So…it is really hard to seperate the two of these. I hear so much how the best way to improve intimacy with your partner is through communication or merely talking.
I Call B.S.
The first “Stone” of marriage is Safety. Let me preview the stones first.
When deciding about marriage and what was important to making it work, I came up with I believed to be the five most important “things” to have. But, of course I couldn’t just call them “things”. I needed something way cooler.
After much thinking I started doing some research on stones. We can think about stones in a couples of different ways. But, what came to mind for me was stepping stones. The way you might use them to go from one side of a river to another.
Assuming the stone are big enough of course.
Well, what I slowly remembered was that a “stone” is a unit of measurement in some European countries. It is the equivalent of 14 pounds. When I multiplied 14 times 5 I got 70.
Upon doing some further research I found out that the number 70 was the number of parables that Jesus spoke in the four Gospels. Not 70 per gospel but 70 if you add up the parables found in each of the Gospels.
So….stones it is.
Now, I like to think that the stones are in no particular order, seeing how each stone weighs the same. But then I realized that in order for everything else to work, the “safety” stone had to be the most important.
What does that mean?
It means that for any marriage to work well, I strongly feel that creating an environment of safety is the most important thing you can do.
Before your spouse can communicate…
They have to feel safe enough to talk to you. They have to feel like they can come to you about anything and you won’t yell, be negative, criticize, tell them there an idiot, or make them feel less than what they are.
Your job as a the head of the household is to make sure your wife (and kids for that matter) want to talk to you first about anything before they talk to anyone else.
They should know that you are not going to lose your cool and fly off the handle. If your wife doesn’t feel safe, both physically and emotionally, in the their own home then you really have to reassess what is happening in your kingdom.
I promise you, if the safety is not there, neither will be the communication. Once your spouse knows they are safe, that they can trust you don’t have one foot out the door, other things become much easier.
Now, I won’t say that just plain talking is always easy. After a decade together things can get pretty complacent sometimes. My wife told me questions are key. And not just, “How was your day” kind of thing.
Maybe there is something going on in your life that you could ask your spouse’s opinion about. What would they do if presented with a particular situation?
Tell them about a book your reading and find out what they think about the premise.
Or maybe ask them about their “cherry and pit” for the day. In other words what was the best part of their day and the worst part of their day. Really, how often do you ask someone about the worst part of their day. And I won’t take credit for that one. I heard about the the cherry and pit from a presenter at a conference a few weeks ago. It certainly made me think about how much more intentional, and the outcome of the conversation might be, with a question like that.
Here’s to happy communicating in a safe environment.