Ro-Lisa Orlando

Success can come from our differences:

 It is no secret, men and women communicate differently.  Women are more verbal whereas men are less expressive of their feelings.  Women use conversation to search out or express their feelings and men use conversation as a means to solve a problem.  With such diverging starting positions, can there be effective discussions or communication?

The answer is yes.  Although we are made differently, we were made to complement each other.  This is especially true in the marriage relationship. In a marriage relationship both husband and wife bring their sets of flaws and idiosyncrasies to the table as well as their strengths. These however, should not prevent effective communication.  Nor does either person have to be “fixed” as so called experts would have us believe.

Take my wife and I for example.  I am a huge extrovert whereas my wife is an introvert.  Although I like to talk, I rarely talk about how I feel. My wife on the other hand, can do this rather easily.  My wife is a great listener whereas I, well, I’m working on it.  I am quick to want to find a fix, whereas my wife just wants to work out an issue verbally.  I tend to be a bit sarcastic, which is not always appreciated.

In spite of all this, we have excellent communication because we didn’t just give up trying to communicate after things broke down.  Nope, we powered through and got better.  With the help of the great Counselor, we remained committed to improving.  My sarcasm also improved to an almost imperceptible level….lol

Men and women were made in God’s image and therefore do not have to be fixed. We are however, marred by sin, which is in our DNA.  Therefore, we are not perfect to begin with.  But if you know Jesus Christ as your savior, you have access to a teacher and a counselor.  More specifically, this is the Holy Spirit who lives in us.  We therefore, have access to the fruits of the Spirit as Paul wrote in Galatians.   With this access husbands and wives can be reminded of love, gentleness, kindness and self control.  Since God is love, as John wrote in 1 John 4:8, a couple that is has a true foundation on the Rock, will be reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  This kind of love seeks to improve communication.

Well, the truth is that God made men and women different.  Even with these differences two can still be “won.”  And despite what some “relationship experts” say, men and women don’t have to be “fixed.”

Here are 4 simple ways guys can work at communicating:
One, communicate clearly.  For guys this means that we may actually have to tell our wives how we feel.  This does not come naturally, but we can do this as we grow in love.
Two, don’t problem solve.  In other words when listening we shouldn’t be quick to offer a solution, because most of the times that is not what’s wanted.
Third, be a passive listener.  This means we acknowledge what our wives are saying without being quick to offer solutions or opinions.  And the last item, number four, act only when your wife is done speaking and if she asks you to do so.  From her perspective, she may not want a solution as much as she wants your time. It’s almost like playing “Simon says,”  if your wife does not “say,” you do not “do.”

Although a brief review may be helpful, your wife will usually have no problem reminding you of the 4 keys to communicating in a marriage relationship.  Trust me, I’ve been through the training….lol

What Can A Husband Learn About the Resurrection and New Life?

Rob n Lisa Godspell 2014

As I contemplate on Good Friday and Easter, I first thank God for sending His one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Scripture is clear that Jesus, Lord of Lords and King of kings, came to be a servant to many; Matthew 20:28, “…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He gave us an example of what it is and how to love, as stated in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus also gave us an example of how to be a great leader in Mark 10:43-44, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”

I also think about how this applies to a marriage relationship. First, let’s talk about love. If we learn anything from God’s word it’s that love is a verb not a noun. In other words, if I am to love my wife as the Bible teaches me to love, then I have to do more than just say “I love you.” I must show and be the fruits of the Spirit for my wife; gentleness, kindness, patience, peace, joy and perseverance (Galatians).

Second, I must serve my wife with the compassion with which Jesus served. Although my wife also has a responsibility to serve her husband, I must be the lead in this. I must not wait to be served but I must serve with love, with patience and with joy.  Serving in this context means being available, being helpful, being supportive, being loyal, and being trustworthy.  In other words, I am leading by serving.

Third and last, as a husband I must be a leader. Jesus taught his disciples to be servant leaders.  This is also the type of husband I am supposed to be; Matthew 20:25-26a, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you.”  Although this was not a direct teaching about marriage, it does have applications to how I am to treat my wife.  If I am to be the husband that brings glory to God I must not only love and serve, but I must lead.  I am to be the spiritual leader of my wife.  This does not mean that I am her boss or her master. But being a servant leader means that I serve my wife and sacrifice for her.

So let this Easter be a new beginning  to your marriage. Just as Jesus came to make all things new, let the Spirit of the risen Christ encourage you to keep your marriage relationship fresh, new and “won.”