Cowboy Pastor’s Wife: How Ranch Couples Communicate
It’s often seen across pastures and working pens across our great country. The ranch couple gathering a group of calves to brand, putting out bulls in the spring, or in the pens to sort and work. The communications might look a little different but it means the same. Let me tell you what I know and what I’ve learned along the way.
● A sharp whistle means…. “Look up, pay attention,” “you missed a cow” or “come on…you’re needed up here.”
● Hand in the stop position. Obviously stop, or “hi”….I thought it was hi the first time but he was not amused.
● Pointing to a certain cow….along with the words, the red heifer, or the horned cow. He wants me to sort off that one and push it through the gate. After some time working together, I can almost read his mind… sometimes…not always.
● Head down, shoulders slumped and head moving back and forth in the “NO”….motion. Things aren’t going as planned.
● Running from the pens, pick up, or anywhere else, up to the house…means you’ll probably need the vet’s number, the ambulance, or the calf pullers.
● The huge grin….he’s proud of you or his family. Or just incredibly grateful for getting to live this life.
Communication on the other hand is sometimes difficult, confusing, or even the lack of communications can leave one feeling isolated. We can also truck along just fine for periods of life and fall into ruts of miscommunication during other times. I’m no expert, I’m just here living life and making a few observations.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about this Bueno Communication that helps this husband and wife crew stay on the same page.
1. Ask questions. Did you say meet you at this water trough or at the pens. Clarity is always the best time and marriage saver. Ask now…or spend two hours not saying a word to each other later.
2. Put down the phone. Distractions are a big cause of miscommunication. Wanna hear each other clearly. Put the phone down, turn the t.v. down or off, and clear your mind to hear each other.
3. Repeat. When talking to one another, repeating is a great option. Repeat what you thought you heard. Did I hear you say you wanted steak for dinner…or did you say you need the shotgun to shoot a snake? Big difference. One is for dinner the other can ruin dinner plans.
4. Look into those baby blues, or dark browns…or whatever color they might be. Eye contact and body language can help you hear and see the signal your spouse is giving you, helping you to understand an “eye” opening experience.
5. Never go to bed angry but being tired can make communication much more exhausting. Agree to not be mad but sometimes waiting for a brand new day can save you from saying things you really don’t mean. Settling things on a fresh slate can make you want to go back to bed, if you know what I mean. Making up is so very easy to do!
And finally, ask for God’s help. We are much the wiser when we involve God into our communication. Praying with our spouse and for our spouse is always a good decision and it’s even better to start off your day with this one as a priority. Our good communication helps each other out, builds one another up, holds up one another in rough days, and it proclaims the faithfulness of God in our lives and for our marriages.
I will leave you with this….
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”