Here is a guest post be Cody Chapman, who is a good friend of mine, and I love how he shows us as husbands how we can actually navigate hard seasons in life in the spirit through preparation and communication. Please read and learn from his wisdom.
Here’s a really bad idea: Kiss your wife goodbye and move to another state leaving her with your 3 boys, 5-day old baby girl, and wife with the responsibility of getting the house and ready to move to a new home. Oh, did I mention that I did this? Well, I did, and go figure, IT WENT GREAT! No, really, it did! Sure there were a few moments where the stress and emotions weighed on us, but our marriage and family thrived through the whole thing.
How we did this is no secret. Here are three super practical ways we avoid miscommunication when life is a tad busy.
1. We Set Our Vision
Heading into the time where we knew we would be apart, have a new baby, a new job, and be preparing to move, we had to set our big vision. In short, we had to remember our ‘why’. The truth is that when you have a big enough ‘why’ you can endure pretty much any ‘what’. Our ‘why’ was huge! We were moving not just into a new home in a new state, but into a new season of life! A season of life we were super excited about! Because we set our vision for this season and remembered our ‘why’, little things that may have thrown others off track were merely blips on the radar for us because we had bigger fish to fry. When you go through life with no big vision, no purpose, and no compelling ‘why’, everything becomes a big deal. When life gets busy, have a compelling vision and hold onto your ‘why’ for that season.
2. We “Focused On The Few”
After we set our vision and chose to hold onto our ‘why’, we had to set a small list of non-negotiables that would help us get through this period of time. A list of just a few simple things that would help keep us emotionally intact while we navigate this time. Our list wasn’t anything crazy. We included things like nightly FaceTime calls as a family, morning picture text messages, messaging through the day, and daily time with friends to stay encouraged so we didn’t begin to feel alone or isolated. These few things, when put into practice every day, made a huge difference and can do the same for you! Make sure that the list is small and meets both you and your spouse’s needs.
3. We Over-Communicated Like Crazy
We hashed over our plan multiple times, ran multiple scenarios, and at the end of it all, we communicated it over and over again. Over-communicating is important because what is communicated isn’t always what’s heard. You say one thing and your spouse hears something completely different. This is common, so don’t feel like you are alone if this happens to you. This kind of communication breakdown happens because what’s being communicated isn’t communicated clearly enough and often enough. The fix? Talk more! Communicate more! Communicate your plan, and then do it again and again.
Your Turn: Have you ever gone through a situation like this? how did your marriage handle it? Do you have any advice for husbands to help them navigate hard seasons in life?
Cody Chapman is a husband and father who is passionate about seeing men reject passivity, and accept the responsibility and calling as the leaders of their homes. Cody and his wife, Stefani, founded On Purpose Marriage, a marriage resource to encourage couples to live with intentionality in both their relationship with each other and the Lord. Cody and Stefani have been married since 2009, and are enjoying life in the Pacific Northwest together with their four children. You can read more of his articles over at onpurposemarriage.co and codychapman.com you can also follow him on Instagram here.