Good communication is the key to any marriage. Good communication ensures that both you and your spouse feel respected, validated and understood. Communication is the key to avoiding and straightening out any misunderstandings, and to working through problems for a happier future together.
For those in Christian marriages, faith can be an extra source of support through life’s ups and downs. It can help strengthen your heart and improve the way you communicate with your spouse. The bible is a source of inspiration, strength and encouragement for Christian families everywhere. It’s also a source of powerful advice that can heal, change and shape your marriage.
Here are some biblical principles for good communication in a Christian marriage.
Treat each other as you would wish to be treated
Matthew 7:12 tells us “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them…”
This is a powerful principle to apply to any marriage. Think about it – how do you respond to nagging, shouting, or being spoken to in an unkind way? Most people don’t respond with happiness or calmness to angry, hurtful communication – and that includes you and your partner.
Learn to treat one another as you would like to be treated yourself. If you want your partner to listen when you talk, help you with tasks, or show more affection or kindness towards you, start by doing those things for them.
When you treat each other well, you open the door for honest, loving communication that nourish both the parties.
Keep prayer at the heart of your marriage
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray continually.” Faith is at the heart of Christian lives, and that places it at the heart of Christian marriages too. Prayer aligns us with God and reminds of His love, care, compassion and faithfulness to us, and ours to Him.
Prayer means taking problems before God too, and letting Him know what is truly in our hearts. If you have concerns about communication in your marriage, give them to God in prayer and let him know your worries. After all, he already knows your heart. The still, small voice inside will prompt you in how to communicate with your partner in a healthier way.
Praying together is a beautiful way to strengthen your marriage. Sit together in prayer and ask for the strength and insight to communicate well with one another.
Ephesians 4:32 tells us to “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
It’s hard to communicate well when one or both of you are angry, resentful, or nurse hurtful sentiments from the past. When you hold anger and are unforgiving towards your partner in your heart, it makes it difficult to see the current situation clearly. You approach with an intent to hurt, lash out, or express your anger and frustration, and in doing so, you might miss the heart of what they are trying to say to you.
The past is in the past. The healthiest thing for your marriage is to let it stay there. Of course it’s important to deal with issues as they arise, and to resolve them in a way that you are both able to live with. However, once an issue has been dealt with, let it go. Don’t drag it up in future arguments.
It’s also important that you don’t hold on to resentment. Resentment colors your interactions with your spouse and stops you from seeing what is good and worth valuing in your marriage. Your spouse is only human, and it means that sometimes they’re going to make mistakes, just as you are. Learn to practice forgiveness as shown by Christ, so you can approach one another with open, trusting hearts.
Take time to listen
James 1:19-20 tells us that “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
This is a wonderful marriage advice that, once implemented, will change the way you communicate with each other forever. How many times have you waited impatiently for your partner to finish speaking so that you can make your own point? Don’t feel bad if you have – it’s a natural instinct, and so easy to do.
If, however, you can learn to listen without judging or waiting to jump in, your communications will improve dramatically. You’ll learn so much about your partner, and their hopes, fears, and feelings. Being intently listened to is a validating experience. By providing that gift to your spouse, you’re bringing the two of you closer together.
Sometimes your partner will say things that are hard to bear. Instead of rushing in with an angry response, take some time to think before you speak. Look for the heart of their words – are they angry or afraid? Are the frustrated? Look for what you can do to support them with that, rather than going on the defensive mode.
Christian faith gives you and your spouse a common ground, a kind and loving foundation from which you can build a marriage that nourishes you both and brings you closer to each other, and to God also.