Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT) - 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
Affection - the ability to openly express verbal and physical affection to the satisfaction of your spouse
Empathy - the ability to empathize with others and focus on the needs and desires of others, especially your spouse
COMMUNICATION-the ability to honestly and openly communicate in a gracious manner (the ability to talk about your feelings)
Write out things first, and then graciously communicate what you’ve written.
CONFRONTATION-the ability to complain and confront your spouse in a gracious and timely manner
FEEDBACK-the ability to receive complaints, correction, and input in a gracious manner without being defensive or hostile. I can receive it without being hostile.
The next time you find yourself becoming defensive with your spouse, calm down and reflect on what they are saying.
RESPONSIBILITY-the ability to take responsibility for your behavior and say you are sorry with sincerity and grace in a timely manner. (Can you say you are sorry or wrong?)
Be more proactive to recognize where you went wrong, and own up to it.
SERVICE-the ability to serve and give to others who are not reciprocating, especially your spouse
Stop keeping score.
FORGIVENESS-the ability to process anger, offenses, and disappointments in a timely and gracious manner
Refuse to bottle up frustration and offenses; instead, bring them to God and a trusted friend for processing.
VULNERABILITY-the ability to be vulnerable and reveal weakness without fear or shame
Tell your spouse a weakness you see in yourself that you have never revealed or always felt uncomfortable sharing.
JOY-the ability to be joyful and faith-filled in the midst of difficulty. The opposite is being cynical, fatalistic, negative.
Practice gratitude. Learn to say two things you are grateful for before you issue one complaint.