A couple weeks ago God gave me the opportunity to write a post on Marriage Oneness – The Oneness Factor. Today I’m here to walk us through the next step in building a great godly marriage and that is the art of communication.
I think most of us can agree that outside of a Christ center marriage, communication is the most important aspect of a healthy relationship. So why does it feel like pulling teeth when we try to communicate with our spouse? Because God made each and every one of us completely different from the next. We all bring different backgrounds, perspectives, and expectations into relationships which sculpts how we communicate. Tim and Lea Lundy do a great job of laying out those differences;
- Land the plane vs. Enjoy the ride
- Land the plane communicators want to find the shortest path to the goal. The destination is the goal
- Enjoy the ride communicators think you might as well relax and enjoy the ride. The trip is what it’s all about.
- Share your feelings vs. Just the facts
- Share your feelings communicators feel deeply about the things they communicate. Emotions are part of the conversation.
- Just the facts communicators set aside emotions for logic, reason, and fact. Emotions interfere with good conversation
- Think out loud vs. Let’s take turns
- Think out loud communicators ask questions and makes comments as soon as the thought occurs – even if the other person happens to be talking at the same time. Conversation is a group activity.
- Let’s take turns communicators use principles of justice and fair play to govern communication. Conversations are simple: first you talk, and then I talk.
Look through the 3 different communications styles and think about which one you are. If your spouse is nearby, have them read through the above list and decide which communication style best describes them. Then compare with one another. Continue reading below to learn how to manage your communication differences as laid out by Tim and Lea Lundy;
Four communication skills that build Oneness:
- Open your heart
- “Be kind to one another, tender hearted…” – Ephesians 4:32
- Emotional connection should be a top priority for every husband and wife.
- Share “I feel…” comments
- Become a good listener
- Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19
- How do you become a good listener?
- Give focused attention – Don’t look up the field; keep your eye on receiving the ball
- Seek Understanding – Don’t settle for just hearing words
- Ask clarifying questions – “What I hear you saying is….”
- Learn to speak with honesty and compassion
- “Speaking the truth in love…” – Ephesians 4:15
- Think, think, THINK before you speak
- Ask yourself, “Is this the best time to say what I’m about to say?”
- Use words that encourage and build up
- Be aware of your non-verbal communication
- Communication is more than words
- What your spouse hears;
- 7% words
- 38% tone of voice
- 55% body language
How are you doing so far? The above information is a lot to take in but if you can grab on to a couple of these items your marriage you will be greatly benefited from it. Let’s take a look at two different ways you can improve your communication immediately (choose one of the two);
- The 30 minute daily check in
- Establish a regular time to talk at home.
- Turn off all distractions.
- Catch up on each other’s lives, and build Oneness (More detail on Oneness can be found here);
- Common Direction
- Emotional Connection
- Mutual Commitment
- Create an every week date to communicate
- Establish a regular time/day.
- Turn off all distractions.
- Catch up on each other’s lives, and build Oneness (see list above)
Communication is hard, especially in a marriage. But anything worth having in this life requires a great deal of work, sacrifice, and intentionality. The same principles apply to your marriage. Pray together and ask that God protect you and your spouse as you work on developing a soul-level harmony. I know you can do this and it will be worth every ounce of effort you put into it!