Have you ever talked to someone who wouldn’t look you in the eye? Have you ever tried to carry on a conversation with someone who was clearly distracted? It’s frustrating. Their body language makes it clear they don’t care about you.
When the uncaring person is a stranger—someone you’ve just met, like checker at the grocery store—then uncaring communication is only a minor annoyance. But what if the lack of caring comes from your spouse?
That’s when it becomes painful.
For proper communication to take place in marriage, you must be careful to show your spouse that you really do care. How do you do it? For one thing, you should regularly affirm and honor them by telling them how important they are and how much you care about them.
But words only go so far. A more powerful way to show you care is through action. The way you live your life shows that you care.
I’ve identified seven components of life that can most effectively communicate love and concern to your spouse:
- Eye contact
- Affection and body language
- Countenance (the look on your face)
- Voice level and tone
- Frequency of contact
- Attitude toward serving and pleasing
- Sensitivity to inner needs, hurts and desires
Demonstrate these seven components in a positive, consistent manner, and your spouse will know how much you care for them without you even having to vocalize it. This makes it much easier for them to open up and communicate with you.
But if these seven components are absent from your life—or if they are present but in a negative or inconsistent manner—then you are demonstrating a lack of real caring to your spouse.
It doesn’t matter what words you use. The uncaringness of your actions completely negates any caring things you might say. It creates a barrier to good communication and results in a wounded spouse.
With every area of our hearts and lives, we must communicate daily to our spouses the fact that we care about them. We do it with our words and we do it with our actions.
One last thought: Caring doesn’t require strong emotions. It’s not a feeling, but a choice. The core of genuine, Christlike concern is making a willful decision to appreciate and support another individual.
Once you have made that choice and acted upon it in tangible ways, positive feelings will almost always follow. This is just one of the blessings of a marriage built on willful obedience to God.