Tonight, I am presenting what I believe is the second most important thing in making marriages work….communication! We have all had that relationship where it seemed like we barely spoke to the person we were dating. If you haven’t had that relationship, you know someone who has. You know the pain of going days sometimes without speaking and you know how unbelievably difficult it was to know anything about them because of that. Likewise, we have all either had a relationship or know of a relationship that was strained because every time a problem came up, it was never discussed, never vocalized, never hashed out. The problem festered, gathering infection that would usually lead to the relationship’s downfall. For ALL of us, we have treated Christ like that. We have seen our walk with the Lord falter and we have seen our spiritual growth stunted by the lack of spending quality time communicating with our Savior. Well, just as a relationship with Christ can not grow without communication, neither can your marriage. You would think that this is the easy part, but it’s not. In fact, one of the top reasons given in faltering marriages is a lack of communication. So, I have narrowed down to two important aspects of communication and why it isn’t just a necessity, it is vital to the survival of your marriage.
First of all, we communicate so that we can continue to become experts in our spouses. Remember, I used this analogy a couple of posts ago. I said that I am an expert in Janology (the study of my wife Jan). This is not a study that ends after a couple of years of research. This is an ongoing endeavor that lasts a lifetime. You should spend time getting to know your spouse every day, of every month, of every year you are together. After 12 years, I am still learning things about my wife- favorite books, new bands that have emerged that she likes, favorite new scent at Bath & Body Works. I also am constantly learning what she doesn’t like, or likes no longer. Yes this happens. People grow out of hobbies, grow tired of collectibles, and genuinely look for new things to take part in. The best way to learn this stuff is simply ask. Why go to the trouble of trying to play the guessing game and get it wrong (like I do every time I guess) when you can get it from the horse’s mouth? This also goes with things that are going on in the marriage. What do they think is going right and what isn’t working that well? When I came up with these six things, I consulted Jan and found out what she thought were the top 5 things. We compared lists and found them to be similar. How can we be so in tuned with each other? Simple- we talk!!
Secondly, we communicate our problems to each other. I tell my wife all the time that I can’t fix what I don’t know. Couples need to stop playing Russian Roulette with their marriages. We take stabs in the dark about what is working and what isn’t. We grope around in the dark trying to figure out why our spouse is mad without ever asking. And the worst part is we take the attitude of “I’m going to be mad at you, but I’m not going to let you in on it” therefore taking our spouse by complete surprise. Here is the bottom line. You are going to disagree. You are going to drive each other crazy. Your spouse will push every button you have to the point that you believe they do it on purpose. That is one of the biggest reasons that you know you are with the person you are meant for. Jan drives me up a stinking wall at times. She is her own special brand of crazy. But, here is the thing, I deal with the crazy and I can’t wait for the chance to wake up next to her brand of crazy every day. She pushes every button I have and I still want to spend the rest of my life with her- that is when you know it is real. We talk about our crazy and we tell each other when we are doing something the other can’t handle. Crazy is ok, as long as you are on the same crazy train together (by the way- I have my own brand of crazy she deals with too).
The last thing I urge you to do is this. While I think it is important for you to have a friend or two to vent to about your spouse (we both have people we go to), never discuss with your friends anything that you don’t intend to discuss with your spouse that night. In the end, it is your spouse that will share your life with you, not your friends. Ephesians 4:26 reminds us to not allow the sun to go down on our anger- meaning before you lay your head down to sleep at night, resolve your problems with your spouse, if you don’t, you will harbor anger and resentment- two things that are not conducive to healthy marriages.
Coming Soon……Three’s Not a Crowd
In Christ Alone,
Rev. Bro. Coach.