Saturday, 10 December 2011

Nagging is Not a Spiritual Gift - Part II

This is a follow up to Part I by the same title. This posting is starting with the assumption that as a couple you accept the fact that God is using each of you in the life of the other. You are part of God’s sanctification plan for your spouse. However don’t assume that every time you have this great insight as to how your spouse can improve it is of God. Check your heart. Ask yourself, “Self, what is the outcome I am hoping for by sharing my observation with my spouse?” Be honest with yourself. Unless your spouse is not too bright they will quickly see that you have an agenda. If however you are dealing with a sin issue then approach your spouse in a loving, gentle and compassionate way. Mort Fertel suggests the following:

Timing is important
When conversations start out calmly and non-accusatory, they often end in the same manner. Discussions that start out with yelling and screaming will most likely end with yelling and screaming. Approach your partner in a respectful manner and you’ll be more likely to receive a respectful response.

Take a look at the timing. Don’t bring up an important issue when you won’t have time to discuss it. Try to find a time when your partner is going to be able to have time. Bringing up major problems just as your partner walks in the door or when he’s trying to sleep isn’t likely going to get good results.

Examine how you respond when your partner brings up tough issues. Do you accept feedback? Are you open to suggestions? Or do you immediately get angry and defensive? It is important to be able to hear what your partner has to say.”
Throwing a “Bible dart” is usually less than affective. “Ephesians 5:25 says you are to love me as Christ loves His Church and I’m not feeling loved.” zing! It might be more effective to say “Honey, I know you love me but for some reason when you talk to me in that tone I don’t feel loved.”

Mort finished his blog with this advice:

Check in with your partner periodically to see how things are going. Even if you think the marriage is going well, ask your partner. Inquire about what you could do to be a better partner. Ask what would make the marriage even better.

Give your partner feedback about what you think is going well also. Share your appreciation and provide positive feedback even more frequently than you share negative feedback. Providing positive feedback can increase the likelihood that your partner will be more willing to hear negative feedback as well”

The only thing I would add is to ask your partner what would make your marriage more God glorifying, after all that is the purpose of marriage. If you glorify God the rest will take care of itself.

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