Married: choosing to communicate.

choosing to talkIn our culture, we’ve become so successful at ignoring the things we don’t want to see or hear. We can even “block” and “delete” the people in our lives if we want to. This is detrimental to the art and practice of communication in our relationships and especially in our marriages.

Yes, there is sin and hurt and pain in marriage, but when we leave these things underground and refuse to talk about them with our most trusted friend, our spouse, our marriages slowly begin to rot away. Many couples don’t even know why they can’t get along anymore because they’ve buried these hidden things so deeply.

In my own marriage, I’m learning that just because something isn’t talked about, doesn’t mean it’s not there. There are things I used to hide from my husband that I’ve learned he needs to know. The scary thing is, I didn’t hide these things to spite him or hurt him or anything along those lines, but rather, I hid them because I felt that I was being a “good wife” by not being a needy wife. After all, I’m his helper, his support, and his partner. I’m suppose to submit and respect him, so where does that leave room for me gripping about my needs?

This skewed view of submitting turned out to be very destructive to our marriage because I began to slowly melt into a pool of my own insecurities, convincing myself that I wasn’t good enough for my husband to take care of at all. I fell into this habit of being “selfless” and not telling my husband what I needed, emotionally, sexually, or spiritually, because I thought that was biblical submitting. All I was doing was driving a wedge into our tight and loving relationship. The bible says to submit, but it never says to be silent about our desires and needs.

Since I realized this sin in my life and repented to my husband, we’ve agreed to start being really intentional about communicating and because of this our relationship has become so very rich and fulfilling!

Here are some keys we’ve discovered to great communication:

| ask direct questions |

 Before this, we’ve always just asked things like, “are you okay?” or “how are you?” but we’ve found those are easy questions to skirt around. Now, we ask more pointed questions like, “did you {insert struggle, bad habit, or sin here} today?” and “we’re you tempted today?” and “how can I pray for you/us?”

| speak up and be specific |

This was the toughest one for me to work through. I think we all at times just want our husbands to read our minds, but that usually leads to disappointed wives and frustrated husbands. It’s frankly very unfair to our men!  I’m learning to be open and vulnerable and throw my super-wife cape out the door during those times when I so desperately need my husband.

 | pray and be timely |

The time to bring up your deepest issues with your husband/wife is not the moment they get home from work or while they are falling asleep after a hard day. It’s good to wait until the opportune moment. My point is to be timely. Pray and be patient. Wait until the best moment presents itself and proceed with grace and boldness.

| praise one another |

I can’t stress how important this one is! Our words can build or they can break and our tongues can cause great fires. Never use your words to belittle or discourage your spouse. No one wants to open up to someone who continually beats them down.

is something bothering you? TALK ABOUT IT. Does something your spouse do really hurt you? TALK ABOUT IT. Are you struggling with some hidden sin? TALK ABOUT IT. Would you prefer that your spouse did so-and-so every so often? TALK ABOUT IT. With grace and love and patience, simple TALK. Talk deep, talk shallow, talk funny, talk fast, talk hard, talk sweet. Talk all the ways you know how!

Encourage, build up, and choose to have faith that God can renew and empower your marriage through the practiced art of communication.

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