As a person who has been a boy, a man, and a husband, I have gradually learned that love—especially as it relates to women—is most noteworthy in the little things (though I’m still inclined to forget!). It’s no good doing the big things—the ‘romantic’ things—if the little things are passed over. Most women are far too astute to be fooled. And we should be thankful that they are that way. The task of a man who calls himself a partner or husband is to become adept at loving on a stage of little things; where true intent is manifest.
Love In the Little Things is to be a series—part one deals with negotiable language.
The Love in Negotiable Language
Nobody likes to be cornered in a conflict, unless they are one of those rare people who thrive on conflict, winning at all costs, and upsetting people. We all know someone or other like this. But, for the main, people like to be able to get on in friendly relations with others.
It’s even more crucial in marriage; to not only love our spouses, but like them, too.
Enjoying the process of living with each other is about the two-way street compromise. Love is in the little things like negotiable language.
Choosing Words Carefully
Words can either soothe or inflame situations.
Ancient biblical Proverbs tell us that the words of the reckless are like swords (Proverbs 12:18); a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1); that, a wise person uses words with restraint (Proverbs 17:27).
It depends on the words we use, the way we use them, our tone, the timing, and other factors as to how successful our communication, and how harmonious our relationships, will be.
An even more basic consideration is why we would choose our language carefully. If we truly like our spouses—yes, this is beyond loving them—we respect them enough to use negotiable language that demonstrates caring.
What might we say is negotiable language?
It’s language sprinkled with grace, that considers the other person. It’s taking care not to use trigger words. It’s taking care with the timing of things. It’s about taking responsibility for the way we communicate. It’s about issuing respect no matter whether the respect is returned or not. It’s about making sure there is space enough for our partners to breathe and to consider their responses without pressure from us.
Negotiable language is about fair communication.
Love exists in the little things like attending to considerate language. Good relationships and good marriages feature unconditional respect. The language we use soothes conflict and doesn’t inflame it.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.