Communication is such a vital aspect to any marriage, whether it’s a Christian marriage or not. But a lot of times it can be really challenging to know how to properly and effectively communicate with your spouse. This is especially true when you need to talk about tough topics that might stir up strife and division between you.
But learning effective communicate in marriage is the key to a long-lasting and healthy relationship with your spouse. So it’s worth taking the time to learn and practice better communication skills for the sake of your marriage — you both will be more happy for it.
So let’s talk about 8 simple steps that you should take in order to ensure healthy communication within a Christian marriage.
Step 1: Seek God’s Leading
The very first step to communicating with your spouse should be coming before Almighty God in prayer. You should first and foremost seek out His will in regards to what you want to talk about with your spouse. Is what you want to communicate the truth according to God’s Word? Is it something that falls in line with God’s revealed will? You want to make sure that all of your communication is in line with God’s will for you and your marriage and you want to put Him first in all of your decisions. This will ensure your communication with your spouse is blessed and goes a lot more smoothly because of it.
Step 2: Consider the Timing
Timing is such a key factor to healthy communication within a marriage. Because a perfectly innocent topic can be completely blown out of proportion if broached at a bad time. So think hard about when the best time would be to bring up the topic you want to discuss. More than likely it will be at a time when you both are free of other distractions and when you are alone so that you are not demonstrating any disrespect towards your husband by bringing up private and sensitive topics in front of others.
Step 3: Keep Your Attitude in Check
As you bring up the topic you want to discuss with your spouse, be very careful to keep your attitude and tone of voice in check. It’s amazing how easily something can get blown out of proportion if it’s approached in a negative and uncaring way. So if you find yourself having a resentful or bad attitude, then take some steps to battle that first, before you try communicating with your spouse about it. And then when you do return to the conversation ensure that your tone of voice is kind and that you aren’t talking down to your spouse, but rather showing them the honor and respect that you would desire them to return to you.
Step 4: Practice Empathy and Hear Them Out
In the midst of a heated conversation, it can be all too easy to ignore the needs, feelings, and concerns of the other person. Because your own emotions can easily overshadow their needs. Before you broach the topic at hand, consider how they might feel about the situation. And then when you are both communicating about it, continue practicing empathy towards their side of it. Allow them to speak their side and actually listen to what they have to say so that you can get a better picture of what is going on, and so that they feel heard and not ignored.
Step 5: Don’t Let the Conversation Get Heated
Depending on the topic you need to talk about with your spouse, it’s possible that the conversation can quickly get heated and turn into an argument. Don’t let it. By practicing the other steps in this list, you can try to avoid getting into an argumentative mode that doesn’t really solve anything. And if the conversation does seem to be getting heated, you can try out some of these tips for immediately stopping a heated argument with your spouse.
Step 6: Be Willing to Compromise (or Let it Go)
The Bible is clear that wives are to be submissive to their husbands. So as long as the topic at hand doesn’t go against God’s revealed will, then it might just be the best option to come to some kind of compromise that you can both agree on. Or, if need be, to completely let it go. If you’re having a hard time doing that then coming before God in prayer can really help. But just remember that sometimes it’s simply not worth the argument and strife between you and your husband. That isn’t what God wants for you. And as hard as it is, there are times when, for the sake of your marriage, you will need to demonstrate meekness and humbleness in your actions.
Step 7: Don’t Stay Angry With Each Other
If you find yourself in a situation where you and your spouse do get into an argument, or that you have to take the route of compromising or letting it go, then it’s vital to completely resolve it in both of your hearts before going to bed. Don’t hang on to bitterness and resentment, for these things can easily build up and grow within your heart. For this reason, the Bible says to not let the sun go down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26). So try hard to come to some kind of agreement or compromise in order to quench the fires of anger within you and your spouse.
Step 8: Pray, Pray…Repeat
You know the old adage in regards to washing your hair, “lather, rinse, repeat”? Well, in the case of healthy communication with your spouse the adage should be “pray, pray, repeat”. Your go-to response before, during, and after all communication with your spouse, especially about touchy topics, should be to pray…and then pray some more! Leaning in to God to sustain your relationship is the key to putting Him at the center of your marriage. And doing this will keep your marriage healthy and strong. And if you’re not sure how to pray for your spouse, be sure to check out my favorite book about praying for your husband here.
Effective communication in marriage starts with God
You have the power to put God at the forefront of your marriage. And when it comes to communication, you have to lean in to God to lead you in what to do, how to act, and what to say.
But remember that it also has to do with your own actions. How you conduct yourself plays a big role in the health of your marriage. So even when you need to communicate something tough with your spouse, approach it in a loving and Godly way that is patient and kind. And doing this will ensure that you and your spouse maintain healthy and effective communication in marriage from day one to eternity.