Start connecting – but how? Are you tired of “pass-the-salt” conversations?
Encouragers start conversations that make an impact.
Part of connecting with your spouse is exploring ideas and concepts. Those conversations don’t need to be about feelings or emotions – ’cause some people (men and women) just aren’t wired to express that way.
Try talking about ideas to start connecting…
Gary Chapman (of the 5 Love Languages) and Ramon Pressman, have a book called “101 Conversation Starters for Families”. It’s suitable to start a conversation with your whole family – kids and spouse. (Though there is a similar book just for couples, I prefer the family version. For some reason, the questions in the Family version engender deeper conversations.)
Here are some examples of the questions:
- What is your favorite television commercial
- I think the best job in the world would be…
- If you had an extra hour at the end of the day to do anything you wanted, how would you spend that hour?
These aren’t deep questions – but imagine adding the question “why” after each answer… your goal would be to gather clues to what’s in your spouse’s heart and mind. There are seasons in life where we don’t spend time thinking abstract thoughts or pondering deeper questions. This is just a little tool to introduce that kind of thinking. It’s soft and unobtrusive.
Go a little deeper to start connecting.
What if these kinds of questions are good, but you and your spouse feel like going deeper?
Use Proverbs. Start Connection by using Proverbs
Robert has been reading Proverbs over and over for the last year – he’s in his seventh time through. He’ll regularly come to me with a thought from Proverbs that hasn’t been clear the last six times.
We spend time discussing what the concept means to us – at this time in our lives. We’ve had some pretty deep conversations. Not all of them were comfortable, but they have been enlightening…
- “Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
- “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
- “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.” Proverbs 16:19
It’s amazing what can come out of a discussion on a specific concept.
Another important suggestion I need to share: give your spouse time to ponder and answer. Not every person can immediately articulate what they’re thinking – for some of us it takes a few moments to put what we want to say into words. If you’re the talker in the relationship, I give you one word: pause. Hold your breath – count to twenty-five. Let the silence rule so your spouse doesn’t feel rushed to answer.
Try posting on the ‘fridge a few of the Proverb verses or other quotes that spur your imagination – maybe create your own booklet to discuss…
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