Part 3 of a 3 Part Series
In the last two posts we have described how to speak to your spouse’s heart and given you some topics to try. (If you missed week one’s post, you can read the eight steps here. Week two’s post gives you some good questions with which to dig deeper.)
This week’s question goes much deeper—to the heart of many problems. If you can understand the forces that shaped your mate, it will go a long way to helping you understand why they respond the way they do.
Only proceed with this question if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, Appendices B, C, and D in The Marriage Dance will give many less-probing questions.
Was there a traumatic event or a painful pattern of life that shaped who you are? Tell me about it. What feeling or emotion do you still carry from that event or pattern? What was the message that you believed from that event or pattern of events? How have you lived your life based on that belief or message? In other words, what adjustments did you make in your life in response to that event or pattern of events? Did you make a vow such as, “I will never let this happen to me again,” in response to that event? Did you ask God what He wanted you to do or did you begin living your life according to your own wisdom? Did your faith grow stronger or weaker as a result of your choice? Have you asked God to show you this event or pattern of events from His perspective? What did you feel He was telling you about it? If you chose your own way of dealing with the situation, have you asked God to forgive you and told Him you want to start handling it His way from this point forward? If not, would you like to pray now? What is the best way for me to help you? If I notice an area in your life where I think you are not totally free, do you want me to point it out to you?
Notice the pattern of going deeper and deeper. Be sensitive to the fact that your mate may not be ready to go there. It is far more important that you be sensitive to his or her feelings and that they know you genuinely care about them than that you make it to the end of the questions. It is essential that they know you are rooting for them and that it is safe to share with you.
Our book, The Marriage Dance, will give you many more conversation starters for speaking to your spouse’s heart.
Couples who have tried speaking to the heart at our seminars and workshops say they will use this method for the rest of their life. May the Lord bless you as you try this means of communicating.
This post was originally published on The Marriage Dance blog on June 23, 2016.