Challenges, Commitment, Communication, For Men, For Women

5 Indispensable Habits for Rock-Solid Communication

There’s such security knowing that we’re both in this marriage thing for the long haul. Selena and I are far from perfect…FAR. In fact, we’ve had two significant arguments in the past 15 hours, and that includes 7-8 hours of sleep, hanging out with friends for 3 hours, and about 2 hours of work. That leaves about 2-3 hours where we’ve been alone together and we argued (significantly) twice. Twice! That’s around 1 per hour. I’m both ashamed and impressed…

I wouldn’t say we’re argumentative people. We love to laugh and joke with each other…a lot! And we love having fun, being spontaneous, and connecting emotionally.

But lately a perfect storm of stress, sniffles, and circumstance has heightened tensions around the ‘ol Frederick household. But…even amidst our irritableness, there’s a strange, deep joy that appears when we argue. It’s not necessarily happiness in those moments, but a deep joy.

Why? Because we both know that no matter what, we will always work through whatever we’re arguing about. We’re totally sold out for each other, we’ve burned the ships, and ditched all escape plans. We both know this without a doubt.

Additionally, we’ve both committed to staying present and involved. Marriage takes two and it requires that you’re both engaged emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually in fighting for your union. It’s inevitable that you will disagree when you spend your life together. But it’s important that you never stop talking and working toward unity.

Inspired by community

We love to share thought provoking and inspiring Instagram pictures. And our Instagram community is so fun to interact with! Last week I posted an image that resonated the message of this post; in fact, it’s the reason I’m writing this. The response was very positive so I thought I’d take some time to elaborate a bit more on the points I raised in the caption and trace each one back to scripture.

Here’s the Instagram image for reference (make sure to follow us on IG if you don’t already!)

5 Indispensable Habits for Rock-Solid Communication

Remember this: healthy communication is always a dialogue and never a monologue. Both sides must be actively speaking, processing, listening, and seeking understanding. Here are 5 basic but indispensable habits for rock-solid communication:

1.) Talk

Actively engage your minds in discussions and learn to articulate your own thoughts in a loving way. Most people don’t struggle with talking when they want to communicate something. But true wisdom is found when you speak what you mean in ways that give life.

Verse: “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” – Proverbs 12:18

2.) Listen

Give each other the space and time they need to communicate by listening. Don’t interrupt, just be silent and listen.

Verse: “A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered.” – Proverbs 17:27 (NLT)

3.) Seek understanding

When you listen, try to understand your spouse’s perspective. This means empathizing with them; trying to imagine how they must feel as they’re communicating. What circumstances are they facing? What could they be feeling? They’re your spouse, so it’s not a stretch to try and understand their feelings! When we seek understanding, we’re wise. When we don’t, we’re fools (ouch).

Verse: A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” – Proverbs 18:2

4.) Act

All the conversations in the world won’t mean anything if it never translates into tangible action. Be disciplined enough to follow up your conversations with action. Pray for grace to change behavior and underlying beliefs…just take action. Note, actions are a natural byproduct of love. Just as we don’t perform “works” to earn our salvation in Christ but good works are a natural overflow of experiencing grace, your love for your spouse should compel you to take action.

Verse: “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18

5.) Rest

Remember that you’re both works in progress and you’re in this for the long haul. There is grace as God works in you, so rest and be patient…with yourself and with your spouse.

Verse: “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12

Pray through it all

If you’re struggling with constant communication issues, you’re not alone. We’ve been through many, many seasons that seemed unending where Selena and I just couldn’t seem to connect. If that’s you, we’ll write another blog post on how to break the ice, but here are a few quick ideas: get out and do something fun together, seek counsel from godly people in your life, pray hard for wisdom, and (no joke) be intimate. We’ve found that any one of those things can help unblock the lines of communication.

I hope this article has helped you. Don’t let passivity keep you from digging deep and finding agreement on the important things and working past negotiable differences. Engage, talk, listen, seek understanding, act, and of course, always rest in Jesus.

Discussion questions:
Have you experienced communication issues in your marriage? How did you work through them?

Please feel free to comment below!

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