In speaking with other women, I must agree that the greatest challenge to accomplishing a happy marriage is how husbands and wives communicate, or do not communicate with each other. My church employs an evangelist couple who are head of “Old Paths” Baptist Ministry. I find their “Communication in Marriage” to be very helpful as a reminder for myself, and I pray that it will be of great value to others:
“Communication in Marriage”
The most common problem in marriage seems to be the communication problem. God anticipated this and gave us many scriptures to help us foresee and overcome this problem. Here are just a few:
James 3:8-10: “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”
Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
Proverbs 25:11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
Job 19:1-2: “Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?“
I Peter 3:10: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:”
Communication in marriage is more than simply talking to one another in the marriage context about the everyday problems that are bound to occur. Communication is the transmission and receiving of information, knowledge, facts, etc., etc. Mr. Webster in his 1828 Dictionary defines communication as follows:
1. The act of imparting, conferring, or delivering, from one to another; as the
communication of knowledge, opinions or facts.
2. Intercourse by words, letters or messages; interchange of thoughts or opinions, by conference or other means. Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, Ye sought for David in times past to be king over you. 2 Samuel 3. Let your communication be, yea, yea; nay, nay. Matthew 5. In 1 Corinthians 15:33, Evil communications corrupt good manners, the word may signify conversation, colloquial discourses, or customary association and familiarity.
3. Intercourse; interchange of knowledge; correspondence; good understanding between men. Secrets may be carried so far as to stop the
communication necessary among all who have the management of affairs.
The bold and underlined thoughts above are a couple of ideas that I consider to be very important in establishing a good marriage relationship. I believe that the “interchange of thoughts or opinions” and the “good understanding between men” (or the husband and wife) are two key ingredients of a successful and happy marriage.
In Genesis God gives us some very practical instruction in the marriage context.
Genesis 2:24-25: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed”
Here are some suggestions based upon scriptural guidelines that will help you to communicate well in your marriage.
Proverbs 18:13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”
Listen to what your spouse has to say and don’t be in a hurry to spout your own opinion. Listening is a habit we should all cultivate.
Proverbs 15:23, 28: “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! And The heart of the
righteous studieth to answer: …
Proverbs 21:23: “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”
Proverbs 29:20: “Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.“
These thoughts follow the first very closely. Learn to think first and be slow to speak.
Colossians 3:9: “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
Ephesians 4:15, 25: “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” Verse 25: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.”
Be truthful in love. Be very careful not to exaggerate in your conversations.
Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”
Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put awayfrom you, with all malice:“
Anger, quarrelling, manipulative behavior will certainly cause many problems. Proverbs 25:11
James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Be ready to admit your error and ask for forgiveness. If you are on the receiving end, make sure that you accept the confession of wrong. Wipe the slate clean and go on. To forgive and forget is certainly a Godly trait that we should emulate in our lives.
Ephesians 4:32: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Wherefore comfort yourselves together,and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering
thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Always be ready to build each other up. Don’t be a blame shifter (Genesis 2). Be a restorer not a criticizer. Don’t be a nagger. If you are criticized or blamed don’t react and respond in the same manner. Romans 12:17,21.
Ephesians 4:1-3: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Philippians 2:1-4: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Understand that not everyone sees things as you do, and each person should “make allowances for differences.” Think about the other person and be genuinely interested in them and their opinions.
If you would like more information on this subject contact:
“OLD PATHS” BAPTIST MINISTRY
1482 N. Ramah Dr., Pueblo West, CO 81007
Dr. Robert E. Bliss, Director