Saturday, July 30, 2016

Speaking Their Language

Last year, my wife, then girlfriend, and I went to a ballet called "Ballet Under The Stars" in a local park.  The night air was crisp, the stage lighting was excellent, and the dancers were talented.
We attended the event with her brother and sister-in-law.  During the highlight of the show, while probably the best routine was being performed, I was literally about to utter, "Wow, this is powerful."
Just before I said these words, my wife's sister-in-law said, "Wow, this is beautiful."

I chuckled a little under my breath.  Here we were, watching the exact same show, and my first words were about power and her first words were about beauty.  Same observation, completely different interpretation.

Or was it?

If we take a coin, then on one side is beauty and on the other side is strength.  It is a paradox of being one-in-the-same coin and yet opposite sides, just as with gender, men and women are both humans who unite as one flesh and yet are so different from one another.  A man and a woman unite and paradoxically can help each other to become more masculine and more feminine, thus even more distinct from one another, yet even more united as one flesh - a mysterious, glorious, fearful process.

Anyway, let's get back to the practical point I'm making.
Men and women speak differently.  We all know that.  However, have you ever thought of trying to speak your partner's language?  What if the two of you were looking out at a sunset or a sky full of stars, and as a man, you looked to your beautiful woman and said, "These stars are beautiful and they are like a decoration to go with your beauty.  You are beautiful."

What if you were a woman looking at the sunset or the sky full of stars and said, "This sky is powerful, the sheer massiveness of it is so powerful, and it moves me.  The stars move planets and you move me.  You are powerful and you move me."

The point I'm trying to make here is that as couples, we need to practice trying to put things into the language of our spouses.  It is truly a cross-cultural arrangement and we must dare and risk speaking to our spouses, not as we wish to be spoken to, but as they desire.

The best way to do this is to ask, "How can I speak to you in the way that affects you?"  Or, try stuff out, and then ask, "Did you like the way I expressed that to you?"
This is a good way to start.