Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11
- You talk too much.
- I don’t feel like talking right now.
- Can we talk about this later?
- Ok, can I get a word in?
- Don’t cut me off when I am talking!
Familiar with any of these?
One of the most overlooked aspects of how we communicate is that of timing.
Knowing what to say is one thing. Knowing what to say and when to say it is another thing all together.
Here are a few scenarios to think through in regards to knowing what to say at the right time:
- How long, if at all, does your spouse need to unwind after they get home from work?
- After a disagreement, which one of you needs to talk about it right away and which one needs “time” before talking about it?
- How would you feel if your spouse woke you up at 2am to talk about an important issue?
- Will it bother your spouse if you ask them what’s for dinner, right after they get home from their 2 hour commute in rush hour traffic?
To these, and any other scenarios around communication, there is not a right or wrong answer. However, finding the right answers for your particular relationship is the challenge because according to Proverbs 25:11, when our words are placed appropriately they are like a golden apple mounted in silver. Have you seen the prices of gold lately? LOL.
Learning how to communicate with our spouse at the right time adds value to our relationship. And if that is true, then the converse has to also be true. That when we ask what’ s for dinner, when our wife is dead tired or ask a husband when he is going to paint the kitchen during his busy season at work, it devalues the quality of the relationship. Misplaced words convey the idea that we don’t care, don’t understand or are insensitive to the needs of the very one that we love so much. And at the point that our husband or wife feels under-valued, it really doesn’t matter if it is true or not.
So how then do we get to the place of speaking right things at the right time?
Ask: If you want to know when it is a good time to talk to your spouse about the bills – ask, “Is now a good time to talk?”, or “When is a good time to talk about the bills?”. It sounds like a simple thing, but all too often we/I just start talking. Something is bothering me and I want to get it out – so out it comes. However, by simply asking our spouse if the time is right to talk we show respect of their time and move a long way toward having a fruitful conversation.
Pray: Nobody knows the right time like Jesus. I often find myself praying, “Lord, what should I say, how should I say it and when.”
Learn Your Spouse: Just by paying attention to how our spouse is wired we can learn when to speak right words at the right time. As we ask and pray we learn. Last night my wife sent me a text, “Pick some ice cream up for me.” Immediately I was a little anxious – what kind of ice cream?. Then I remembered seeing a container of Hagen-Daz Swiss Almond Vanilla Ice Cream in the freezer s few months ago. Just by getting the right flavor of ice cream my wife was thrilled! The point is that as we learn our spouse and pay attention to how they are wired, we learn what is important to them. The same is true of what to speak and when – pay attention & learn.
How about you EYM, do you find that words spoken in right circumstances are worth their weight in gold?