A sheepdog holds the line, stands guard, confronts evil, and battles against the vilest enemies of society. These stressors often translate into a tone that resembles the verbal commands on the battlefield. Think about the power of words. The same applies to the tone in which you deliver them. How effective would your verbal commands be toward an adversary if you gave those commands like you were reading a bedtime story?
The tone of your voice has the power to either bless or devastate your marriage. You know the power of command, but when communicating with your spouse, command is best shown by making your spouse a priority in every way. This will not come easily, my warrior brothers and sisters, and it will require intentional, daily effort. Friends talk to each other with respect and admiration, and before you were ever spouses or lovers, you were friends. It’s the little things that add up over time, and a failure to communicate effectively in your marriage leads to trouble down the road.
It is often impossible to convey tone through text messages. Commit to spending more time communicating face to face instead of via text. In fact, save the “hard stuff” for in-person communication only. If you want to create room for open and honest conversation, a loving, respectful, and gracious tone will establish trust, encourage love, and invite future discussion. Maybe this means you take a few minutes before responding if you feel tempted to respond with a harsh tone. Does your conversation reflect grace, or does it incite strife and contention?
You may not be in a position to communicate with your spouse during your tour, but if you are, be sure to remember they may not be aware of the stressors you are facing at the moment. Strive to use a conversational tone that reflects love and invites future discussion. One thing to consider is using tactical breathing techniques before engaging with your spouse. Or ask for a few minutes to decompress when you return home from duty. Your spouse may request the same from you!
What does your tone of conversation convey to your spouse? Your tone of voice can bring your warrior peace and help them relax. There is no “off” switch for your sheepdog, but it helps them relax if they have a haven to come home to. Both of you have your own stressors and triggers, but if you can both try to remember you are on the same team, fighting for one purpose, and governed by the same loving God, these can be powerful reminders that help tame the tone of your conversations.
Heavenly Father, help us remember that everything we say to each other and the way we say it conveys either the love you have shown us or contention and strife. Help us be more intentional with the words we speak to one other and the tone in which we deliver them. May we honor your great name with the way we converse in our marriage today. Amen.