A gracious woman gets honor. Proverbs 11:16
This week I listened to a webinar on life coaching. This was the basic question being addressed: How do we help people make healthy changes in their lifestyle? The program was designed for health care workers, but it applies to family life as well. I took notes as I listened and identified practical tips for encouraging changes in behavior (mine and my husband’s).
It is easy for me to get frustrated with my husband’s way of doing home repair. We have different perspectives. It’s the engineer with great designs vs. the manager of home and hospitality.
The first thing I need to do is, to listen to him explain his plans. Then I can ask questions—helping both of us to see a project more clearly. The conversation should include two reflections for every question. A reflection restates what the other person has said and confirms understanding.
Making demands or instructing my husband on what needs to be done doesn’t work. Instead demands throw a wedge in our relationship and can shut down our communication. We can both be pretty self-centered. I want a project done yesterday. Hubby wants to work on his own time-line. The appearance is important to me and hubby is satisfied when it is functional. We need to listen to each other in turn and compromise.
I am not going to get everything I want, but we can stay us on a path of progress, working together. We can increase our understanding of each other’s strengths.
Dialogue works (supporting motivation) when positive comments are in a 3:1 ratio with negative comments, for relationships in general. In a marriage relationship the positive to negative comment ratio needs to be 5:1. I was startled when the lecturer said this. I need to improve!
How often do I notice the good things my husband is accomplishing? Do I let him know? Do I affirm his strengths?
The word I chose for 2015 is gracious. I have been paying attention to the way I interact with people that I meet. And I can still grow in graciousness toward my husband in our daily life.
The apostle Paul’s letters to the Christians at Ephesus and Colosse addresses husbands and wives. They struggled in their relationships too!
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Colossians 3:18