I am frequently asked to share what I think is the key to a healthy relationship. From dating, to being engaged, to being married; what is the key to keeping it healthy and making it last? My answer is simply this, communication.
Let me explain to you how you’re potentially doing it wrong: Unless you are an extreme extrovert, communication is probably not your strong point. In fact, you probably avoid it at all costs, unless it involves a close friend or someone whom you know will most likely keep the conversation going for you.
Most people rely on social media to do the communicating of life for them. We assume by posting our life updates and special moments on social media, that we no longer have to communicate face to face with people. Texting eliminates the step of having to discern how to process and respond to people’s voices and create an immediate respond.
Please do not get me wrong, social media and texting are incredible inventions. One that keeps my long distance friends and family still involved in my everyday life! However, those incredible inventions do not keep me from actually picking up the phone or meeting with family and friends in person.
Knowing how to have and keep a conversation with someone of any age, any demographic, any background, any job title, and any lifestyle is a trait that is so sadly being lost in today’s generation due to our “forms of communication”.
Now I know you’re probably asking: “How does this relate to marriage?” Trust me, it does! People get into relationships and they then begin to try to figure out how to communicate, however, that was never something they practiced before the relationship. Communication in a relationship is often so hard because people do not practice it until they are smack dab in the middle of a situation where they so desperately need it. When you hear someone say “communication is vital in relationships”, know that it does not just mean in a dating, engaged, or married relationship.
Every relationship needs communication to survive! I can almost guarantee your long-lasting friendships have not survived the passing years by surface based conversations. “Hi, goodbye” conversations have no weight to them and do not last the test of time. Every solid relationship is sustained by simple communication.
#1. Have you ever had a teacher who never once communicated something to you? How could you ever learn anything, if they never spoke to you? If we are to be teachers of God’s word, how can we do that by never opening our mouth? We must speak to teach!
The definition of communication is the sharing or exchanging of important information or news; a means of connecting with people. In layman’s terms, communication is not only what sustains a relationship, but is the production of growth as well!
Matthew 28:19 says “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” If you look up the word disciple, it is simply defined as a follower or student of a teacher or leader.
#2. We must ask questions to learn. We are called to follow Christ and spread that good news of hope and life to all nations! We have to prioritize our own personal growth in Christ to help teach others. We grow in Christ by being in constant communication with Him. This is where the communication process begins! Once we grow in communication with Christ, our confidence and knowledge grows. With constantly seeking a deeper relationship with God, our wisdom of His word can grow. With a deeper understanding and more wisdom of His word, we can take that to more and more people.
As we continue on this journey of following Christ and teaching about Him, Lord willing, He will bring someone along who is on a similar journey, headed in the same direction. Our communication continues with Christ, people, and this special person.
Sooner or later when that special relationship grows, so does the communication. Next thing you know, you’re in an intimate and lasting relationship. One, because you’re following Christ above all and two, because you’re prioritizing communication which spawns room for exponential growth!
Plain and simple, making a post on social media or sending someone a happy birthday text, is just not enough. Pick up the phone, go to their home, sit down with them or even take them to coffee!
The best relationships are built on the best communication. That goes for family relationships, friends, loved ones, and most importantly God!