Our daily exposure to superficial noise via the Internet, social media, TV and radio makes it easy for us to become immune to significant communication. We become a soundbite culture and we can’t build meaningful relationships with soundbites. Jesus made a habit of getting away from the noise in his everyday life to have some meaningful communication with his Heavenly Father. He was intentional about dedicating blocks of uninterrupted time to focus on his most important relationship. So as couples, we need to work hard at nurturing meaningful conversations that will build the most important earthly relationships we have with our spouses. Here are five tips on how to make the best use of the times we do find to form connections:
1. Set a regular time and place. Look at your calendars and schedule at least one block of time per week for some uninterrupted conversation.
2. Get ready…ask yourself “What are the two most important things we need to talk about?” “Is it a major decision deadline that’s approaching?” “Or is it a problem between the two of us or with one of the kids?” Develop your agenda so you’re ready to discuss the important things first.
3. Stay on topic. Once a good conversation gets rolling, it’s tempting to dump the whole load of what you wanted to discuss over the last six months. Unfortunately, that usually leads to information overload, confusion, and the frustrated feeling of “What are we talking about?”
4. Be sensitive to the time when your conversation gets too deep or goes too long. Intellectual and emotional fatigue come into play even when the conversation is going great. Stop and ask…”Do we want to keep talking about this?” Your goal is for the conversation to end positively and productively.
5. Close with a “Thank you. I appreciate you listening.” The conversation will eventually weaken. One of you may withdrawal, both or one may explode. These symptoms indicate that it’s time to stop before all the good conversation morphs into a bad conflict. End your time by reviewing any decisions that were made and be sure to close with “Thanks for listening. I’m glad we got to talk about this.”