So tonight, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to talk about communication.  Ah yes, every couple that has ever been to premarital counseling has heard this word.  You get all sorts of tools on how to communicate, there, there are seminars on how to communicate, speakers speak on it and books are written on it.  Inevitably, in my line of work at ministry I hear so much about break downs in communication.

For Ginger and I, it is actually one of our strong suits.  We communicate with each other constantly.  Now, let me say this.  I am a man.  Inevitably in a relationship, a man is going to say the wrong thing.  I'm sure women out there will agree that there are things said that would have been better left unsaid.  And men out there, well, let's face it, we've said things off the cuff that we'd pay huge sums of money to take back.  I'll be talking about a show, American Idol for example, and say, "The adoloscent boys are going to vote for her because of what she is wearing."  Pretty innocent statement from a man's point of view.  Haha.  So what does my lovely wife hear when I say that?  Let me translate:  "That girl is prettier than me and you like to look at her more than me."  Wait!  Hold the phone!  Time out!  Ginger is good, however, of saying if a comment bothers her and will let me know.  Of course, hugging her, kissing her and telling her she is in fact the most beautiful girl in the world (in my eyes she is), helps.  You see, I love to give Ginger alot of encouragement.  Having dealt with food addiction, as she has, sometimes there are insecurites that have to be worked through, and I'm more than willing to help her.  Ginger is very, very beautiful.  She is a bombshell in my eyes, and I want her to see that bombshell through my eyes when she can't see it.  But this is an example of how we communicate.  We believe in not going to bed with anything on our mind. I'll say things like "That's screwed up", or other colorful words, like crap, pissed off, etc. and usually I'm called on it.  Ginger sometimes thinks it's her OCD that causes her to do that, personally I think it is God refining my speech through her.  I married a good girl, a sweet girl, and I want to make sure that I honor her, even in my speech.  I'm learning.

But on the darker side of communication, in my line of work at the ministry I hear about some horrible things.  Verbal abuse is nothing new to me in my past.   I was barraged with it in past relationships and every name you can think of I've been called.  Which is probably one of the reasons why I've never called Ginger anything but a sweet loving name or nickname.  I see the aftermath of such abuse at CR.  And at times, I just don't understand it.  I mean, this is your soulmate and you call her a witch (I changed the letter, I'm sure you can figure it out), or that she is fat, or ugly, etc.  Again, this is your soul mate, the love of your life.  Your wife is the crown jewel of you as a husband, she should be cherished as a priceless jewel.  Maybe because of my past, I realize what a jewel I have in Ginger, but to me there is a breakdown in communication somewhere.  If you were talking with each other, talking about your problems honestly, letting each other speak, and allowing God a place in the conversation, then maybe it wouldn't happen.  But it is a two way street.  Both parties have to agree that there is no place for such language and you should be able to look at you wife, or husband, and go, hey I'm hitting the red line here, lets calm down, walk away, cool down, and revisit this when we are clear headed.  I've seen men treat there dogs better than women, and I've seen women brow beat their husbands to the breaking point.  I realize that there are circumstances involved, past issues, infidelity, addiction, anger, and codependency that play parts in this. 

The fact is this.  One of the things Ginger and I talked about before we got married was that certain words were not an option.  The D word for one.   Disparaging words another.  Communication.  On the weekends we discuss how we are doing with finances.  I watch it closely and we adjust if we need to adjust.  We talk about God, and we talk about any issues in the week that need to be discussed.  We are not perfect, we haven't figured out some magical formula, we just talk.  I get in weird moods sometimes and Ginger has learned to allow me time to work that out within myself.  Ginger has times with bipolar where things need to be talked about.  We are patient with each other, loving and forgiving, and inevitably at the end of the night, we curl up next to each other, tell each other we love each other, and fall asleep in each others arms.  I think the thing that makes the difference is a) We invite God to be with us as we talk and b) We allow God to guide us.  Ginger loves her husband, and I know it without a doubt, and Ginger knows I love her with all my heart.  And through our words, and actions, we show it.  Just as we honor and respect God, we should honor and respect each other.  Just my two cents....


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