Saturday, May 6, 2017

How to Communicate with your Spouse

One of the first things that any wise married person will tell you is that communication is the backbone of a marriage.
It takes a lot of maturity to get to this level. 
The same way your spine influences every other part of your body, your communication skills affect every other area of your marriage. Most arguments start because of miscommunication. It feels like they are speaking another language and you just can’t get through to them. Thankfully the book of Proverbs gives us some tips on how to communicate the right way.

Be tactful.

If you are already in a heated argument make sure that you “package your words correctly. Stay respectful and stay calm. That will help keep both of you from getting hurt and help resolve the situation faster.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

Be discerning.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you figure out when you need to speak up and when you need to be quiet. 50% of communication is listening to the other person. It isn’t always all about you and your feelings.

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even tempered.” Proverbs 17:27

Think before you open your mouth.

You cannot let your feelings take lead in your conversation. Feelings are fickle and you will end up looking foolish. Slow down and think about what you are going to say and how you are going to explain your point of view BEFORE you start talking.

“Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 29:20

Follow their instructions.

In marriage, God puts two imperfect people together to create a perfect union with Him at the center. As husband and wife you balance each other out. Depending on the situation you should follow your spouse’s instructions. For example, I am directionally challenged, John is not. So whenever we are on the road and I am driving I follow his instructions. I let him act as my GPS, because I know for a fact that getting around Charleston (or anywhere for that matter) is not my strong suit. On the other hand, John has more challenges in the kitchen than I do. So when we are cooking together he follows my lead. Because we listen to each other we never get lost and we have good food in the house.

“He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13

It takes a lot of maturity to actively practice effective communication. It is not easy to hold onto your tongue when you want to tell you husband off. It takes a lot of strength to not be petty. Being mean is easy, it is part of our sin nature. But through the Holy Spirit we have the ability to be kind and loving with our words. We can only speak the truth in love when we let Him lead us. And when we start doing that, we begin building the foundation for a strong and healthy marriage.  

Check out my youtube channel tonight for a new video: "How to adjust to Married Life"

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