A Woman’s Emotions (Part Three) by Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Gary Smalley says in DNA of Relationships similar things– we must be curious about the other person, and treat them as what they have to say is the most important thing for us to hear at the moment they are saying it…
Again, even though Dennis Rainey is telling men to listen their wives, ALL SUCCESSFUL communication requires ALL parties to engage at this level, and not just one party…

Ephesians 5:25
Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

I like what Erma Bombeck says, that “marriage is life’s last chance for adults to grow up.” That’s what many men need to do when dealing with the emotions their wives naturally face during different seasons of their lives. We need to understand those emotions and not belittle them.

The first thing I had to do to help Barbara grow emotionally was put aside my own agenda and selflessly reach out to her. You can’t simultaneously be understanding and defending yourself. One gives way to the other.

Have I always known what to do when Barbara was working through her emotions? No. Did I take it personally? Absolutely. I remember taking all of Barbara’s emotions like I was a failure. I had to choose to “give myself up for her,” to help her with her emotions.

The second thing I needed to do was verbalize my commitment to her frequently. I was caught off guard by Barbara’s insecurity regarding my love for her early in our marriage. Barbara’s trust in me had to be built one brick at a time. You don’t just walk down the aisle and all of a sudden have a trustworthy relationship. You have to constantly reaffirm that love and trust.

The third thing I had to do was to give her space for her identity, to reflect who God is in her life that makes her a woman. My assignment, as a man, is to take her emotions and to value them, never saying, “You shouldn’t feel that way.” I need to let her express what she’s feeling. And respond by saying, “I’m glad you shared with me because I’m interested in how you feel.”

Finally, you can gently point your wife to find her confidence in God by leading her in prayer together. Read through Psalm 31:1, which declares “In Thee, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Thy righteousness deliver me.” In Him, I have nothing to fear.

Ask the Lord to help you both grow in your understanding of one another’s emotions and to learn to be sensitive, to lovingly listen and affirm your mate.

Are you encouraging or discouraging your wife in sharing her emotions? What can you do to start encouraging her and stop discouraging her?

Dear God-
Help me to affirm and encourage my wife’s feelings and trust in me to share those feelings, and please also be with her in encouraging me to share my feelings and expressions as well. May we encourage and value each other and anyone else with whom we communicate in our lives. May Your Holy Spirit guide us in thoughts, actions and words, honoring You in all people.

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