Again I was amazed at the things that the Lord has placed on my heart. Josh can tell you that since we began dating I've been sticking to the rule that you never go to bed angry. Even when people have told me that after 2am nothing gets accomplished, sadly I don't sleep so neither does Joshua. Sorry bear.
So I wanted to share this wonderful information so that maybe you could work on your biblical communication with any relationship.
You should note this is all based off of Ephesians 4:25-32 (I'll put the verses below)
25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,”for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. 28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. 29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
1. Be Honest- "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor"
-The first point that should be made on this that when the bible was translated the word be was lost. In the Hebrew bible it emphasized that be must be done. So you must communicate. This isn't clear in the English bibles, even King James. But a key to communication is to talk. There are a lot of people who would like to internalize, or even ignore and move on, this isn't productive on any level. Now in the above version it says speak truth, again saying you MUST speak.
-It speaks of honesty (this is a problem I suffer with) that you speak truth with his neighbor. Okay, so you must be honest, but further more then that if you look back just a few verses to Ephesians 4:15 you find "15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." So you not only have to speak honestly, but you have to do so lovingly with respect to Christ. What is this translated to? It is never okay to lie to someone, it will NEVER be rewarded by God, no matter how innocent the lie, no matter if you were trying to save their feelings, it is not liked by God. Beyond that when you tell the truth you can't just blurt it out (my issue). You can't just lay it on them and fire off, you must bring the truth to them lovingly as if you were speaking directly to Christ. Let me put a simple scenario in your mind: you're sitting down to dinner, just you and your spouse and you start rattling off all of the things he has done to upset you, only to look over and see Jesus Christ sitting at the next table. He isn't just looking directly at you, he has tears in his eyes. WHY?! Because you have insulted the man who he created for you! Beyond that, lets say it's a child, a co-worker, you have still caused bitterness and anguish to grow in their heart, something so perfect that our God knitted them together, breathed life into them!
Okay moving on, I think you realized the concept of this one. Let me just inform you of something, though number 3 in the list is my all time worst one, this is second! I speak to you and fire off on this one because until recently I didn't realize the toll my words were taking on Joshua. I thought that if what I wanted, if what I was saying was biblically true, that God would be pleased with me. How wrong I was. I was still damaging Joshua's heart. Hardening his heart to me.
2. Keep Current- "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give the devil a place."
-We've all heard it before, most don't do it though. Joshua and I have only maintained this because I'm stubborn. There were 4 points he made in the video as to why this is important but here are the ones I found the most important.
When you've just fought one emotion that is almost certainly coursing through you is anger. Now some would like to then have a movie scene play out where the anger is turned to passion/lust and you just can't get enough of you. Well I certainly have NEVER experienced such a thing. Let me know if you have! But when you're angry its saying that something that they said caused discord in your heart or soul. Then you have a choice you can take that anger, lash out, do MORE damage to that person and to your relationship. Or you can maybe take a break, collect your thoughts, and take that anger and harness it to uncover what the issue was/is. You can use the anger to expose what was so hurtful or upsetting. You can also use it to try and move closer and learn from it. Righteous anger is more then allowable! Jesus, the perfect man, was known to be Righteously angry! Jesus angry! Can you imagine!?
Another point to be made is that if you don't deal with this situation what happens when something tomorrow happens, bigger, smaller, different. You have just PILED problems. That's not helpful. If you're still angry with that person from YESTERDAY or three weeks ago why in the world would you have any reason to work through this issue, want to work through it? Why would you want to assume they have good intentions. You're going to assume the worst, because you let it pile up!
-The next part: "Nor give the devil a place." This is huge. You put toooooo much time between you and incident and you're allowing the devil time to corrupt your thoughts. Why is it when you start delving deep into faith, your world starts to fall apart? Why is it when really bad fights arise you can sometimes see the devil's hand? He's there, fighting the bad fight. He's there trying to corrupt your marriage, your husband, your children. He hates the idea of a family. So don't let me take your precious time with your family by poisoning you all because you didn't want to deal with it!
You have a couple, husband and wife. They fight, instead of dealing with their respective issues as a couple they pile them into a suitcase. Each and every time they do this. Because their zipped into a suitcase they can put on a pretty face and make a good appearance, but the suitcases go with them everywhere just like your problems. As they don't deal with issues, they don't stay current the suitcases expand to hold their problems. The suitcases are at the dinner table, in the car, but very much still in the bedroom. You can't not have your problems brought into your bedroom. Where you enjoy the most intimate part of your spouse, you have this huge suitcase of issues that you haven't dealt with. So what happens? You don't have sex, you don't enjoy the best part, the part of your marriage that's left for marriage, all because you didn't deal. I know for me the last thing I want when I think Joshua is being a butt head, is to enjoy that with them. No way!
So next time you think of putting it off, remember you're allowing time for the problems to pile, for the devil to poison the pile and for your sex life to be harmed. All for what? Don't get me wrong and don't misunderstand me, sometimes YOU NEED a break. I don't understand this concept well (ask Joshua) but sometimes he needs to break so he doesn't say things that will hurt me.
3. Attack the problem, not the person.
-This carries on a little from loving them. When you start attacking who they are as person you say to them "I don't like you." Again when I'm being crazy that is a part of who I am but the issue is that I'm acting crazy by assuming he'll leave me. Or because he's not spent enough time with me. That's the issue. If Joshua were to say "Well you have too high of standards, you're unrealistic in YOUR expectations. You're acting crazy." that's hurtful, whereas if he says "Honey, I thought I had been spending enough time with you, clearly I haven't. Can you explain to me how I can do that better." It's not easy, because when he sits there and fires off on me, I want to ream him! How dare he act like that, that's not how God would like him to be, I deserve better as a Daughter of the King, etc. But I have to remember nothing is outside of God's control. NOTHING. Not even Josh's terrible words, my crazy, our mutual issues. All God's and he can handle them all! So try and stop attacking your spouse on a human level on a personal level and attack the problem. Focus your anger and frustration onto what caused him to feel this way? what can i do to make it better?
4. Act, Don't React
-This is important. No one needs trained on what their body will do when a hand comes flying towards your face. If your arms aren't quick enough to stop it, your eyes will blink, you're head will jerk back, if not your whole body! Reactions are programmed right into who you are. You're angry, you react. You're sad, you react. But what if we tried to stop. What if instead of throwing things and screaming we hugged and apologized even when the problem is 99% his problem and 1% yours? What if he did that instead of walking off? What if when he hurts you, you don't clam up, shut down but you open up, lovingly and honestly? What happens then?
I'm not saying all communication can be solved and dealt with these four rules, but God put them there for a reason. Communication is key to any relationship, so if you start communicating better what relationships can be mended?