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As our church began to increase in the early years, I shared more intimately about our dreams and visions among the staff than I did with my wife. I developed a relationship with the men in leadership positions because of the goals and dreams we shared.

I now realize that this is the case with many businessmen and businesswomen. They talk more intimately of their feelings, desires, plans, and visions with the people at work than they do with their mate.

The time came when I realized I needed to open up and talk to Sharon. She would talk to me about several thins and ask me what was going on, and I would say, "Oh, not much." I would just shrug if off or say a few brief words. But I needed to open up and tell her what was deep in my heart.

One of the greatest joys of our relationship today is the deep, heart-to-heart talks on a daily basis. It doesn't take us forever to get to the fifth level of communication. We live on that level.

It takes a willingness to be open and pull off the mask to get to the fifth level of communication and let the person with whom you dwell know exactly where you are, what your goals and dreams are, and to be vulnerable.

When you open yourself up in this way, you are open for criticism. But until you put yourself in this position, you'll never know the depth of intimacy of the relationship God has planned.
I found that as I opened myself up and began to share with my wife, she opened her heart up to me. I'm talking about being married, living together, and ministering together. Our relationship has deepened as we've been open in our communication with each other.

I'll never forget a youth counselor in one of the churches I served as a youth director. I went to see this man and his wife in their home. They showed me through their beautiful house. When they took me into their bedroom, they, "Each night in this room, we talk to each other and solve all the world's problems together."

That struck inside of me. Here was a couple who were happily married with two beautiful children. They had learned to communicate.

You need to set aside a time when you can open up and communicate with your mate on a regular bases, whether it's over coffee in the morning, at breakfast or lunch, in the evening on the back porch or whenever. Identify some place where you can open up and share together freely.

Source: Building Stronger Marriages by Billy Joe Daugherty.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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