The Bible says our words carry in them the power of life or death. If that is true, we definitely need better communication in marriage. We can bring our spouses heart back to life or crush it forever with just a few words. And many times, the outcome we see in our communication does not reflect our intention. Words are very important.
If we believe this then, especially in highly tense moments, we need to think about what we are going to say before we say it. And it is not simply trying to figure out how to ensure we are understood in our desires. When it comes to our words, before we begin to try to communicate our desires, we need to check our motivation. Here is what the Scripture teaches us about communication:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
This is the standard God has given us to guide our better communication in marriage. First we should not have any corrupt talk. The original word here also means ‘to putrefy.’ Putrefaction is the decomposition of a dead body.
We do not want to use words that kill the spirit of the person we are speaking to. On the contrary, our words should give grace that builds up the person. The words we use, even in conflict, should have the goal of building up the other person with words of life. When a person is not listening to us or when they have offended us, our words are graceful, building them up even though what they have done may have torn us down.
This is God’s way to communicate to our spouse when we have been hurt. To speak like this, our goal must be to present our issue through the prism of what is best for them. Let me give you an example. If a husband easily loses his temper and yells at his wife all the time. She can respond to him by yelling and screaming as well. She can communicate that she needs for him to stop yelling at her. But in this conversation, her goal is to get her husband to love her. Her goal is not to love him and build him up, but to get him to build her up. This is the way we naturally communicate, but it goes against the Biblical principle of Ephesians 4:29. We don’t need more words that hurt but communication to make our marriage better.
On the other hand, if the wife approached her husband according to what he needs to be built up, she might say, “I’m worried about how often you get upset. It is not good for you. I am concerned about what it is going to do to you if you keep getting so angry, to your health. I am concerned about what it is doing to our marriage and to me. I want us to be close, a team, working on things together. Can we talk about what is going on and pray for God’s wisdom to help us stay close in conflict?
Of course, the exact phrasing would be specific to the conversation, but I think you can see the idea. We are making the marriage better by the way we address subjects that could lead to arguments and fights. In the second scenario, the wife is approaching the issue in a way that her priority is for his well-being. She is not defensive trying to get him to change so that she can feel better, but trying to help him change for his own benefit because she loves him.
Like all aspects of loving God’s way, we may feel that we are allowing our spouse to get away with bad behavior or that we are letting them just walk all over us. Well, God doesn’t want us to let people continually walk all over us, but when it happens occasionally without intention, God wants us to give grace and help them overcome. This is a different type of love. This is agape. Agape is the presence of God, the power of God to change hearts.
Think about it. The last time your spouse hurt you by something they did or said, how did you respond? If you responded defensively, you may have seen them also take a defensive posture against you. Suddenly, you were enemies, not lovers. That type of cycle is not going to make the marriage better. The Bible says a harsh word stirs up anger, but a gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). You might look back and see that your strategy produced only rotten fruit. But had you communicated with their well-being in mind, presenting the solution as something that would make their life better, giving grace, who knows? The fight might have never become a fight, but a bonding moment drawing you near to one another. That is the pathway to a better communication for your marriage. This is God’s principle that will lead to less fighting, more laughter, more fun, more snuggling, and more sex!
How is the communication in your marriage?
To go deeper with this, I would recommend the Fighting To Win Marriage Workbook. USE THE COUPON CODE: “Marriage” to get it for only $5.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
You probably never thought you would see your wife compared to a duck billed platypus and let’s be clear:
I AM NOT COMPARING YOUR WIFE TO A DUCK BILLED PLATYPUS!!!
But, they do have a strange connection that you, husbands, need to be aware of if you want your marriage to be all you desire.
In Genesis, there is a strange little passage where the text seems to go off on a nonsensical tangent. God says about Adam, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Well, I have spent a weekend or two by myself and I agree with this statement. I’m not all that pleasant and tend to forget about hygiene when my wife and kids are gone. But that’s for another blog. Let’s take a look at this strange passage…Read More
There are so many marriage killers but assumptions may be one of the worst. So often when people are trying to rescue their marriage, the focus is on what we say and how we say it. We’ve all heard that we should never use the words ‘never’ or ‘always.’ We are told to be respectful, polite, and kind when speaking to our spouse. The old saying is thrown in our face:
If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!
These are all good, but today, I don’t want to talk to you about what you are saying. No, I want to talk to you about what you are thinking in your relationship. I want to talk to you about the quick assumptions that kill the marriage and how to stop doing it…Read More
With All Your Heart takes readers through Biblical principles that are simply life-changing. It is taking the Scripture and applying it at a level that changes your future. So many of us go through the same negative patterns. It may be different people, different places, different things, but it’s the same pattern. It’s like going round and round in the desert like the Israelites did. But God has promised to give us a straight path to our blessings rather than staying in the negative patterns. If you are sick and tired of going round and round and you want a straight path to your blessing, you need this book.
END THE NEGATIVE CYCLES IN YOUR LIFE!