It’s not just what we say that speaks, but also how we say it that speaks beyond our words. It’s also how we posture ourselves while we’re speaking, or our spouse is speaking that is important. Your body language speaks volumes.
In our many years of marriage, I’ve learned that many times our body language speaks more to our spouse than anything else we could ever say. Words are not the only thing that speaks to us.
A few times this past week, when I’ve been trying to talk with Steve, I’ve noticed that his eyes are either looking at his phone, or computer, or the TV, or such. I’ve learned not to compete with whatever he’s focusing on, if it’s not me. I’ll just say, “I can see that I’ve lost you. When it’s a better time to talk, please let me know.” This usually shakes him out of his pre-occupation elsewhere. He then apologizes, turns my way and gives me his full focus. That means A LOT.
This leads me to the point that I posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook page a while ago:
“Make sure when your spouse is trying to communicate something important, that you turn your attention his or her way. Regard that time as something important. That’s because it should be, and it IS. Look directly into your marriage partner’s eyes when he or she speaks, showing that you ARE paying attention.”
My Body Language Matters Too
Now I realize that this goes both ways. There are times when Steve is talking and I’ll start chopping vegetables. I rationalize that I’m a “multi-tasker.” I’ll justify it by thinking, “I’m busy; I can do two things at once.” It’s “funny” how I’ll justify my multi-tasking, but when Steve’s doing it, I see it as his being rude. Hmmm… something’s wrong in that reasoning, I confess.
Also, when Steve would come home after he had been away for a while, many times I’d just stay at my computer working. I’d just say, “hi” from there, rather than getting up and personally greeting him. But the Lord convicted me on that one too. They say that how you greet each other, sets the tone for the rest of your day or evening together. Do you want it to be tepid, cold, angry, or warm and connecting?
As the Lord let me know, “Get up and greet him like you care that he comes in the door. Don’t take his coming home for granted.” Our little dog seems happier to see Steve than I used to do on some days… NOT good!
Spouse Who Comes Home
Also, I’ve woken up to realize that many spouses don’t come home. Thankfully, I have a good one who does. Thankfully, I have a husband who CAN come home. Many of my friends are widows. Trust me; they would give anything to be able to greet their spouse at the door enthusiastically.
I heard radio talk host, Dennis Prager talking about spouses who take each other for granted. They will go more than the extra mile before marriage to affirm their fiancé. But after they marry, many fall into the bad habit of being anything but affirming. It’s like it’s okay to be rude and to do things that you would never think of doing to another friend. And yet with this person that you vowed to love, and honor, you act in unkind ways. What’s with that?
As Dennis said, which I agree, he believes that AFTER marriage we should make even more effort not to allow ourselves to take each other for granted. We need to be careful not to be rude, yell, scream, and act unkind. It’s important NOT to join the “take the spouse for granted” club. This is because in doing so, we can kill our marriage relationships.
So, I hope you will join Steve and me (and Dennis Prager) in making extra effort in NOT justifying rude actions on our parts. We are to put intentionality into giving our spouses the attention they need, as our marriage partners.
As a matter of fact, after writing this, I’m going to go look for a way to bless my husband. I think I’ll give him a kiss. I know he’d like that. And I would too :)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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