truth is that I don’t say I’m sorry because I’m NOT sorry. 

If You've Never Said I'm Sorry {An Unapologetic Word for Wives}

Now it’s funny that I thought this was just my own personal issue. Because I was recently with a group of girlfriends and we got to talking about this I-Don’t-Say-I’m-Sorry-Thing and, what d’ya know . . .

I’m not the only one.

Each woman there admitted that apologizing isn’t her strong point. Even though her husband was ready to ask forgiveness, she . . . was less so. As in, almost never.

Now maybe you’re the wife who feels like she is continually seeking forgiveness and he’s the one who never does. If so, then this word is not for you.

No, this one is for the rest of us. This is for those of us who find we have so much to say—unless it’s, I’m sorry. And then suddenly, strangely, we can’t quite figure out how to go about it. Not sure how to put it and when would be a good time to have that conversation.

But let’s walk this one out. See what it might look like. You know, in case you’ve . . . .

  • not been respecting him as you know you should (Eph. 5:33)
  • snapped at him this morning (even though it was somewhat justified!)
  • not expressed appreciation for those things he does well
  • complained to him, rather than been thankful
  • not been as loving as you want to be – or should be

If so? Then the right thing to do is to go up to him and say something along these lines:

Hey Love, I’d like to talk to you. I want you to know that I am sorry. I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you lately. It’s wrong of me and it’s not how I want to be. Will you forgive me?

And just so you know? All of this takes less than 20 seconds. Literally, that’s all it takes. I know because I timed it. (Yes, I really did.)

Who would have thought 20 seconds would do so much for a relationship?

But a sincere apology is like that. Saying I’m sorry is powerful, healing, and those 20 seconds will last you far into a lifetime.

So if you haven’t yet said, I’m sorry? And, Will you forgive me?  Then I’m telling you – without apology – that you should start. Soon.

I promise, you won’t be sorry that you did. ;)

In His grace,
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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

How Changing This One Bad Habit Changed Our Home for Good

How Changing This One Bad Habit Changed Our Home For Good

It all came to light at the kitchen sink.

Starting with a sigh—so natural to me that I never noticed it escaping my lips.

A long, heavy sigh.

I was washing vegetables for the dinner salad. Celery, peppers, and carrots. The typical evening prep.

Feeling behind and burdened by my day.

That’s when my husband walked in the room and asked, “Hey Babe, how was today?” And then, “Why the big sigh?”

He asked and I answered. And it went something like this . . . .

The bickering kids,

the avalanche of housework,

the half-broken appliances (like that dumb dryer!),

the errands that took far longer than they should have,

and

the 3 medical bills that had arrived in the mail.

A long list of complaints, but nothing special. All the usuals.

But right before my eyes, I watched those strong, solid shoulders of the Man I Love . . . drop a little. Hunch over a bit. Heavy with all I’d just dumped on him.

But he’d asked and I’d answered him honestly.

And I believe it’s important to be honest, don’t you?

Except for one thing.

My “honesty” was taking him down. Taking my whole family down really.

I was literally sucking the life out of our home with my complaining. 

I’d developed the very bad habit of grumbling and I’d masked it all under the disguise of “being honest” instead of calling it what it really was.

What I really was.

The Complaining Wife.  

And that’s when I knew that something had to change. I had to stop this negative stream of communication that greeted him most every evening. It was time to trade out my whining discontent and replace it with a thankful spirit. Choose cheerful words rather than negative ones.

I wanted to breathe life back into my home.

Oh, not that it meant I could never be “honest” again because there’s definitely a time and place for that. But I realized that I could save it for another moment. And I was going to make sure that I wasn’t merely “dumping” on him, but truly coming to him for support, help, or a little sympathy. Not complaining for the sake of complaining.

I decided to change my habit. Rather than focusing on all that had gone wrong, I was going to concentrate on all that was good in my day.  Things that were true, lovely, and worthy.

And that goes something like this . . . .

The kids had lots of fun at the park today,

got the pantry cleaned out,

so glad for my washing machine and (partially-working) dryer, 

made it to the grocery store,

and

grateful our girl got medical care when she really needed it. 

Same day – different perspective. Which has made all the difference in the world. 

So this is why I traded my sigh in for a smile and try to speak words of joy instead.

Changed my habit.

Changed my heart.

And how it changed our home for good.

….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.

~ Philippians 4:8 ~

Maybe you’ve picked up the habit of complaining as well? Try changing this one bad habit and see the good it brings to your husband, yourself, and your home. 

Breathe words of life.

In His grace,

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100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).