We’ve learned that there are some essentials to having a great marriage. Respect, being a helper, unity, and love are all vital. But none of it would matter much if you never talked to your spouse. Communication is absolutely critical to a successful marriage, and that’s why I’ve saved the best for last. Today we’ll talk about tools you can use to communicate better and next time we’ll talk about how to find time together.
If you’re like most couples, you spend most of your time apart. Issues and events occur during the day (or days) that you know you want to talk to the other about. But finding time to talk is only half the battle. What do you say when you can finally be together? How do you break through the noise of life and focus on your spouse? I find it difficult some days to talk with my husband, my best friend, when we’re alone because our lives have become so used to chaos and we’re somewhat used to being apart. However, I have found that there are a few ways to re-establish those lines of communication and rediscover how wonderful it is to just talk, think things through, and explore new ideas while in keeping with godly principles.
With the Holy Spirit Spending time with your husband or wife is obviously always a good thing to do. But it’s possible that even when you do that life is so nutso that you can’t think of anything to say. That’s when we need to rely on the Holy Spirit to help us out. I can think of many times my husband and I finally got some time alone and we were at an utterly terrible loss of words. The Lord reminds us not to worry in Matthew 10:19 where He says,
“…do not worry about how or what you should speak, for it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak. For it is not you who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”
Take a silent moment while you look over the menu and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and guide you with what to talk about, and then about what to talk about next, and next, and next. He will give you the right words to reconnect with your spouse and bring you closer together. And if the topic happens to be the kids, don’t stress about it and realize that it’s what God needs you to talk about.
Always With Love When you talk to your spouse, don’t be blustering and making noise. Sure, it’s good to vent and get some things off your chest. But if all you’re doing is thinking (or yelling) out loud just to hear your own voice then all you’re doing is making a huge bunch of noise. And then you get tuned out.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging symbol.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
Don’t be a clanging symbol. Stay in control, speak calmly and lovingly so that your spouse can better understand you and help you.
Always With Respect We talked about this in Part One of this series. Respect is so important. Without it nothing gets accomplished. With God and with love and then with respect our marital communication can be so amazing. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:32, “…let each one of you in particular love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Love and respect are not mutually exclusive. Both partners have to have it and, more importantly, show it.
Always With Good Timing No matter how much love and respect you may have for your spouse, if you try to strike up a conversation about Johnny’s grades or the lack of funds in the bank at the wrong time all you’re going to get is grief and push back. Pick your moments to talk (which we’ll go over next time) so that it’s a time you think you two can be alone to go over everything without ruining the other’s day. As much as we need to communicate and reconnect on a regular basis, it’s worthless if one of you isn’t in the frame of mind to listen. We are told to pick our times for conversation in Ecclesiastes 3:7 which tells us that to everything there is a season and that there is a time for silence and a time to speak. Let God give you the discernment you need to pick the right time to talk about daily events or any important events.
It’s not easy to find time together just to talk. Even Jesus struggled to find time to talk with the Father. The demands He had on his life were pretty tough, but He was intentional in finding time to pray and go over His daily events with the Father. And that’s what we need to do, both with God and our spouse. With the help of the Holy Spirit as we speak in love and respect our communication can be very productive and we can find renewed unity in our marriages and in our families. The Lord desires to see strong families. So let’s be purposeful in our communication and let the Lord guide us as we do.