Have you ever experienced a complete breakdown in communication in your marriage?
You say something; he completely interprets it in a different way. And not the good way.
My husband and I can tend to speak different languages.
After all we are very different.
But many times it isn’t our differences that cause us to fight. Rather it’s a blatant attack from the enemy in the area of communication.
The truth is….we are in a battle for our marriages every day.
The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy the very union that God has proclaimed holy and sacred.
There’s a lot at stake.
Not just our relationship as husband and wife, but the lives of our kids and ultimately the plan that God has for us together.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
When my husband was in the military, he told me that the first thing the enemy goes for in a battle is the communication.
If the communication is cut, the soldiers are at a loss for what to do next….unless they had already established a plan.
So what can we do to improve communication in marriage?
I believe our answer is found in the Book of James:
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 NLT
Be quick to listen
This is a hard one for me. I can admit that I am not the best listener. This is something I’m working on, especially in my marriage.
Just yesterday my husband and I were in a discussion about the plans for the day.
I had one idea and he had another.
Rather than listen to his idea, I began mentally planning my debate, in order to win in the discussion.
Childish I know. But don’t we all do it at times?
When we see someone as an opponent, we immediately begin planning what we will say next.
That’s how I was seeing my husband….as an adversary.
But the Bible is very clear who the real adversary is.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
When we stop listening and start scheming, the conversation has essentially stopped. Our discussion turns into an argument and the only one winning is the enemy.
On the other hand, when I listen to what my husband is really trying to communicate, we both win. No matter what the plans were yesterday, the victory wasn’t in who got their way. The triumphant moment came when we both listened to what the other had to say. It drew us closer together and kept the enemy at bay.
Be slow to speak
The old adage, think before you speak, rings true. I can’t count the times I’ve said something that I desperately wanted to take back.
Words can hurt.
They have the power to build up and the power to tear down.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
Whatever words we speak will have consequences.
I want my words to be a blessing to my husband. Each day I fervently pray for him and want to see God’s best for him. I don’t want to negate that blessing with careless words that are uttered in the heat of an emotional outburst.
When I’m slow to speak, I allow God time to work in my heart and mind, showing me the correct response in any given situation.
Want to read more?
I’m sharing the rest of this post and three valuable tips to sure up communication in your marriage over at Courage Hope Love.
Nicole is finishing up a wonderful series on Spiritual Battles, which this post is a part of. I hope you’ll join me over there!
If you’d like more marriage resources, you can check out my series Building a Flourishing Marriage, where you’ll have access to free printables, posts and several other valuable resources.