Love Talk during Lent…Join us on our journey in couple communication, Part 1

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Lenten ashes marked millions of foreheads yesterday.

Ashes like those remaining after fire burns away impurities.

Dust to dust.

And in marriage once the stardust settles a thick cloud of dust may swirl when sin raises up ugly in one or both partners.

All that dust blurring the marriage vision, eyes tearing and hearts deflating.

But the way out of sin’s destruction is the Way of the Cross. Following Jesus to Calvary. And choosing to die.

And marriage is a profound way to die.

Self going up in flames if a marriage is to burn brightly for the Savior.

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Lent is a time for renewing hearts in love, refreshing minds with truth, and receiving grace humbly so that we can more deeply appreciate God and become more like Christ. Why not dedicate this season of Lent — with all its hard loveliness — to the softening of your heart towards Him and him.

And when experienced in the love of Christ not legalism, Lent is a powerful 40-day journey of the heart where introspection can ultimately lead to removing sinful specks on souls and marriages.

Lent reminds us to focus on what Christ accomplished at the Cross and remember that to love God is to obey God. 

The Latin root of obey comes from obedire which means obey, be subject, serve; pay attention to, give ear, literally listen to.

This etymology stirred my heart as I applied it to marriage: obeying my husband by being subject to {respecting} his headship, serving him in love, paying attention to his needs and giving ear to his heart.

God’s commands to wives — and husbands — are not wearisome when we delight in His love and forgiveness.

And revel in His passion for us that lead his every footstep to the Cross, making us passionate about doing what He says.

Obedience in action not just lip service.

Perhaps God is calling you to jump start increased obedience in marriage these next 40 days while aiming for every day in 365?

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Maybe you and your husband, like me and Michael, have an area in marriage that needs work. Maybe you have a few. Pray and pick one and then ask God to direct you to resources that can help.

Just before Lent began Michael and I ordered Love Talk by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrot. We read it together in the evening and have already begun implementing their tried-and-true suggestions.

And this study on couple communication is helping us honor God more and obedire by choosing to pay attention to, give ear, literally listen to each other better than before.

As a remarried couple with more failed marriages than we care to count, we want to keep growing our marriage safe, strong and happy. Communication is a key skill for a successful, lifelong union.

We are learning a lot.

When you and your partner are communicating well, when you are humming along and in sync, there is an indelible inscription on your relationship that is priceless: “I am known and understood.”

Something for which all marriage partners yearn, but

faulty communication lines pull down an otherwise sturdy relationship: both partners struggle to convey what they want or need in the relationship, never realizing they are speaking a language the other does not comprehend. Over the disappointment, the partners erect defenses against each other, becoming guarded. They stop confiding in each other, wall off parts of themselves, and withdraw emotionally from the relationship. They can’t talk without blaming, so they stop listening.”
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, Love Talk

And all of us married partners can use reminders on how to listen attentively, hear the heart behind the words, not interrupt, and how to use positive speak which fosters love vs. negative speak which destroys.

So from now till Easter I’ll be writing on Thursdays about what we’re learning from Love Talk that can help you in your marriage, and how we two wordsmiths are doing as we practice new communication skills!

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And I invite you to join us and follow along in Love Talk. We would love to know that other couples are doing this with us. Support and strength in numbers! We could even post comments or questions on my Facebook page, if you like.

You can order your copy of Love Talk and the workbooks — one for herone for him — by clicking HERE now.

{This is my Amazon affiliate link and if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no added cost to you. Actually any shopping you might do through this link reflects in my commission — helping to offset the cost of running this site — so thank you for considering to use it.} 

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16 thoughts on “Love Talk during Lent…Join us on our journey in couple communication, Part 1

  1. I so appreciate you and your heart for marriages, Sheila. Truly. Because I don’t think I could tell you that enough. Messages like this are so needed. God bless you! I will need to check out that book. Quality time for hubs and I has been a bit harder lately with lots going on but it remains such a priority for us to make our time together count . . . to continue to grow and cultivate a Christ-like marriage. xoxo

    • Thanks, dear Beth. I think God has given me a heart for marriage because I always wanted a really good marriage just didn’t know how to go about it and messed up more than once 🙁 But God is so delightfully faithful and so gracious and He has gifted me and Michael with a relationship that we nurture all the time now. Wishing you and your hubby wonderful couple bonding/family building times — growing you both closer to Him and each other, with or without the book! 🙂 xxoo

  2. I love your words…”Self going up in flames if a marriage is to burn brightly for the Savior.” How very true, and eloquently phrased. May God richly bless you and your husband as your seek to invest in your marriage.
    Blessings,
    Kamea

  3. I love the Parrotts’ books, Sheila! Such good stuff there … thanks for sharing this resource. Imagine the impact our marriages would have on the watching world if we grew deeper in the spiritual life, hand and hand.

    Weekend blessings to you and Michael …

  4. Sheila, this is such a great new series. I could certainly use “reminders on how to listen attentively, hear the heart behind the words, not interrupt, and how to use positive speak which fosters love vs. negative speak which destroys.” especially as much of the negative talk escapes my own lips. My beloved hates to hear me speaking in that way, and I know it must sadden God’s heart as well.
    Sometimes our ‘natural’ defence systems overrule our best Spirit-led intentions, don’t they?
    As I am mainly the one who needs to work on various issues to make my marriage all it could be (and I’m the only one who actually likes courses and reading books too), I think I will investigate and see what God intends to lead me into. There are many areas of relationship where He is already teaching me things and various reading material I am trying to work through and learn from.
    But I still really appreciate all you are offering here and will dip in as often as I can! Thank you for setting a wonderful example in helping couples to make their marriages stronger by the grace of God. Blessings to you both. 🙂

    • My dear Joy it is always so good to hear from you. And the humility that you express about your struggles in marriage — now that does please Father. And when we share our sins with others scripture says we are healed. You are doing such a great job! And yes, it can take a LONG time to let go of the inner hurts that are a springboard for our sinful choices of self-protection. BUT GOD. And He is always for us. You are getting to a better marriage one step, one day, one word at a time. Something that has helped me in taming my tongue was by REMEMBERING that every word I utter {or think} HE hears and if I speak disrespectfully to my husband I am speaking disrespectfully to Jesus.Blessings for a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  5. Beatiful lady, beautiful thoughts! Sheila…this will certainly come in handy when God lets my hubby find me! 🙂 Thank you for sharing from the heart of God! And thank you for dropping by Speak 2 My Heart…AKA my construction site this week. 🙂

    • You are so welcome, Yolanda. And I look forward to watching your site grow. I revamped my website last fall. It was a massive undertaking of love and persistence. 🙂 and you will get there to. I love how you noted that it is in progress — just like all of us — and we never have to wait till we feel perfect before just being…..who He made us to be. I love that. And you! Blessings and more blessings and thank you for your kind words. It took many years and some failed attempts before a godly man found me. Keep looking up! xxoo

  6. Sheila, LOVE IT! We just had a ReNewlyWed day at our church actually on Valentines day. BEAUTIFUL.

    Have you seen The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere? Another study that pulls no punches as it equips couples to truly communicate, on all levels, in a healthy marriage.

    THANK you for joining the dance at #DanceWithJesus linkup!

    • ReNewlyWed Day??? You have to tell me about that. Sounds delightful and encouraging. And no, I have not seen Story of Marriage but I have read some of their other books. Thanks for sharing. Blessings to you and yours…

  7. “But the way out of sin’s destruction is the Way of the Cross. Following Jesus to Calvary. And choosing to die.

    And marriage is a profound way to die.

    Self going up in flames if a marriage is to burn brightly for the Savior.”

    I really appreciate this post, and I’m eager to read every Thursday what you are learning. Thanks so much for linking this with the Grace & Truth link-up!

  8. I have bought so many books like this and they sit shiny and new on the shelf never opened. How wonderful that you are both of like mind and tendency – we are so different that a single strategy does not work and books remain closed and dust gathers on it all.
    I love the way you write and your encouragement and I wish it were that easy.
    Bless you x

    • Ah, Tania. Life and marriage are never easy and pat. And my husband and I are very different also, yet we are ultimately alike in our devotion to God and becoming more like Him. I pray that you and your hubby can find common ground. Maybe it’s as simple — and profound — as reading a page from the Gospel of John together each evening. I am glad the post encouraged you and I pray that God’s grace will flood your marriage. Keep looking up!! xxoo