Have you ever struggled in your relationship with your spouse because you chose the wrong words? No simple word is large enough to effectively define a person or relationship. But we ascribe these symbols and sounds called words to the most valuable treasures of our lives.
For instance, the word love is a single symbol that encompasses a large range of behaviors and emotions. For one person, love actually means lust; for another, friendship; and for another, companionship. The word “love” can symbolize deep and long-lasting commitment, or it can simply be the casual salutation tagged to the end of a letter.
To sum up your spouse with a single word is to miss them entirely. You may see your spouse as being silent, detached or even emotionless. Or you may think your spouse is charismatic, talkative and friendly. The sum of their individuality is far more than any of those words communicate. True love reaches beyond the limitations of labels and into the heart of the complete person.
The Song of Solomon describes a vivid picture of the love God wants us to have with our spouse: Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death. Jealousy as cruel as the grave; its flames are flames of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly despised (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 NKJV).
Consider the following questions as you think about your communication with your spouse.
- How do you accept love from others?
- Do you have a preferred way that you communicate your love to others?
- Do you respect their communication style?
- Can you think of an instance where you found out there was a conflict because of how you communicated with the other person?
- Did you have to forgive them or ask their forgiveness?
Intentional ONE THING Challenge
If you could do ONE THING and know that it would make a significant, lasting, possibly life-changing difference in your life, would you do it? Dr. Carlson shares the power of ONE THING and why you should get started doing your ONE THING today.
What are some positive words you use to describe your spouse? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments below.