“The longest sentence you can form with two words is… I DO.” – H.L. Mencken
“I DO!” Those are the two words that started my wife, Jan, and I on the road to a now 40 year marriage. Yes, it was June 6, 1976, that we first said “I DO” and on Monday, June 6, 2016, I will say once again, “I’m glad I DID!” Jan and I will celebrate our ‘Ruby Anniversary’….40 years of life together!
If your marriage is like most, it began with good communication. You got to know one another by spending time together. You talked and talked and talked.
Communication is the essential element to every great marriage. Getting to know another human being requires talking. It’s how we fall in love. It’s how we understand another person’s heart. It’s how we resolve problems and discuss needs. It’s so important.
Jimmy Evans, founder and CEO of Marriage Today, recently wrote of the – Five Standards of Successful Communication in Marriage. I was encouraged by them and thought maybe they’d be of a blessing to you:
Caring. This is a very simple principle. It’s impossible to communicate with a person who doesn’t care. We show how much we care through attentive body language, listening, and feedback.
Praise. The Bible says we enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). God doesn’t let a negative person into His presence. We’re made in the image of God, which means, as humans, negativity destroys our chances of communication, too.
We can’t always avoid negative discussions in marriage, but we have to earn those with positive words. Focus on each other’s strengths. Focus on the attributes that first made you fall in love. I always tell people they should speak ten positive words for every negative one.
Truth. Ephesians 4 commands us to speak the truth in love. Both truth and love are required. Mercy without truth is like being a cheerleader without a team. It’s meaningless. Truth without mercy is surgery without anesthesia. It’s mean.
Faith. You must have faith—in God and in each other—to communicate in marriage. When problems arise, we may confront them in each other, but we need to allow God to be the enforcer. No nagging, punishment, or browbeating. We let the Holy Spirit convict someone into the actions that can transform them.
Surrender. We must surrender our hearts, minds, and mouths to God. Let Him use us to speak kind words into our marriage.
Communication is central to a good marriage, whether you’re a man or a woman. Speak kindness, truth, and positive words to each other, and watch how God will use these things to draw you closer than ever before.
The Family Heritage Alliance remains ever commitment to building strong, healthy, lasting marriages. After all that fits our FHA Vision: “That South Dakota be a state where God is Honored, Religious Freedom Flourishes, Families Thrive and Life is Cherished!”
Remember – The best marriages are made of two servants in love. Put each other first and you’ll discover the marriage of your dreams. May the Lord bless your marriage today, tomorrow and into eternity.