Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Paul & Carolyn Rayne
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000225
00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn, and welcome again to Issues
00:31 and Answers. Today our issue is going to be
00:35 how to have meaningful couple communication in a world
00:39 of disposable marriages. The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21
00:45 that there's the power of life and death in the tongue,
00:49 and we're going to be talking with a couple who are very
00:52 practical, they know how to put God's word into practice,
00:56 they're going to talk to us today about our communication
01:00 between spouses. I want to welcome again,
01:03 Carolyn and Paul Rayne. Thank you all so much
01:07 - for coming back. - Thank you for having us.
01:10 - Tell us about your ministry. - Restoration International
01:14 is a small family ministry up in the northwest corner of Montana.
01:18 We travel all over the US and around the world
01:20 giving camp meetings, and church seminars, community meetings,
01:26 all based on the practical "how tos" of putting
01:31 intellectual knowledge into real, everyday practice
01:35 so that we can be loving and loveable Christians.
01:39 This is true, my husband once told me that the word of God
01:42 needed to be practical, and at first I thought
01:45 "That doesn't sound right, it sounds like you're trying"
01:48 "to take something wonderful and spiritual and bring it down"
01:51 "to the mundane", but what God wants us to do, is Jesus said:
01:55 "Blessed is he who puts his word into practice",
01:59 so that's what it means to be practical, to put God's word
02:02 into practice. Now, on what basis do you
02:05 have the authority to talk to married couples?
02:07 How long have you all been married?
02:13 In fact, the first time we were speaking up front one man
02:15 came up to us and he says: "Are you 2 married?"
02:18 And we said: "Yeah, we've been married"
02:21 "for several years". He says: "You can't be older"
02:24 "than 15", [everyone laughs], but actually we've been married
02:27 18 years in a couple of months time, and the Lord
02:30 - has blessed us. - Yes He has, and you have
02:33 2 lovely children, Carolyn, tell us about them.
02:36 Hannah and Caleb are 9 and a half, and 7 and a half,
02:38 and they're real precious to our hearts.
02:41 I know they are. Before we came on the air
02:44 you were talking about the first time that you ever communicated
02:48 with one another, why don't you share that with us Carolyn.
02:52 Well, I was 24 and I had been raised a Christian, but I had
02:58 walked away from the Lord, and now I had found the Lord again
03:01 and I started going to a different church, people were
03:04 encouraging me: "There's a lot of young people in this church"
03:06 "and you'd really like to go there".
03:09 And finally I decided I would go and we had a discussion group
03:12 in the church, a Sabbath school class, and a young man
03:15 in the group there - handsome looking young man - I'd never
03:17 seen before, started to say how the topic for this week
03:21 was really very uninteresting to him and he'd got
03:24 absolutely nothing from it. Well, on the contrary,
03:27 I had found it such a blessing, I wish I could remember
03:30 what the subject was, this is some 18 years ago,
03:33 I can't remember what it was, but I know it meant
03:36 an awful lot to me that week. So I said: "I don't agree,"
03:39 "it was fantastic", and I went on to share whatever it meant
03:41 to me. That was our first ever
03:44 communication: an argument across a Sabbath school class.
03:47 Well it went on because like my wife said,
03:51 sometimes you just read something and for whatever
03:54 reason, it just didn't sink in. And there was this young girl
03:58 across and she got something out of it, and I said:
04:01 "You couldn't have done", I was out of turn for sure,
04:05 but the thing was that the group leader also didn't get
04:09 anything out of it that week, so he was kind of egging
04:12 me on, and I was egging him on, and then comes along
04:15 this young girl who said she did, so I wanted to find out
04:18 straight away what makes her tick.
04:21 So over the years you started off with a good argument,
04:25 which is something many couples do, [everyone laughs],
04:29 and some not till after they've married, but over the years
04:32 you have learned some effective tools to make communication
04:38 between you as husband and wife more enjoyable,
04:44 shall I say, what are some of those tools?
04:49 We have shared both from the pulpit at our camp meetings
04:54 and in churches many times the need to priorities our time.
04:59 When it comes to couple communication it's another thing
05:03 that's so easy to get crowded out.
05:07 For Carolyn and I, if we did not set a time, and that's the point
05:12 I want to make, if we did not set a time to have
05:14 some couple communication, we really probably wouldn't
05:17 have any because she's a busy mom, I'm a busy dad,
05:21 we both work for a ministry, there's always 100 things
05:25 that won't get done, never mind the things that need to be done,
05:29 so if we didn't carve out the time from somewhere in our day,
05:33 I'm quite sure our communication would be something like:
05:37 "Did you pay the bills?" "Did you pay these?"
05:39 Or "Oh no, the car's got no gas in it, didn't you put any"
05:43 "gas in it?" I think that would be the extent
05:46 of our communication, but we are learning, we haven't arrived,
05:50 but we are learning that if we can set a time,
05:53 that's going to be different for different people,
05:55 for us, we like to have "walkie- talkie time", which is just
05:59 walking up the road together, chattering away,
06:03 we live out in the country, so we walk up a gravel road
06:06 and I talk on the way up because my wife gets out of breath,
06:10 and then we're out in the middle of nowhere, so we'll have a kiss
06:12 at the end and then we shall turn around and Carolyn
06:15 chit-chats on the way down, but that's just part way
06:18 through the day. Of course, I work from home,
06:20 but even if you don't work from home, there's always
06:23 a phone nearby if your wife's at work or at home,
06:26 you can just call up and check in, say: "How's it going today?"
06:29 "What are you up to?" and share backwards and forwards,
06:32 just have some couple communication that keeps you
06:36 - connected to each other. - But the key to this time
06:40 is it won't happen unless you make it happen.
06:42 So you actually schedule this time?
06:45 We actually schedule this time, and it's never convenient.
06:48 I'm a homeschool mother, so I'll be schooling my children
06:51 and I know they need to get such and such done,
06:54 but we need to have our talk time.
06:57 It's like: "Lord, I've given all the instruction I can give,"
06:59 "now let them continue whilst we have our talk time. "
07:02 But it's never convenient, so you have to make a decision:
07:05 this is a priority, this is something that we need to do.
07:08 At first when you haven't done it, you don't recognize
07:10 the need, but when you start having this communication
07:13 time on a regular basis, suddenly you can't live
07:16 - without it. - It might different for
07:18 different couples, we've gone through several options on this.
07:23 For a long time it was during the middle of the day,
07:26 we would just take half an hour out and just walk up
07:29 our gravel road like I said, more recently we've been
07:31 involved in some other projects that haven't made that possible,
07:35 so pillow talk is what's been a great communication time
07:39 for us. Once we're in bed and our heads
07:41 are on the pillow, we just start talking, start processing,
07:45 - start communicating. - Or as we did on the way here,
07:48 just in the airport, it's an ideal time to communicate
07:52 and we had some really good communication time on the way
07:55 - here in the airport. - So sometimes, you're saying,
07:59 you have to snatch that time wherever you can...
08:02 - ... That's right, improvise. - ... and improvise, and other
08:05 times you're scheduling that time.
08:07 I know that if I tried to schedule pillow talk with
08:10 my husband I'd be talking to myself.
08:13 Well we can relate because my wife has requested pillow talk
08:16 for a long time and I have said: "Sweetie, as soon as my head"
08:21 "touches the pillow, it sends a signal to my brain"
08:24 "that sends a signal to the rest of my body"
08:27 "that says: 'Shut down' ", and I'm normally gone
08:29 within 2 minutes of touching the pillow, but since we couldn't
08:34 take that time in the middle of the day, which is more
08:37 normal because we're in a build project at the moment,
08:40 because we've had that time, I find now that even though
08:44 I'm tired, there's things I want to communicate because we're
08:46 so used to communicating. There was some prayer in there
08:51 as well because actually the turning point was,
08:55 I like to close my eyes as soon as my head touched the pillow,
08:59 but we were at one of our family camp meetings,
09:02 I must share this with you, and the room we were staying in
09:05 had no windows, so when you shut the lights off
09:08 it was pitch black. This was the turning point
09:10 in our pillow talk because I could talk to Carolyn with my
09:13 eyes closed. She normally doesn't like that,
09:16 - she likes to have eye contact. - You can't talk to eyelids,
09:19 - I've got to see eye balls. - But now I had my eyes closed,
09:21 she couldn't see me because it was pitch black,
09:24 and we had good communication.
09:26 And I didn't know his eyes were closed.
09:29 So first option would be to schedule a time.
09:32 Maybe it's just one evening a week where you go out
09:35 on a date night, or whatever, maybe it's a lunch time
09:39 whilst you have a chance to talk on the cell phone,
09:43 maybe it's just every Thursday and Tuesday evening
09:45 for an hour. Whatever works, but set a time,
09:48 I wouldn't encourage people to try and snatch the time
09:51 because usually unless you've had scheduled time for
09:56 a long time, when you try to snatch time it gets
09:58 snatched from you, and it never really takes off.
10:01 Okay, so scheduling time is important, but there's
10:04 also communications skills. J.D. and I used to teach
10:08 a communications course and when we started this it did improve
10:12 our communication, but men and women do speak very
10:15 differently and relate very differently, one thing that we
10:18 learned is that listening is the most important communication
10:23 skill there is. So let me address this to you
10:26 Paul, because I have found that men have a tendency,
10:30 evidently, because many women tell me this, I'm counseling
10:34 with them, that men seem to listen in a sense
10:40 that they're only half way there, how do you teach people,
10:43 especially if you're talking to a male, a husband,
10:46 how do you teach them to really be active listeners?
10:51 Well, I think most of our viewers, or some of our
10:53 viewers will know the Bible verse: "Let every man be"
10:57 "swift to hear and slow to speak", that's James 1:19.
11:02 "Swift to hear", I think often times why us men,
11:06 and I certainly put myself in this category, why we don't
11:09 tune in entirely is for some reason we think we know what
11:15 our wife or our spouse is going to say. So if we know already,
11:19 it's almost like: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, just say it",
11:23 and you pointed out that the ladies, and this is fairly
11:28 generic from the counseling that we've done, tend to use
11:31 more words than the men. So my wife might speak
11:37 for 5 minutes and saying the same thing 2 or 3 times,
11:41 and then at the end I'll say something like: "So you don't"
11:44 "want to go?", and sum it all up in half a sentence,
11:48 and she says: "Yes, you got it, that's exactly it. "
11:50 But for me as a man, it's a conscious choice not
11:56 to tune out, listen to what she is trying to say,
12:00 and it takes almost a superhuman effort, it's really
12:03 the Holy Spirit to, what I say, zip the lip:
12:09 not to say anything; let her get out what she's trying
12:14 to say. Often time, when my wife
12:16 and I communicate on those more delicate, those more difficult
12:19 things, it's not until she's getting near the end
12:22 that the penny will drop for me.
12:26 Explain what you mean, that's an English term.
12:30 When it just starts to dawn on me what she's saying.
12:34 I remember one time Carolyn was talking and I was saying it,
12:37 but in my mind I wasn't saying it: "Yeah, yeah, I know what"
12:40 "you're saying", and then it got to the point where I just
12:44 started finishing her sentence, and she said:
12:49 "That wasn't what I was going to say at all", and it was
12:51 a real wake up call to me, "Oh, that's not what"
12:54 "you were going to say? Okay, well I'll be quiet"
12:57 "and I'm going to listen more carefully because I was"
13:00 "fairly sure I knew where you were going with this",
13:03 and it wasn't at all. Then when I listened,
13:06 I finally realized so often we think we know what they're
13:09 going to say, but we're just not listening, so listening
13:11 is a key point, and that takes self control.
13:15 I find that many of the simple things that we call upon,
13:19 the congregations that we speak to to put into practice,
13:22 like "Husbands, listen to your wives", "Oh, okay. "
13:27 It takes earnest prayer, it takes the Lord's power
13:31 for this man to be quiet, not to tune out, not to
13:35 [sighs] "come on sweetie... ", it takes the Lord's power
13:41 to say "okay sweetie, I'm still not getting it, can you just"
13:45 "say it one more time", with a real desire to understand
13:49 her, and she loves it when I do that.
13:51 Well, because I know that he really wants to know
13:54 then your mind opens up, but there's also
13:58 the opposite of that when you feel like he doesn't really
14:01 want to hear it, he just kind of closes off.
14:03 - And then you use more words. - Yeah, then you jut go blank
14:06 and you come out with a load of other stuff, and you know
14:09 you're not getting it across, and they know you're not,
14:12 so that sensitivity on both sides, but particularly from
14:15 the guy to the girl, to be listening not just to what
14:18 she is saying, but what she can't verbalize, what she
14:22 isn't saying, but deep down they can tell.
14:25 I know this is frustrating for a lot of men because they're
14:27 not used to talk about feelings and all this, which women do.
14:32 On the other hand, I often counsel with women and say:
14:35 "Sometimes when you're speaking with your husband,"
14:37 "just give him the bullet points, just give him"
14:40 "the outline and if he wants more detail, he'll ask. "
14:43 Now, of course, if it's important that he does
14:46 understand then it takes that superhuman strength
14:49 and the Lord setting a guard at the door post of your lips.
14:53 But what happens when the 2 of you have a disagreement
14:59 because so many couples do talk on a superficial level,
15:06 they're almost fearful of trying to explore one another's
15:09 feelings, and when they do start to talk on anything
15:13 beyond the superficial level they'll find they're disagreeing
15:16 What do you teach to help couples through their
15:19 - disagreements? - Well let me share an example
15:23 that happened to us not so long ago; we travel a lot
15:26 in our ministry, so Minneapolis, Saint Paul, has become
15:31 a place that we know quite well and this one particular day
15:37 as I was booking the air tickets, it became very evident
15:40 to me that we were going to end up with a 5 hour lay over
15:43 in Minneapolis, so I said to my wife, normally it's
15:47 a couple of hours, if it's a couple of hours we just
15:50 stay at the airport, but here 5 hours is a long time
15:53 to sit at the airport. I said: "Why don't we go"
15:56 "to the Mall of America?" You get the shuttle over there
15:59 and you're there in just 15 minutes.
16:02 For those of our viewers who aren't familiar there,
16:05 there's shops, stores, around the outside, and then
16:08 in the center is a big theme park.
16:14 This is something very important in couple
16:16 communication that a lot of your past tends to start
16:22 coming up, so I was brought up as a non-Christian,
16:26 didn't even know the Lord till the age of 21.
16:30 My wife on the other hand was brought up in a very
16:32 conservative Christian home. So immediately you can tell
16:36 there's some big differences. So when we've got our
16:40 little Hannah and Caleb, I realize we're going to the Mall
16:43 of America, I think: "Wouldn't it be fun to take them"
16:46 "on the bumper cars, and on some of those rides"
16:49 "just like I did when I was a child. "
16:52 That's what brought me happiness as a child, and we tend
16:54 to try and relive that for our children.
16:56 So I said to Carolyn, "You know, we're going to have"
17:00 "5 hours in Minneapolis, why don't we go to the Mall"
17:02 "of America and take the children on some"
17:05 "of those rides?"
17:07 Well, I'll let Carolyn pick up the story at this point.
17:10 And I said: "Why would we want to take the children there?"
17:13 And he looked at me really confused, like "what's the big"
17:16 "problem?", and I said, "where are the principles in it?"
17:18 This is the point we want to make, so right at that point
17:21 it's very evident we're heading for a disagreement.
17:25 I see nothing wrong with it, I had lots of enthusiasm
17:28 as the thought dawned upon me, and as soon as I bring it up
17:31 to Carolyn, it starts to die. So for men this is a pivotal
17:37 point, at this point I can dig in my heels, I can let
17:43 my desires, "self" we call it, I can let my thoughts,
17:47 and my feelings come to the surface and say:
17:50 "don't poohoo that, it'll be great for them" and we can
17:53 steam roller the idea through, what's that going to do
17:57 to my wife? So what the Lord is teaching us
18:01 to do is in disagreement to stop right there,
18:06 not for me to start bolstering up my side of the equation
18:10 and for Carolyn to start bolstering up her side
18:13 of the equation, but to let God have a say in the matter.
18:19 So it's not how I was brought up that's right, and it's not
18:22 how she was brought up that is right because if you've got
18:25 2 Christians that are growing up, that can get pretty sticky.
18:29 So right at that point I said to Carolyn: "so what are"
18:33 "the principles involved here?", I think actually you said that,
18:36 "what are the principles involved here?"
18:39 can you remember some of the things you said?
18:42 You said to me: "What principles are there that would stop us"
18:45 "doing that?" I said: "Well, in Philippians"
18:48 "about what sort of things are pure, true, honest,"
18:50 "lovely, a good [rapport], is this environment going to be"
18:53 "an environment that will conjure that in the hearts"
18:55 "of our children?", and he's like "hmmm, what else?"
19:00 I remember one thing you said was that, we live in
19:02 the countryside, we'd made a deliberate choice to move out
19:05 from the city and live in a quiet place because we
19:09 read in a book one time the more quiet and simple the life,
19:12 the more free from artificial excitement and stimulation,
19:16 the more conducive it will be to an interest in
19:18 the Scriptures and a spiritual walk; and we have found that
19:22 to be the case. But my wife brought that
19:27 principle up right then, I thought: "the more quiet"
19:32 "and simple the life, hmmm, the more free from artificial"
19:35 "excitement", I thought "that place is all artificial"
19:39 "excitement", the people screaming on the roller coaster
19:42 and the different things. Not that we're necessarily
19:46 speaking against those things, but what we're trying to do
19:49 is to show at a point in communication where we are
19:52 in disagreement to let the principles that we do agree on
19:56 bear sway and make the final decision.
19:59 So, as we talked about that a little more we thought:
20:03 "Well, maybe that isn't what we really want for our family",
20:08 and for me, I found out part way through that conversation
20:12 that it wasn't really Hannah and Caleb, our 2 children,
20:16 that my desires were centered around, it was me wanting
20:20 to live a bit of the past. So it was a little struggle
20:25 in my heart, but I said: "Lord, if we are going to be"
20:29 "unified in our marriage, then we have to let You be"
20:32 "the one that unites us. " So I can't just hold on
20:35 to my will, so I was willing to say: "Okay sweetie, we'll let"
20:39 "that one go, that was a dumb idea", and that was
20:43 the end of it. And it really was the end of it
20:45 in my heart, I was back there a couple of weeks later
20:49 on my own this time, or actually with my colleague,
20:52 and there was no pull in there to go and do that
20:55 because I knew it was something we'd decided as a family.
20:58 So let God's word, let principles that you've
21:01 agreed on be the deciding factor.
21:05 You know, often what happens in marriages is if couples
21:10 are disagreeing and they can't have a meeting of the minds,
21:16 what they will do, the wife will go and she gets on the phone
21:20 with her best friend, and she's talking about her husband,
21:25 and the husband may go to his friends, and his buddies
21:27 and be talking with them about the wife and their problems.
21:32 Do you see a danger in that?
21:34 Definitely. There is a big danger.
21:37 Around each couple and around each family, the Lord has put
21:40 a sacred circle that should not be broken.
21:44 So I don't need to go to my best friend and tell her all
21:46 the negatives about my husband because by doing that
21:50 not only am I breaking confidences that should be
21:53 between he and I, but it actually builds up in your own
21:56 mind even bigger the negatives that you share about
22:00 - your husband. - Specially if you have a friend
22:02 who's saying: "That's awful" and they're agree with you.
22:06 Absolutely, and now next time you see him it's even worse
22:09 than before you shared it with her, so it's doing no good
22:12 except pouring the negative. So we've committed to each other
22:14 that we won't go there, and we will not do that,
22:17 we will keep it between the 2 of us, and then instead of her,
22:21 my best friend who I dump all my negatives about my husband,
22:25 my husband becomes my very best friend.
22:28 We can talk together freely and vulnerably about our weaknesses
22:33 and each other's weaknesses. Now you may ask,
22:35 some people will say: "Well, but happens if my marriage"
22:38 "is falling apart? Does that mean this sacred"
22:41 "circle means I can never go outside of that marriage?"
22:45 No, it doesn't mean that, and if your sacred circle
22:47 is about to fall apart permanently, and you know that,
22:51 then you best go outside of that circle and seek counsel
22:55 to restore that circle. So we're not saying
22:57 there's never a time when you step outside of there.
23:00 That stepping out of the circle would be for a very specific
23:04 reason and that is to get some counsel to hold the sacred
23:08 circle together, not just to dump a load of woes
23:13 and frustrations on the first person that happens to come by.
23:19 Would it be safe to say that, as far as the sacred circle
23:22 is concerned, that you should step out of that any time
23:27 something that violates the Scriptures is happening
23:30 in your life? For example, if a husband
23:33 is forcing a wife to do something that is against
23:37 the Bible, she should seek counsel as to how to deal
23:40 with this, because I agree with you, I think that couples
23:43 should be very careful about what they're sharing.
23:45 At the same time, I don't want to give the impression
23:47 that you're a prisoner in here because there are times
23:53 when people get trapped in some type of an abusive relationship
23:57 or controlling and manipulating relationship, so then it would
24:01 be safe to step outside and get the counsel.
24:04 But not just for the gossipy "I just want to offload"
24:07 "my frustrations about him", they need to be dealt with
24:10 here so that you're sharing them with each other, not with
24:13 another, but if it turns into that kind of a situation
24:16 then yes, the counseling, you need that.
24:19 I think we would all know in a situation "why do I feel this"
24:24 "need to talk outside of the sacred circle?"
24:27 And if the "why" is just a frustration: "I've just got to"
24:31 "tell somebody", then that's the time to take it to
24:35 the Lord and fall on the Rock and be broken,
24:38 but if it's "If I don't do anything it's just getting"
24:41 "worse and worse", then give 3ABN a call, give Restoration
24:46 International a call. There's people waiting to help
24:49 - in those situations. - Our time is passing
24:52 so quickly, let's get to a few other things.
24:54 What are some communication stoppers among couples?
24:58 [Paul laughs] Well, we've talked about setting a time,
25:01 if you never set a time then that's the first communication
25:03 stopper because it never got going, but I know
25:06 for my wife, why don't you talk about body language?
25:09 Because we've talked about this quite a bit amongst
25:12 - ourselves. - Body language is a big thing
25:15 for me, so when I walk into his office and I've got
25:17 something really pressing on my heart, and I just say
25:20 "Sweetie, can I talk to you for a minute?"
25:22 And I get the back of his head and I know he's still doing
25:25 this, it's a killer for me. So I'll say: "Sweetie, can you"
25:28 "just turn around?" And he'll say: "No, it's okay,"
25:31 "I'm listening", and that right there is the biggest
25:34 - communication stopper. - Now I've got to speak
25:36 to the guys at this point because I work in an office
25:39 with other people and we communicate all day back to back
25:43 and it took me a long time to realize: "How come I can talk"
25:47 "to my colleagues in the office without eye contact,"
25:51 "but as soon as my wife comes in the office, she wants"
25:53 "eye contact?" And I realized as I prayed
25:56 about it that what we're talking about in the marriage
25:58 relationship is often of a deeper nature than is:
26:03 "Did you email such and such?" "Did we get that out?"
26:06 "It needed to go out today. " That's a completely different
26:10 level of communication to husband wife communication,
26:13 so whilst eye contact might not be so important for the man,
26:20 if it is for your wife then it's important, I'm learning that.
26:26 Well, why don't you, Paul, just look into our camera
26:29 in the minute that we have left, and share from your heart,
26:34 summarize what we're talking about today.
26:38 I'm a guy, I'm a man, so I tend to find myself speaking
26:42 to the men, and if you have a wife or a girlfriend
26:47 in your life, what she wants even more than flowers,
26:54 even more than dinner at a favorite restaurant,
26:59 what she really wants is you, and your attention.
27:04 She wants some of your undivided attention, so if you take
27:08 her out for a meal, or if you just sit her on the couch
27:11 and you say: "Sweetie, is there anything you want"
27:14 "to talk about?" You will find that she opens up
27:18 like a rose. Carolyn and I have found
27:21 in our marriage that the more we communicate, the deeper
27:25 we communicate, the more we are drawn to one another.
27:30 There's a depth to marriage that doesn't come from just
27:34 social relations, and going from this place to that place.
27:37 It's really as we venture off of normal ground in our
27:41 conversation and we become more intimate that we find
27:45 a real joy in reaching each other's hearts and drawing
27:50 - closer to the Lord. - Thanks so much for sharing
27:52 and thank you for joining us.