I can remember it just like yesterday… those long conversations over the phone with my now husband while we were dating. They first started out being very awkward and quiet because we were both very shy. Jason would be the brave one and start the conversation and I would be doodling on a piece of paper drawing circles, smiley faces and you name it. As the weeks and months passed, the scribbles on paper started to be less and less and the conversations became longer and longer. I was told by some to be careful talking so long as it could lead to a place that unmarried couple didn’t need to be. We discovered the opposite. We discovered each other in a way that wasn’t lustful. It was out of growing love and not lust. Our first conversation face-to-face was about the bible, our beliefs, and the importance that it has in our lives (that’s a fun story for another time). Our first conversation over the phone was about how Jason became upset at the beach when a rented bike locked up and he had to carry it a mile.
I remember hearing my grandmother and my sister shouting the down the hall that I was on the phone for too long. Nighttime just seemed to not even exist. We would have been on the phone for nearly 3 hours and it seemed like it just started. We made time in the late evening out of our busy college life schedule to make sure we talked on the phone if not in person. The days we couldn’t talk to each other would make for a very long day. So, I suppose as a reader you may be thinking… what could they have possibly been talking about for 3 hours. Those three hours that had passed each day was a step in our path to make us who we are. There would be times I would close my eyes and I could almost see him walking through the halls of his high school, middle school and even elementary school and I was right beside him. I could see him playing in his yard with his younger brother and cousins; riding bikes around the house and even throwing pinecones at one another. I could see my husband and who he was that made me fall in love with him. We literally would cover every topic. Whatever issues and topics that would arise in a day we would face them together and help each other through.
Sadly we live in a world today where communication is becoming more of a challenge than normality. With texting, tweeting, Instagram, email, Facebook, SnapChat, etc… we are becoming more reliant on technology to communicate rather than actually sitting down with a nice hot cup of coffee and talking with each other face to face. When we choose to not communicate the trust and familiarity we have erodes, we lose closeness and we lose that connection to one another and before you know it you are avoiding the person all together. It’s too easy to drift away from one another, and it happens too subtly. In any relationship, especially in a marriage, communication has to be constant, open and active on both sides. When we were planning our marriage and moving in with one another (we never lived together before marriage), we considered getting TV because we both grew up with TV. We thought about it, and chose to wait because we wanted to see how the bills were after we got moved into the apartment. That choice, made from trying to save a few dollars, actually helped our newly wed selves considerably because at the end of the day, there was no television to idle away our evenings with. We were there together in our apartment trying to start a life together. Every major (and almost every minor) decision that we make, we do so after a lot of thought, prayer and discussion between us. You don’t get to the point where you can “read someone’s mind” and get to quit talking, you get to the point where you can “read their mind” because you are talking. When there are disagreements and fights, it’s especially important to keep talking. When the communication stops, hurt feelings and bruised egos turn cold and start rotting quickly. Sometimes you have to talk about something completely different especially when it’s hard so that lifeline stays open. We make up goofy songs and make each other laugh to break the ice when it starts forming. The next several blog entries are going to focus on some of the key lessons we have learned when it comes to communicating with each other. We pray that everyone who reads these next few entries takes what we have to say to heart if you’re struggling with communicating with your other half or significant other. We pray that the few words we have been given here can help you take another step towards love, grace and peace with each other through God.