To avoid conflict in marriage, employ these two preliminary strategies:  1) Determine what you want. 2)  Determine what you don’t want.

Now, step three. How do we get what we want? Human nature, teaches us from babyhood that if we scream and cry for what we want — we get it. But, let’s put away childish ways and consider a more mature and ladylike way of . . . putting our foot down and getting our own little way! It’s really quite simple.

Tip # 24 Express your needs with confidence they will be met.

My daughter is really good at this. Whenever I hear her say, “Hey Daddy”, I know she wants something! She asks in such a sweet way, presenting her needs confidently, not in a threatening or assuming way, not demanding immediate action. . . just “Hey Daddy. . . When you get around to it. . . Hey Daddy, would you consider. . . . Hey Daddy, what do you think about. . . . Hey Daddy, I’ve been thinking. . . Hey Daddy, could you. . .?”

I think Marc really loves the sound of “Hey Daddy,” because it is the sound he hears just prior to becoming a hero!  What a sweet prelude!  My daughter exhibits the same attitude with which we should approach Abba, Father God (Mark 14:36, Galatians 4:6, Romans 8:15).

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.” I John 5:14-15

We don’t have to scream and whine, or throw ourselves on the floor in a fit of temper. We don’t have to nag or coerce or use guilt. Those tactics aren’t effective with spoiled children, and they aren’t of long-term effect in marriage, either.

Come up with your own little “Hey Daddy” method.  It’s not manipulation.  It’s just common sense.  It’s good business.  It’s just plain smart.  It’s just effective communication skills.  It works – not just with fathers and daughters, but with bosses and employees, with co-workers, with siblings – with husbands and wives – it’s just good social etiquette.  And it’s a lot more effective and persuasive than lobbing a hand grenade!

So, simply — without the tone (you know what I mean;), express your need in an appealing and straightforward manner.  To use an earlier example, “Hey, Honey. . . I’m really missing you lately, and I wonder if we could spend some time together sometime soon. . .”  When you have his attention, and he says, “Sure.  What did you have in mind?”  have a suggestion ready.  Don’t expect him to read your mind. . . if you don’t know what you want, how can you expect him to know?  But, be generally specific. . . or specifically general enough to allow flexibility!

“Well, I thought maybe we could take a walk together and watch the sunset. . .go out for coffee and maybe dessert one night this week. . . go see a movie or do some shopping together. . .or _________”

Fill in the blank and have fun!!

  1. What is something you want from your husband? Have you asked him directly for it?
  2. What is something you want from God? Have you asked him directly for it?
  3. Write a prayer in your journal, requesting from your Heavenly Father, something for your marriage. Like a good father, He delights in giving good gifts!