BIBLE READING: PROVERBS 31:26; PROVERBS 12:18
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” Colossians 4:6 (NKJV).
The life of every relationship is communication. It runs through every aspect of marriage because once there is a communication breakdown, it affects everything and opens a door for the enemy. Communication is the ability to transmit thoughts and perception between two people. There are two key types of communication i.e., verbal and non-verbal communication.
Males and females communicate differently. Women usually communicate emotionally (based on how they feel) but men communicate logically (based on thinking and reasoning for they work with facts). It is noteworthy to know that we interpret things based on how we are because we don’t see things the way they are but rather the way we are. This is the law of perception which states that perception is stronger than reality.
Our communication can be compartmentalized into three parts:
A. The actual contents of the words one speaks. This refers to the words expressly communicated and makes up about 38% of the general communication.
B. The tone of voice with which one communicates: This makes up about 7% of the communication content. (see Lk.8:18)
C. The non-verbal communication This makes up about 55% of the communication content and consists of things such as signs, gestures, body language, etc.
However, words can heal as well as destroy your spouse’s self-esteem (see Pro. 12:18). It is advisable in communication not to talk when one is angry because you won’t communicate properly and may say things that you will regret afterwards.
When you correct, learn to always sandwich commendation with correction in between so that your spouse won’t misunderstand your intention. Apparently, to reduce tension in marriage, there are things you have to overlook or tolerate but there are some sensitive things you need to sit down with your spouse to discuss. When you are dealing with a man, don’t hurt his ego. As for the woman, don’t hurt her feelings.
Note that your tone of voice matters in communication because a soft answer pacifies anger but grevious/arrogant words increase it. (see Pro15:1). A man who you cannot submit to is a man you cannot influence and you will not have favour with him.
Obstacles to Communication:
- Lack of truthfulness: This creates suspicion, distrust, etc.
- Not maintaining exclusivity in your marriage covenant: Love is jealous. Even God said that he is a Jealous God and that we should not have any other gods beside him (see Ex. 20:3).
- Not maintaining boundaries with the opposite sex: As married couples, we must establish boundaries with the opposite sex. There is a place in your heart that only your spouse should occupy.
- Love needs to be serviced through communication. If you stop expressing love to each other, it dies.
- Defensiveness: When your spouse is telling you something about you, listen and don’t be defensive.
Tips to Effective Communication:
• Take out time for one another (spending quality time together).
• Be responsible for communicating your mind to each other by learning to express thoughts, feelings and expectations to each other.
Note: When there is a communication breakdown, satan starts talking to each of you in your mind (he is a master at altering perception) and at this point, some people begin to assume things in their mind that are not real.
• Realize the difference in perception between both of you.
• Finally, be an attentive listener. (see Jam.1:19).
Lord, grant us the grace and wisdom to communicate effectively to our spouses in Jesus’ Name. Amen.