I had a special treat in my life last week. I got to go out of town with two long time friends – Julie (Blanford) Cagwin and Brenda (Carney) Warner. Bren and her friend Amy, flew into Charlotte to speak in Spartanburg. Julie and I got to play chauffeur. Kurt and Bren have a new book coming out this weekend called “First Things First: the rules of being a Warner…what works, what doesn’t and what really matter most.”
I have shared with you before my constant struggle to speak openly and honestly. The Lord used Bren and this book to speak this truth to my heart once again. “…the rule in our house is, if you don’t talk about your feelings and then the other person doesn’t respond the way you want, it’s your problem, not the other person’s. Kurt always knows what I’m thinking. I’m an open book. I don’t play games waiting for him to figure it out. I tell him.” (P.226) Kurt states just how clear she can be “She’ll say to me, “Tell me I’m beautiful.” Or she’ll say “When I come downstairs after getting all dolled up, I want you to say, “Wow!”
At first glance, this just seems out of place to me. Is a compliment still a compliment if I have to ask my husband to give it to me? The answer is “yes”. Hopefully he is already thinking it, I just to let him know I need to hear it.
So, I tried it out yesterday. “Greg, can I plan a get-away for our anniversary?” He didn’t seem too taken back. I, mean, I had hinted at it a couple of times, but sometimes I don’t do too well with the up front approach (and you know what? I usually end up disappointed when I don’t communicate my wants. We already talked about expectations being pre-determined disappointments.) There you have it. He said yes and now I don’t have to spend any more energy wondering what we are going to do on July 25th.
Jesus actually is the one who is telling us to make our communication clear; not a game we play. “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37 (NIV) No hinting. No mind games. Just clear, up front communication. Sounds like a sound way to keep the enemy out of our relationships to me!
PS I encourage to buy Kurt and Bren’s book! It is a very good read!