Written by: Gio and Suzy Llerena.
When looking at the structure of a house, the strength of the foundation is vital to support the load of the entire house, and the walls are key to supporting the weight of the roof. The roof is important as it keeps what happens inside the house safe and secure.
In our Two Becoming One material we build out a "house of marriage” in the same manner. Like a house, a strong foundation is based on understanding God’s purpose, provision, and design for your marriage. We build the walls of the house with the power of the Holy Spirit to help create the atmosphere of “faith love” in the home. The foundation and walls support the weight of the “roof top issues" we all face.
We consider the roof top very important for everyday life, and it requires regular attention and maintenance. Good communication within a marriage is one of these “roof top issues."
The first fight my wife and I had as a married couple happened in the guest bedroom of our apartment. We were excited for some friends to be visiting and began setting up the spare bed. With what seemed like fifty pillows surrounding us, my wife asked me to pass "that pillow" to her.
“Which one?” I asked.
“That one,” she responded.
I followed up with, “You have about fifty pillows here, how in the world could I possibly know which one you’re talking about?”
At that moment, out of frustration with me, Suzy threw the pillow she was holding at my head! I stormed out and left the apartment.
We later sat down for dinner and talked through what happened. This allowed us to cool down and share what we both were feeling, face to face. Bottom line -- I didn’t care about the pillows and she did. I wasn’t paying much attention and she thought I didn’t care about her desire to put together a room that was inviting for our guests. All this happened in a matter of three minutes.
Today we laugh about it, but it sure gave us an early lesson on good communication in marriage. We recognized the need to clarify what we were actually trying to say. It also showed us how we express ourselves, calmly or in anger, will determine if we have effective communication. Nonverbal communication plays a role, too. I would like to say we learned our lesson and sought after good communication skills after this one incident, but unfortunately, this scenario played itself out many times over in different settings.
Every marriage will encounter times where a lack of communication creates tension. Even great marriages will have moments of miscommunication or disagreements about various topics.
James 1:19-22 gives us some key insight on how to minimize these moments of miscommunication and create good communication in a relationship.
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do what it says.
Don and Sally Meredith clearly list these points on communication from these verses in the book Two Becoming One:
1. Listen before reacting.
2. Don’t speak too quickly; wait for your emotions to subside.
3. Don’t explode in anger; nothing good ever comes from outbursts of anger.
4. Stop any immoral involvement, such as lying, cheating, profanity, or pornography.
5. Humbly study the Bible for the answers to your problems.
6. Act on your faith, not on your feelings.
7. Boldly believe God, regardless of your mate’s response.
*Two Becoming One p. 128
One of the main purposes of your marriage is to reflect the image of God. When you and your spouse attempt to fulfill this purpose, Satan will place a target on you to destroy the oneness that God desires for you to display. One way Satan will attack is through the area of miscommunication.
“Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.”
Psalms 119:36-40 says:
We at Christian Family Life often say, “God created marriage, He can make it work!” God has the perfect blueprint for building out each of our marriages, and it comes straight from His Word. In Psalms 119:36-40 the Psalmist is taking us to this place of focusing on God and His truths. He expresses a hunger for His Word, a desire to act on it, and a move to abandon our shameful ways, because God’s ways are better.
It’s a call to strengthen our walk with the Lord so our focus is not on us, but on Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we then have the capacity to do what Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” This can start right in our own home with our spouse!
This statement reminds us we should fix what is broken as soon as possible. Waiting for the next rainstorm before you address a leaky roof is a little late. Don’t wait until the next argument to work on better communication. Make a choice to work on it today!
Read through James 1:19-22 and take some time to discuss the seven points Don and Sally Meredith list out.
- Determine which ones are strengths and which ones are weaknesses. You may want to allow your spouse to freely speak into this.
- Spend time in the Word and in prayer, asking God to change your heart in areas that are hindering healthy communication with your spouse.
Christian Family Life is a marriage discipleship ministry. We are here to offer resources and support no matter what condition your marriage is in. Our passion is to Build, Enrich, and Reconcile Marriages. Find out more at https://www.christianfamilylife.com/
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