Normally, for many married couples, our lives are so busy with family, work, and church responsibilities that the majority of our conversations within marriage are centered around running the business that is our family. Finances, schedules, who has to work late, etc. Busy lives robbed us of the opportunity to truly get to know and understand our spouse proactively as the majority of our interactions are reacting to the moves and vicissitudes of our daily lives. If COVID-19 has brought anything positive to your life, we have found that this increased time of being at home and togetherness has pushed us into a new world of communication. We call it “communication during corona”.
The best communication experts have long taught that most people in communication speak as they want to be heard rather than speaking as their listener would like to receive. We find ourselves saying what we want to say, when we want to say, and how we want to say it. Further, because our lives are so busy, and we often times have one million thoughts simultaneously running through our minds that unless it’s our anniversary, spouse’s birthday, or some other special occasion we don’t make it a daily practice to communicate as they would want to hear.
However now that we are home, in an increased effort to continually work on our marriage, we have added “communication during corona” as a discipline (in addition to the spiritual disciplines of praying, fasting, studying the word, and meditation). Truly it is a practice to think critically before you speak, not about what you want to say, but how your spouse would like to hear it. For example, as a left-brained engineer, I (Damon) tend to speak in short, concise sentences with the verb at the beginning of my sentence – “Increase the volume on the TV, I can’t hear.” And since I (Khalia) am not an engineer, but rather a right-brained creative, I prefer to receive sentences with more detail and the use of adverbs to modify verbs in a sentence making direct commands, sound more like gentle requests – “If you wouldn’t mind, please increase the volume on the TV as I would like to enjoy the show with you.”
It’s a struggle and work to speak in the way your spouse would like to receive. This is why it’s a discipline, because it takes practice added to desire multiplied by time subtracted from pride. There is no better time than the present to practice communication during corona, to provide your family a marriage boost after corona. God bless you!
Rev. Drs. Damon and Khalia Williams Providence Missionary Baptist Church Atlanta, GA