February 12, 2018


In the past year, I've found myself listening to countless podcasts and reading through blog posts and books. I may be single, but no matter the media form, my favorite topics to learn more about are dating, marriage, and relationships.

The common thread of many relationship resources is communication. And that's one of the skills I know I lack when it comes to dating relationships. Growing up, my communication style was pretty much non-existent, or avoidant. I have a tendency to avoid both conflict and confrontation, even if I'm not directly involved. The peacemaker and people-pleaser inside of me would rather go along with others than speak up for myself. I can look back on my life and find instances of backing down in group projects at school, at meetings at work, and in conversations with friends and loved ones.

But without communication, I'm setting everyone up for failure, frustration, and disappointment, including myself. If I choose not to voice my needs and expectations, I'm leaving people out of my circle and heart. And I'm choosing distance instead of intimacy and vulnerability. Without communication, my needs won't be met which, like a wonderful domino effect, brings on a sour attitude from yours truly.

I'm tired of living this way and I've felt God really place boldness and bravery in my heart. I want to grow closer in my relationships with others. I want to speak my needs and expectations. And I want more heart-to-heart conversations, too. Those are the conversations I learn and grow the most from and if growth is what I want, I need to do the nitty-gritty to get there.

I want the words that leave my mouth to be intentional, grace-filled, honest, and true. I want to speak my heart, speak my needs, and just speak up. So here's to more prayer, more practice, and more podcasts, too. Because we all know I can't do it on my own!

p.s. Here are two of my favorite resources, if you're interested!

Beating 50 Percent | Jeremy and Audrey Roloff are such an inspiration for me. It's cool to see a local (and young) couple share their desire to beat the statistics and cultivate a God-centered marriage is what I truly believe are marriage goals. They've taught me so much about communication, cultivation, and commitment in relationships.

Love that Lasts | Jeff and Alyssa Bethke are another favorite Jesus-loving couple who have the cutest family. Alyssa's upbringing matches mine and so I easily related to her story in their latest book, Love that Lasts. The two share their love story while touching on topics that every married couple needs to know. Oh, and their podcast episodes are amazing, too! They have a mini-series on marriage right now that's really opened my eyes to how I view relationships.

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall