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5 Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
June 27, 2020 8:03 am

5 Simple Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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June 27, 2020 8:03 am

​Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, couples have been forced to spend more time together.  For some, that has led to a deepening of the marriage.  But for many, the home has become a battleground.  On the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, you’ll hear five simple ways to strengthen your marriage…when you’re stuck at home together.  Don’t miss the practical marriage help on the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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Could quarantine be a gift to a marriage find out today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Most, but we think the real problem is, most files we don't think in terms of their things I can do that will have a positive impact on most files, God's will. That is what I'm such a matter of choosing welcome Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller the five day help and direction sheltering in place our featured resource that the website is new but find simple ways to strengthen your marriage when you're stuck at home just got a five love languages.com usually the end of June we present our dear Gary broadcast and that summer stuff programs this year, and a little bit of we been through months sheltering in place because I know you care about the relationships, particularly husbands and wives were going through this theory and that's where we begin today.

What are some of the situations you've heard about this time in our history that things stand out to you later Chris so one reality is that while we're all in the same storm were not all the same ship, and by that I mean you know some folks have been at home. Husband and wife and three little kids. Okay, that's their ship. There are others like my marriage, my wife and ministers. The two of us in the ship. The kids are up and grown to go and then there are people that in their ship.

They're both at home working from home and other people lost their jobs there. The ship with no job. So every situation is somewhat different even though we are all in the same storm and I think also it comes to marriage some folks before all this happened were having a struggling marriage. They work really getting along that well and when they're thrown together like this week after week after week you know it got gets worse or if they read this book, it gets better. That's what were open for that other couples had a fairly strong marriage, and then they're probably doing okay.

You know they're there. They're moving along, but the fact is, marriages can always be better is no place were we say we've arrived where either growing or regressing, and we want to do today. In this program and in this book is to help couples grow together and you could title this quarantine love tank 101, but instinct is that you call the five simple ways to strengthen your marriage you're stuck at home you find out more at 5lovelanguages.com five love languages.com. There may be a spouse listing right now who thinks our marriage can never be better. It's hopeless. People can't my spouse will change. People can change or this crisis is going to destroy us of what will happen with the couple has that mindset. Do you think well I think Chris if that continues to be our mindset. Then we move in the direction of the way were thinking and feeling.

The reality is that we cannot change our spouse that's that's for sure. I agree with that you can make your spouse change the fact is you can influence your spouse and you are influencing your spouse and if you continue to keep the attitude that our marriage will never be better like they not going change and this is never to be better then you play out that narrative, you've got it in your mind and you're likely played out in life but if you say you know were in trouble and I were in trouble, but you know, with God's grace. I'm going to do some things that I hope will improve our relationship. I think that's part of the problem Chris that most the time we think the real problem is my spouse and until they change things are going to be better. We don't think in terms of I am a part of this marriage, and there are things I can do that will have a positive impact on my spouse and with God's help. That's what I'm going to do, so it's a matter of choosing our attitude that is such a good perspective to have because I think a lot of people feel hopeless for in one sphere or another if you get feel hopeless in your marriage that just leaks and every other part of your life doesn't because let's face it, the fundamental unit in a family is the marriage we have children.

Yes, and there certainly are part of the family. But the fundamental unit is the husband-wife relationship and that greatly impacts the children emotionally, physically, you know, spiritually, and so focusing on improving our marriage relationship is really for the benefit of our children.

Sometimes we think will I want to get out of this terrible marriage and be better for my children well know if there's physical abuse. You know you are the children. Yes then pulling out may well be the thing to do a lease for a period of time until the spouse can deal with these issues, but simply to leave because you're not happy or they're not meeting your needs. It's not only better for the children will be worse for the children. Children need a mother and a daddy. That's the ideal.

It was God's plan and so anything we can do to work on our marriage we are cooperating with God. So your hope is that couples who listen to this broadcast and here are some of the things you say or get the book and go through it. You hope they will implement some of these five simple ways to strengthen their marriage. Well, it certainly my desire Chris and that's why use the word simple.

These are not profile hard to do well maybe I should say they may be hard to do but there simple things.

And when we choose to do them. We do have an influence.

We do change the climate in the marriage when one person is willing to make that move right.

Let's go through the different sections of the book again. Five simple ways to strengthen your marriage. Find it@ 5lovelanguages.com.

I find it interesting you begin with a caution to call a truce on throwing verbal bombs.

What you begin there. Well I began there because I know that a lot of troubled marriages are going to be reading this book and I just want to start with trying to help them create a better climate quickly.

You know when you're struggling in a marriage, and then you get thrown together like we have been what happens is that things are underneath the surface come to the surface and we began to throw bombs when I call verbal bombs at each other. You know I can't count on you for anything.

You're just like your father. Your responsible would you put that phone down, listen to me. I mean, like the lady said to me exactly couple weeks ago. She said my husband told me that I was lazy because I didn't put a plastic bag back in the trashcan when I took the trash out verbal bombs explode in the heart and mind of the other person and there are couples that this is the way they entered the pandemic and that's where they been and I'm saying, you know, first of all, let's just call a truce and just so you know where here together were not helping each other by throwing out these verbal bombs. So what are we just signed a truce that let's start with one week that we will not throw out a bomb to each other in one week and when you do, you both can begin to breathe emotionally and then maybe the next week and say what I would try this. We stop the bombs we stop the verbal criticism. Why don't we now try to give each other a complement at least once in the next week LLS to see if we can begin to change things so we look for things about our spouse that we can honestly give a compliment about the Chris you've heard me say this one lady said to me some time ago. She said Gary I know it would be good if I could get my has been some positive words but to be honest with you I can't think of anything good to say about so I said to her will. Does it ever take a shower. She said well yes I said how often she said Labor Day that if I were you at start their preset you take a shower honey so yeah that that's why started there because I know that there are people that things are going to get any better. His long as they're throwing verbal bombs at each other. That simply destroys the marriage, but if you can call a truce and sign a truce off on that and then sometimes people so what if what if he will send a truce or she will send a truce. How about you Sonny you say in your own mind. With the help of God.

I'm not going on the go throughout anymore criticisms and now the places, because it's not as many bombs going back and forth. The thing that helped us with our kids and we had fun with this and it was when somebody said something mean or whatever.

What we do is we get out a yellow handkerchief like that official of a football game with throw and we go to eat and throw it out and and everybody would laugh at Ken was disarming is like oh yeah, I said that thing.

I wonder if you could have like a verb of verbal bomb flag you could throw this is okay timeout. This was said and then the person it's okay I see what you're saying we cut that out with that hell do you think like that idea book like it's a visible sign you once we've signed off on the truce because we got a habit of doing this. It's easy to just fall back into it, but that little reminder that we've agreed not to do this.

Yeah I think that's a super idea Chris.

For those who know "The 5 Love Languages" .

It sounds to me like verbal bombs are the opposite of words of affirmation is a true yeah absolutely coming very but really really strike pain into the heart and mind of the person for whom that's their lovely however Chris. No one likes to have criticism and when you speak in a harsh way to put the person down for something no one likes that it it is like a bomb and that when you stop that and then you start giving affirming words and obviously if words of affirmation is there languages are going to really speak to them, but it's come speak to anyone. All of us would love to hear words of appreciation and so this this one simple thing can create a different climate in the marriage so that we can then begin to move forward faster, author and world traveler Dr. Gary Chapman is sharing some helpful ideas today and that's an interesting dynamic Gary you have been grounded, so to speak. For the last few months from weekend conferences speaking engagements you travel around the world.

That's been a real adjustment hasn't well that has the Chris.

I enjoy meeting people face-to-face and speaking at conferences I've been doing a lot of Zoom conferences and very good, very good, but they're not quite the same as being in the same room with people and being able to see them smile or cry, as the case may be.

So yeah it's been a real adjustment for me. You talk about filling the love tank. But how do you helpful someone's love tank when you can't be with them during this time, I've heard some just some such sad stories, especially people who are hospitalized and you can't be there till well that is said to practice today. One of my good friends had surgery and that his wife was not allowed to go in and you know and be with them before and after the surgery she had stayed outside yeah it's it's tough. This is where a social media. Assuming they're not able to use a phone FaceTime or you can talk with them that can be very very helpful. We didn't have that, you know, years and years ago so I think I'm making the most of social media when you are a part can be very very helpful and let's face it, we have a lot of military couples who one of the spouses is deployed and everybody face this all the time in a long-distance relationship. And that's why I wrote the five love language is military addition, to help them learn how to communicate love emotionally, even when you are separated by miles and miles and sometimes around the world. So yeah, I think we can make the most of what we have in technology can really help us at this point the other unintended consequence of people being together full time has been a rise in domestic violence and abuse, and that's a you know that's one of those things where if you can you know if you can get back to normal and people are gone it doesn't happen as much when you are together than that, it makes sense that it would escalate doesn't if it's been there before Chris before all this happened. And then there many many marriages where there has been violence, verbal abuse are physical abuse is all too common, even were living in a normal setting but when you're thrown together like this and perhaps one of these either lost your job or your put on furlough and you're there together in the house. Yeah it can escalate and often does escalate and one of the things that I like to say to individuals who are being verbally or physically abused is to, and there's a difference between physical abuse and and verbal abuse to be sure because the one can be deadly.

The other can kill the spirit that one can one can be physically dead if it's physical abuse in no there there is a place to say honey I can't say I love you too much to sit here and let you destroy me and the kids and yourself so mama said I can move in with her for a few days and I'm going to do that and I'm not gonna leave you.

I'm not abandoning you as if you are willing to go get some help with this. I want our marriage to work. You know it's a loving thing but you are taken responsibility to protect yourself and the children. The other factor on this is if during this time. Either the one who's abusing are the ones being abused can sit down and talk with the person or listen to the person and say hey I don't know. I can't believe that you want to destroy me. You want to destroy the children. I know there's gotta be something going on inside of you that causes you to be so angry and upset you want talk about it. Can you tell me where you think this is coming from.

It's the kind of conversation that account they would have with the counselor if they want to a counselor, but at least the spouse can open the door to the possibility of them sharing because typically there been a lot of things in the past life of that person that is influencing them in the present.

You know, we referred this for years abused people abuse people and there's a good chance that the person that's being abusive was also abused as a child reaching out for help in trying to get help in trying to get them to be willing to get help is a part of the process were going through five simple ways to strengthen your marriage when you're stuck at home you find out more at 5lovelanguages.com step number one way number one was call a truce on throwing verbal bombs tear down emotional walls is the second and you say that emotional walls are built of brick at a time.

Explain how you think what happens Chris in the marriages there will be some altercation either. What a person says or what a person does is hurtful to the relationship.

If we don't deal with that.

It's like an emotional block and a wall between the two of us and then three weeks later, something else happens.

And then there's another block and in a year or two. You can have a long wall high, and think and it's hard to communicate through wall hard to communicate over a wall and those couples disorder live in the same house and I try to be as simple as they can. But but they know they don't have a good marriage. The wall is between them and typically in a relationship. We each think the other person is the real problem if they're the one that's causing the problem.

But here's here's what I say in this. And during this time of being kind of different climate is a good time for us to take this action. What if you what if you just get along with God and you say to God, Lord, you know what I live with you know my husband you know my wife. You know all the things I've done said but I know that I'm not perfect so would you tell me where I'm failing God will answer that prayer you get your pencil ready write them down. He'll tell you where you been failing, and then you you confess those to God except his forgiveness and he will always forgive then you go to your spouse and you say to them, honey, you know we been here now for several weeks and been thinking about us and I know I've been on your case and I blamed you for a lot of stuff but I yeah I asked God to show me where I have failed and he gave me a few things and of asked God to forgive me and I will share these with you and ask you if you forgive me. While I can't guarantee that your spouse will immediately forgive you, but I can tell you this, they're going to walk away and say to themselves, while this is different. All of her for months is criticism and now they're apologizing. Something's going on here and there, right something is going on.

You've taken a positive step in your marriage that I can guarantee you they can come back and apologize to you but I can tell you there's a chance they will because they're seeing you respond in a different way and if after that apology to them. You start speaking their love language. Again, it's another positive influence something. For many couples who have built a wall between them. This is a good time to tear down the wall on your side and then let's see what happens. It's always a step in the right direction so it's it's up to both of us to work together to get the wall down but you can do something, even if the other person isn't rebellion of polos bricks down. I think that's really helpful and and what you talked about with the love languages. This is not manipulation you are humbly coming before God and say search me know me illumine my heart to me so that I can change and also your asking for change of the other person but you're not requiring it. It's not a acquitted Pro quote. In other words yeah we were making a request were not demanding that they forgive us. Were not demanding that they apologize but what we are doing is we're modeling for them what it means to apologize and diagnose their failures, but know some of their failures that they know they're not perfect and your your taking the step to acknowledge your own failures, sets, climate in which they're more likely to come back and acknowledge their failures. You don't know my spouse that I can hear some of his calling. I don't know much about never wrong.

He or she never apologizes.

It's always it's always me.

I'm always the one that can't do this anymore.

What he said but I understand that because by nature all of us think the other person is is the problem that your husband thinks you're the problem that's why he's criticizing you, and you think is the problem because of the way he treats you that that's very, very natural and and what I'm saying is we're both at fault. Maybe. Maybe they are 90% of the fault and you're only 10% of the fault but if you deal with your 10% in the way of just shared you are setting a model for them you are having a positive influence on them. And again, as I said, it's not that we can make people do something that we can at least model. What we are trying to do deal with our own failures. As I said if you love them.

Then after you've done that you start giving positive responses to them in terms of their love language again.

That's a huge influence on them emotionally. You know, let let's let's face it, none of us are perfect were all in process, but we can deal with our own failures, we can deal with their failures. We can do with her own and when we do, we're moving in the right direction is that you tell about hope and is there. What is the hope of change. You break it, tear down the emotional wall. Is there something that happens that I can look to the say. Here's a good sign.

Here's a ray of hope for me with these emotional walls coming down well think Geiser said if you take that first step of that's very positive. Then you'd simply wait and see how your spouse responds, but you don't wait doing nothing.

You wait loving them because love is the most powerful influence in you love them in the right love language and an increase. I like to cite that don't disable among try this for three weeks. It's a choice you're going to make. I'm gonna love them even though their unlovely because God love me when I was unlovely and the love of God is poured in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says and I with God's help in going to love them over an extended period of time. I would say at least six months and I'm going to see what happens. How will my spouse respond if I love them unconditionally over a six-month period.

Chris there's not a lot of wives or husbands who are not going to take a move in the positive direction when their spouse does that you gave us something of for the throwing the verbal bombs you write out a contract together. Is there something specific something practical about tearing down emotional walls you can to give us today think the thing of listening to God and being honest and let him share with you and make in that list.

There's the list. The list of where you have failed in the relationship and then also keeping a little journal.

Maybe if of the things that the ways in which you have expressed love to them, and then looking for positive things about them that you can commend them for because there be some you know there be some and you look for them and you do as much commending as you can giving compliments to them and maybe keep a list of justice for your own to do your own site. Here's what I'm trying to do and and maybe sit on top. Make a list of several things at that you can complement them for, because you have to think a while and if it's really a bad relationship, but writing them down will will help bring other things to your mind and then you just pick out one every week or every couple times a week. One of the other things in this practical section is asking each other open-ended questions. Is there any time in the past when I've hurt you, and failed to apologize if so, I'd like to deal with it because out.

I want to have a healthy marriage.

So just that question being asked and then being quiet and listening will be something that that could tear down that wall and and then let me ask our listeners what have you ever done that most of us have never done that, you know honey and think about our marriage and I really want to make it better.

And I know that I've hurt you. Some in the past. So tell me what comes your mind things I've done things I've said that I didn't apologize for that hurt you and hurt our relationship because I want to deal with these things I want to apologize for you because I want a better marriage. Again, the spouse will receive that data that they will they will hear you they will not walk out of the room when you're when you're asking that question and chances are I'll share whatever is in their mind where they feel like you failed and then rather than trying to explain yourself.

Just acknowledge dinner. You're right.

And I won't apologize for that, that that's that was not right. That was wrong and again you are having a tremendously positive influence on your spouse when you do that. The third way to strengthen your marriage to Gary. We talked about the verbal bomb tearing down the emotional wall now.

Got talk about discovering your spouse's love language and not just knowing it but speaking telltales, but we we target this is what the whole program is about. But tell us, give us a flyover of the love languages Chris for those who haven't heard it, which I'm sure many militias have basically five ways that we express love emotionally. I called him five love languages simple one is words of affirmation, which we been talking about already in the program. Another is acts of service, doing things for them that you know they would like for you to do, cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, washing cars, walking dogs change in babies diapers notice things like that and then quality time by which I mean the two of you are giving each other your undivided attention you're having a conversation sitting in the room you're walking down the road together having a walk in but you each of you is giving your full attention to the other person and then another is gifts it's universal to give gifts as an expression of love.

And then there's physical touch in a marriage, holding hands, kissing, embracing the whole sexual part of marriage.

And here's the basic concept that out of those five each of us has a primary love language. One of the five speaks more deeply to us emotionally than the other four.

Seldom does a husband and wife have the same love language so maybe you been expressing love to your spouse and your mind, but it's not there. Love language.

Maybe it's your love legs but not theirs. And so they don't get it, and they don't feel loved. So in order to keep what I call the love tank to keep the love tank full it is to genuinely communicate love in a meaningful way.

You have to learn to speak the other person's love language and if you've never discovered this. This would be a wonderful time to do it because again when you feel loved when they feel loved. It is a totally different place because we deeply need to feel loved by her spouse. And since opposites many times attract you're probably married to somebody who has a different love language and so it's a language that you don't speak very well it does come easily to you and it's very easy to say but I do I show you love because I did this and they didn't hear it right exactly what you we can be very sincere in our mind we are loving them.

Why would they not feel loved. Why do they treat me the way they do well at your sincere but sincere is not enough.

We have to learn to speak the other person's love language and if you did receive their love language growing up. For example, if words of affirmation, as their primary love language and you did not receive positive words growing up.

It would be difficult for you, but you can learn it you we can learn to speak any one of these love languages as an adult, and we realize how important it is. We can learn to speak it out okay which language it is as much a sitcom with my family and there was a character who had it was like three or four days a week there a B.

This is such and such a day in such a such a day with with all different people and in her life and for each of those days should get a gift for them and expect to get a gift get a gift back from them and the people around her were just in others they were exhausted.

They said let's let's do jelly one day a year where we do this, I thought that it her love language is is gifts you know and everybody else was having a hard time with that because it had to get the many gifts for and yes that's a very common scenario that you we can understand why a gift would be so important to a person.

But here's the thing. The gift doesn't have to be expensive.

It doesn't even have to be balked. You can just pick up something you when you're walking down the road.

Or you can just look around the house find something in a drawer that you haven't opened in a long time, sunny look what I found today. This reminded me want to show this to going to give it to learning, speak the other person's love language will take time and effort, but it's well worth the effort because it will change the dynamics in the relationship so you learning a different love language and speaking that how do you how do you motivate yourself because it doesn't connect with you. You know you're not feeling loved by this thing. If yours is words of affirmation and there's a physical touch and you grew up in a house for nobody you have gave you a hug or whatever then it's a foreign thing to you. How do you motivate yourself to speak that Chris, I think, for Christians, we have outside help because we know that God loves them.

God loves us. God loves everybody and where God's agents for loving them so we can ask or say to God, Lord, you know how I feel about them, but I know you love them and I want to be your agent for loving them. So I'm asking you to pour your love in my heart so I can just channel it to them.

That gives you motivation because now you know you're doing something in cooperation with God. God wants them to feel loved and you hear their spouse. You're the best person to express his love to them that gives you extra motivation. I think another aspect of this is that when we understand how important it is for us to feel loved and how really how good it feels when they do speak your love language. That's how good they feel when you speak their love language I know doesn't mean anything to you or means very little to you but it means a whole lot of them. So you just think in terms of how you feel when they speak your love language. That's the way they feel when you speak their love life so there should be a motivator.

We will them to feel what we're feeling, like somebody who is thirsty. One spouse is Thursday that the spouse is not, then I that's not important. Without McNealy water because I'm not Thursday will I am withholding it had A cup of cold water to a thirsty person.

You wouldn't do that you would love them even if you don't feel thirsty. You give that I would have five simple ways to strengthen your marriage when you're stuck at home.

You can find out more. Five love languages.com five love languages.com. You've alluded to this a couple of different times Gary about relationship with God. I want you speak to the couple though stuck at home together and one spouse is a believer in and God leans on him, reads his word every day. The other spouse isn't maybe has little faith or no faith or a different faith. And this is one of those walls between them. What you say to that couple. How can they grow closer during this time, the Bible does speak to that issue, Chris. It says that a Christian who is married to an unbeliever should not leave the unbeliever, but really should be God's agent in expressing God's love to them, so that by your good works. The Bible says founder things were talking about your good works.

I may be drawn to Christ. Again, we can't make people accept Christ we can demonstrate to them what it's like to be a follower of Christ and let's face it, if the Christian Church of the individuals in the Christian church would model that that we would be want us I will be little Jesus is walking around that I don't I don't have a concept, but we humans who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and where God's agents in the world for expressing love and we do that we are having the greatest influence we can have in the world, not just to our spouse with everybody else so we can get that picture. It should highly motivate us again were not were not putting our spouse down because they don't agree with their spiritual beliefs were simply demonstrating by our life, our words and our actions. What we believe and we do that we would. We will be demonstrating love, because Jesus said this is the way that those who are not Christians will know that we are by the way, we love them so this is this is at the very heart of what Christianity is all about.

It's demonstrating a lifestyle of love to others and that begins in the family and who knows, you know in due time, when they see you and your lifestyle the way you respond to them in spite of the fact that maybe they don't respond to you.

Well, they're having the greatest demonstration they can have of what it's like to be a true Christian. I think Elyse Strobel and his wife Leslie and he was so skeptical. You are going to give all their money to that some church you know these people heard steel and stuff and that was his view of the church, but he watched her live without hypocrisy.

He watched her love him when he was going through some really tough stuff for no sin.

A sinful lifestyle in his own life and it was that that made him consider what is the truth here about, so if you never know what's going to happen with when you love somebody, right, absolutely. What we do know we're doing the will of God. We love them.

And after all, our objective is to please God. And if you're married to someone is not a believer in Christ and you demonstrate you live out the life of Christ in you, in front of them, you're serving the purposes of God. If you just joining us were going through these five simple ways we talked about calling a truce on throwing verbal bombs tearing down emotional walls, discovering and speaking each other's love language to left.

Learning the value of teamwork is the next one.

What you mean what you talk about in that chapter. Gary Chris before we get married. Hopefully we talk a little bit about who's going to do what. After we get married who's known by the grocers is going to cook is going to wash dishes in all the all these things have to be done and probably before the pandemic hit wikiwiki had that maybe worked out. It took us a while got it worked out, but then now our whole routine has been changed. The kids are and always you have kids again submitted home maybe were both at home because were not working or working from home. I mean everything is different.

So what I'm saying is let's rethink the part. Each of us play on the team. For example, maybe the pattern was this the mom gets up and cooks breakfast for the family. She goes off to work. The father helps the kids get dressed and then he goes takes them to school. As he goes off to work. All that's changed now, so maybe the mother is not a morning person, but she's been getting up and doing this because she felt dedicated to it.

So the first morning, the husband gets up reason kitchen will wonder what were his mother or his mother was she sleeping in because he said to herself.

I don't have to get up early I was ghostly. Only relating to have a little talk and since he is a morning person because you know during this time, why don't you just sleep light do the breakfast and then after breakfast I got to go to work and I you you can work with the kids on the schooling and what will it work okay so you would what is totally changing our our role, but we're working as a team and that's what I think has to happen. He forgot to make the most of the time that that were living in this time with things are very very different. Recognizing our personality differences are strengths or weaknesses you own an athletic team. Not every person plays the same role, but they have the same objective we want to be a winning team site thanks with marriage when I will be doing the same things we can shift our roles around but the objective we will have a winning marriage. We will never marriage were loving and supporting each other so you think this rethinking the whole teamwork and who's going to do what is important during this time and one of the main cogs of that we feel is communication. Communication communication Risa Ludacris. The other thing I talk about in this book, which is number five is what about having a daily sit down and listen time when always I let sit down, talk, which means I got some things I will tell you. Let's have a sitdown listen time give each other a chance to share what they been thinking today and what they been feeling and people so well we were in the same house on the what they're doing, you know, you do know what they're doing but you know what they're thinking and you know what they're feeling. If you have a sitdown time everyday to listen to each other and to say honey what you been thinking today. Tell me what you been feeling today and you listen, you don't interrupt you listen you ask questions maybe to clarify what they're saying and then you say to let you know honey I can say that I can see why you be thinking that I can see you feel that way you so that the heat he or she says to you than what you been thinking today how you been thinking today is that you have a chance to share. They listen to you and they affirm you. It's a bonding experience so you can live in the same house for a month or two months and never have this kind of conversation you start doing this every day. It is a bonding experience and did not belong to give me 15 to 20 minutes a day, a time when the gate if you have kids. The kids are there in nude you sitdown you have the sharing time listening to each other were not by nature listeners. That's why I'm emphasizing the word.

Listen yes one of us will be talking to the other still be listening when I'm listening I'm listening.

I'm all ears.

I'm not think about what I'm going to say I'm trying to understand what's going on inside of them what they're thinking, what they're feeling. It makes a huge difference in terms of creating an emotional bond between the couple. I can tell you Gary Holly times of sat down with Andrea and I will say something, you know, we will have to because there's conflict will have to communicate about it and I'll say will here's what was going on in my mind.

When that happened, and shall say all I didn't know that that helps just to hear what was going on inside and I'm one of those I just can't process internally. I don't do it on the external and so me communicating that opens her up to what you know, even if she didn't agree with you what happened there.

At least she knows the process that I went through absolutely courteous and in a conflict situation and having a sitdown listen time rather than a sitdown talk time, which means when you're talking, share your side of it will be listen to you.

I will try to understand how you are thinking what you were feeling at that time and then you do the same for me. Then we can concentrate on how we solve the conflict rather than get into an argument. You know, try to put each other's ideas down.

Though we try to understand each other's ideas. If you listen and listen well enough you can understand how they would think that you wouldn't think that way, which you can see how they would think that way and how they would feel that way and any sound you can see, understand that okay yeah so that this whole thing of sit down and listen time whether you're focusing on conflict or what if I just focusing on daily life can be very very helpful in an giving you the kind of marriage you'd like to have, which is one in which we are learning to understand each other were working together as a team were supporting each other were encouraging each other and were adapting where we need to adapt and looking the other person in the not looking at your phone, maybe even using some of the love languages you know if if you were a wife's love languages physical touch. Maybe rubber feet while she's sharing you know and just say there's so many creative ways that you can do this to bring each other together Ella close with this, I mentioned the spouse once a Christian the others not this whole idea of strengthening our marriage. When you have a right relationship with God. He is the one who is helping bond that relationship right you know Chris, this is acid is the advantage of the Christian is that we have outside help were not left to our old nature, which is selfish but we have the spirit of Christ working in our lives, reminding us of the way he lived and what he taught and then giving us the power to live out the lifestyle that Jesus taught. Without Christ, all of us are selfish and even as Christians, we still we still have a selfish nature and will slip out once in a while and that's when you decide I'm sorry I didn't handle that well. I hope you forgive me for that that was wrong and forgiving apology and forgiveness are essential in the daily walk of life in terms of relationships. I wonder here at the end if we could just pause and for those who have been stuck together, stuck at home for a long time and this is a breath of fresh air or or maybe those are saying. I just don't have a whole Lotta hope. Would you pray for those families. Those couples sure love to father you know what we're talking about today and you know the families of spouses who are listening, you know where they are. We know that you're equated with pain and we pray that your spirit will touch their spirit and give them your hope and then your wisdom into the steps they can take to be your instrument of influence in their spouse. Although we know you don't make people come to you that we do know you reach out in love and you touch them and you seek to draw them to yourself. So I pray that those who are listing will be open to being your instruments of loving their spouse other my marriages be different. Because of this program. Because of this book until in the name of Christ once again the title of this practical book is five simple ways to strengthen your marriage when you're stuck at home by Dr. Gary Chapman. Find out more. Five love languages.com five love languages.com and coming up next week creative way to help your extended family love each of its call cousin. Don't miss the conversation on July 4 right here.

Our thanks to Janice tie their production work today and thank you for listening building relationship with Dr. Gary Chapman radio is a ministry at Moody Bible and


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