Did you know there are godly rules for communication in marriage? Not to make it sound strict like that one 3rd grade teacher we all had. But in all seriousness, God really has everything figured out for us and it has been conveniently put in Scripture. If you haven’t already adopted the Bible as your Life Book and Source for every aspect of life, we highly suggest that you start now… especially when it comes to communication in marriage.
The Importance of Communication in Marriage
As a married couple, we’re sure you understand how communication works. There are many ways to do it but sadly, as time goes on, it seems to be one of the most misused attributes. Take one glance back in time and you’ll see that communication used to rely on a person’s ability to sit down (or stand) with another person and speak face-to-face. There was a dialogue without modern-day distractions like social media and cell phone apps. Each moment of communication was caring and full of meaning meaning.
When it comes to communicating with your spouse, these characteristics are the very glue that will help hold your marriage together. They will help you stay on the same page and be a source of inspiration and motivation versus destruction. Below is a list of biblical guidelines that you and your spouse should follow when communicating in your marriage.
Godly Rules for Communication in Marriage
Being intentional about good communication in your marriage will unlock blessings that flow beyond the relationship with your spouse. It will be mirrored by your children and felt by those within your circle of influence. Write down these godly rules for communication and make every effort to walk them out in your marriage.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
Easier said than done, right? The truth of the matter is it’s is 100% doable. Oftentimes this can be accomplished by attentively tuning in when your spouse is speaking. Try to turn off your response thoughts and genuinely listen to what they are saying. Get in the habit of repeating what they said by saying, “So what I hear you saying is _______.” Then, give yourself time to process and think of what to say next. If you feel yourself getting angry, don’t hesitate to verbalize this to your spouse by saying something similar to, “I feel myself getting angry. Can we take a break from this conversation and come back to it once I’ve calmed down?”
This little bit of extra communication can prevent conversations from becoming too heated, meaningless, or even hurtful. Also, pay attention to your body cues so you can be more mindful if/when this arises in the future.
Be intentional about speaking kind and uplifting words.
“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24).
“The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4).
Although there are many more verses that raise awareness about the kind of words we speak, these two stand out the most. They speak about the very essence of our words and how they can be sweet to the soul, healing to the bones, and be like the tree of life. Keeping in line with life and death flowing from the tongue, communication with your spouse should be profitable. It should make a positive impact and plant good seeds that will spring forth good fruit.
Verbalize forgiveness toward your spouse.
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
Verbalizing forgiveness toward your spouse is a form of communication that comes with powerful healing and blessings. Oftentimes, when a couple is going through the hurt or pain caused by the other, the number one thing that could catapult healing is hearing, “I forgive you.” Sure, the person who has been hurt needs to hear sorry, but the person who was humbled enough to say sorry also deserves to hear that they’re forgiven.
Practice the “golden rule” in your communication.
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
The “golden rule” is typically reserved for actions in what is done to another person, but this can certainly be for communication in marriage as well. Think about how you speak to your spouse. Is it loving, gentle, and clear? If not, think about how you feel if/when your husband or wife speaks to you in that manner. You most likely feel demeaned, taken advantage of, and mistreated. Before communicating with your spouse, make sure you’re speaking in a way that you would want to be spoken to.
The godly rules for communication in marriage spoken about above are crucial building blocks for having a happy and healthy marriage. If you truly struggle in this area, confess it to God and your spouse. As for grace, mercy, and patience as you actively work (and pray) toward making any necessary changes. If you don’t communicate issues with your spouse, it will be much harder to have their support and help to get through it. Take it one day and one conversation at a time. We’re rooting for you!