Have you ever sat in a restaurant and simply watched the couples in the room? I am a people watcher so I find myself observing how others interact with each other quite often. There seems to be a few different couple types out there. Those who engage in conversation joyfully throughout their meal, those who only say what is needed and don’t speak any other words, those who don’t say much but have content smiles on their face as they enjoy a meal together, and then you have those who say nothing to each other – most often they aren’t even looking at each other.
I often sit there and think, how does a couple go from head over heels in love on their wedding day to not speaking a word to one another decades later. It certainly looks as if they don’t even enjoy other company any longer. I am also guilty of thinking to myself how I do not want to end up like that. But how? What is the key to not ending up that? How do I keep the spark of communication alive in my marriage so that when we are old we are still full of playful banter sharing our lives over a meal?
In chapter8 of our happily married book club, we are discussing how important communication is for a happy marriage to thrive.
Misunderstandings and misinterpretations break down intimacy and prevent a couple from growing together in harmony. Communication based on Biblical principles brings joy into a marriage relationship and prevents problems from destroying it. pg. 96
Learning how to communicate properly in our marriage is a key factor in how happy our marriage will be. Being able to overcome those misunderstanding and clearly share your heart will strengthen your marriage and bring you two together in more a stronger union.
I have seen the fruit of a healthy conversation with my husband and how it brings us closer together and more willingly to share our hearts again and again. But I also have seen the fruit of harsh words that spark an argument that spirals out of control very quickly. I’m sure many of can relate to that. Unfortunately, I have seen the latter more often than the first. I grew up in a home that didn’t diffuse anger well, where yelling was the norm and storming away was always the end result. So not only did I come into marriage with a lot of emotional baggage but also lacking good communication skills.
While I have many failures in my book, I am determined to grow in this area! In fact, one of my yearly goals is to read at least 2 books on communication. But let me tell you that this chapter and the couple chapters following it, have been a huge eye opener for me.
Words can be forgiven, but they are seldom completely forgotten. pg. 97
Ain’t that the truth? I wonder if this is why so many couples that we observe at restaurants don’t speak a single word to each other. Has there been decades of harsh words and heated arguments? I wonder.
I don’t want to live with that regret, do you?
The 3 Keys to Communicating Well in Marriage
What We Say
The words that we chose to say are directly connected to our heart.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Luke 6:45
Our speech will reflect our relationship with God. Are we meek and kind? Or are we will full of anger, harsh words? Do we fly off the handle or are we longsuffering? Is our conversation reflecting that we are walking with the King , like it should be?
Examine your heart and address the issues in order speak words that bring life into your marriage. The way to begin communicating loving with your spouse is to first submit to God’s way of changing our own selves, working on our words and our own words. (pg. 99)
How We Say It
Have you noticed that in the Bible when it speaks of conversation it means more than the words but also our actions and attitudes that accompany our words?
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 1 Peter 3:1 -2
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: Philippians 1:27a
Our tone, body language, and facial expressions are sending clear messages to our spouse as we are talking (or listening). Sometimes they are clearer indications of where our heart is than our words are.
We need to learn how to control our unspoken words just as much as we need to control our words.
My husband has worked very hard at trying to understand me, which isn’t always easy, but he has learned that if my tone and body language isn’t matching up with my words that I am still not okay and we can’t move on until they match up.
Good communication is when we effectively speak and listen. We can’t communicate well with each other if we are not doing both.
When our spouse is speaking we need to be respectful and tentatively listen. Then it wise to repeat what your spouse just told you in your own words – to show that you were indeed listening – before you move on to make your statements.
Constantly interrupting or interjecting is not listening well nor communicating well.
You and your spouse will be able to start communicating well when you both work hard at understanding the unspoken words, the spoken words as well listening well to the other.
The ability to use words constructively and communicate well is a learned art. It takes years to master. pg. 98
When we consistently put these 3 keys into practice, we will begin to see the fruit of labor. We will able to connect more freely and enjoy each other’s company. We will grow old not regretting our past of spewing harsh words. We will be on the road to being that happy couple joyfully sharing every detail of their lives, who are truly enjoying each others company.
On Monday, we are kicking off a 10 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge together! I have a fun printable for you to print and check off each room as we go throughout our homes, cleaning and decluttering. I know my house definitely needs a deep cleaning, I am terrible at dusting. Who isn’t right?? I hope you’ll join me as we get our houses in shape this Spring! Here is a sneak peak:
Your turn! Do you find communicating well with your spouse to come naturally or has it been a journey on learning how to communicate well? I’d love to connect and encourage one another in the comments below!
This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.