Communication – The Ostrich
Conflict is a necessary part of life. We cannot expect to live life without conflict yet that is what our fourth “fowl” seeks to do. The four “fowls” of communication can be found in Gary Chapman’s book, “Covenant Marriage”
The Ostrich sees conflict as inherently evil and therefore pretends it is not there and buries his or her head in the sand. Denial is living in fantasy, pretending that reality is not real. If there is a problem to be solved, ignoring it won’t make it go away. A problem not resolved is a growing problem that will only increase over time. For example, let’s look at a common affliction – debt. Debt happens when we spend more than we make. If we live in such a lifestyle over a long period of time, the debt is only going to get worse. Someone could act like it’s not a problem and continue to charge the credit cards but that statement is coming at the end of every month and there are consequences attached to it, usually 18% or higher.
If you have a problem in your marriage and your partner refuses to talk about it, you have a real challenge on your hands. Here are some suggestions:
1. Let your partner know how you feel. Help him or her to appreciate you and understand you emotionally so you can connect at that level of understanding. For example, in our debt illustration, you might say “I feel very scared and insecure. Can you listen to my feelings right now?” Try to reach unity through understanding the emotion, don’t talk about the money, stick to your feelings.
2. Hopefully, your partner will respect and accept your feelings; the Ostrich may try to hide from the problem but he or she cannot hide from you. If there is an unwillingness to talk on this emotional level, a marriage counselor may be a good idea. Emotional intimacy is a must in your marriage and if your partner won’t discuss feelings and won’t discuss the problem, you are all alone and that is not a marriage. God wants you and your spouse to be in agreement (Philippians 2:1-2). How can you be one in spirit and in purpose if you can’t talk about solutions?
3. Speak to your closest friends or family. They may be able to help your spouse appreciate what is going on. Maybe your Pastor or small group leader could help.
This is why we need to be in community. Sometimes we need outside help and if this is a real wall between you, that wall needs to be removed somehow, someway.
4. Help your spouse see that conflict and problems are part of life, they are normal. You will wake up everyday to problems. God allows them so that we can work them out with the help of the Holy Spirit. We can pray for wisdom and knowledge and understanding to help us resolve whatever we are facing. We grow spiritually if we tackle problems together rather than trying to run from them. Trials should bring you closer together not tear you apart.
Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and perseverance must finish its work
so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.