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20 Ways to Build Effective Communication in Christian Marriage

Originally posted on November 29, 2023 @ 12:00 pm

Communication is a foundation of every successful marriage. Christian marriages benefit a lot from building effective communication. However, communication in marriage requires determination and continuous intentional effort of both partners. In this article, we will explore the meaning of communication, the benefits of communication, the challenges of communication in Christian marriages and how to build effective communication in a Christian marriage.

What is Communication in Christian marriages?

Communication in a marriage is the exchange of thoughts, emotions, desires, information and ideas between partners. It involves using verbal and non-verbal interactions or conscious and unconscious interactions to relate and connect. In a Christian marriage, communication with one’s partner should reflect our love for them and God. Your partner should be respected and their feelings and emotions must be considered to communicate effectively with them.

What are the Components of Communication in Marriage

  1. Verbal Communication: Verbal communication involves spoken words – expressing needs, desires, feelings, and thoughts. Verbal communication includes discussions, arguments, conversations and any form of direct verbal exchange between partners.
  2. Non-Verbal Communication: Non-verbal communication involves activities like body language, facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and even silence convey significant messages. They often communicate emotions, intentions, and attitudes more powerfully than words.
  3. Emotional Communication: Understanding and expressing emotions play a crucial role in marriage. Sharing feelings openly and empathetically contributes to emotional intimacy and connection between couples.
  4. Listening: Active listening is equally important in communication. It involves paying attention, understanding, and responding thoughtfully to what the partner is expressing. It is very vital for both partners to intentionally listen to each other.
  5. Conflict Resolution: Disagreements and conflicts are very common in marriages and it is important to learn to manage conflicts properly. Navigating disagreements, conflicts, and differences in a constructive manner is a critical aspect of marital communication. It involves compromise, negotiation, and finding solutions together.

Spiritual Connection in Communication

In Christian marriages, communication is more than mere exchange of words; it’s a channel for spiritual connection. Whenever a couple are connected spiritually and can communicate properly; they build a spiritual connection that is difficult to break. Their words are fulfilled and their prayers for each other are easily answered.

Effective communication in marriage starts from courtship. That is why I usually emphasize to intending couples that they should discuss vital issues in courtship before marriage. It helps to build your communication pattern and you gradually understand your partner’s communication pattern.

Bolanle Adelekan

 Importance of Communication in Marriage

Communication in marriage is very vital and in this section, we will look at some of the importance of communication in Christian marriages.

  1. Establishing Connection: Communication forms the basis of connection and intimacy between spouses. It encourages a sense of belonging and understanding within the relationship.  
  2. Resolving Issues: Effective communication enables couples to address problems, clarify misunderstandings, find solutions, and prevent issues from escalating.
  3. Building Trust: Honest and consistent communication builds trust between partners. It creates a safe space where both individuals feel heard and valued.
  4. Emotional Support: Through communication, spouses offer each other emotional support, empathy, and validation, strengthening the emotional bond between them. Healthy communication builds trust and emotional intimacy, allowing couples to share their deepest thoughts and feelings; fostering a stronger bond of trust and companionship.
  5. Spiritual Unity and Growth: Through effective communication, Christian couples experience a deeper spiritual unity. Conversations centred on faith and spirituality nourish their spiritual growth, aligning their beliefs and values.

Building communication in Christian marriage
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Bridging Communication Gaps in Marriage

Effective communication is the lifeblood of a thriving marriage. It serves as the vessel through which couples express their thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. When communication breaks down, it creates gaps that can strain the foundation of even the most solid relationships. In this section, we delve into the vital topic of “Bridging Communication Gaps in Marriage” and explore the techniques and strategies that can help couples restore and enhance their connection.

 Identifying Communication Gaps

Before couples can bridge communication gaps in marriage they need to recognise the communication gaps in the marriage. Communication gaps are things that prevent great communication in a marriage. Often, these gaps manifest as repetitive arguments, emotional distance, or simply feeling unheard. Self-awareness plays a crucial role in identifying personal communication challenges and their impact on the marriage. Some of these communication gaps include:

  1. Root Causes of Conflict: To effectively bridge communication gaps, it’s essential to unearth the root cause of conflicts. These may range from unresolved past issues, and deeply rooted emotional triggers, to differing communication styles. By addressing the underlying reasons, couples can begin to heal and rebuild their communication.
  2. Painful Past Experiences: Past experiences have a significant impact on how individuals communicate. Unresolved issues from the past can resurface in current interactions. Addressing these issues and understanding their connection to current communication patterns is vital.
  3. Assumptions and Misinterpretations: Partners may assume they understand each other’s thoughts or intentions, leading to misinterpretations of actions or words.
  4. Unspoken Expectations: Each partner might have unspoken expectations, assuming the other will naturally understand, causing confusion and disappointment when expectations aren’t met.
  5. Withholding Information: Deliberately withholding important information or feelings can create a communication void, hindering transparency and trust.
  6. Different Communication Styles: Varied communication styles, such as one partner being more expressive and the other more reserved, can lead to a mismatch in conveying and receiving messages effectively.
  7. Ignoring Non-Verbal Cues: Disregarding non-verbal cues, like body language or tone of voice, can lead to misunderstanding the true emotions or intentions behind the words spoken.
  8. Avoidance of Conflict: Partners might avoid discussing sensitive topics or conflicts, thinking it’ll prevent arguments but lead to unaddressed issues that linger and grow over time.
  9. Assuming Agreement: Assuming agreement without explicitly confirming can lead to surprises when partners realize they are not on the same page regarding decisions or plans.
  10. Technology Overuse: Overindulgence in technology, like spending excessive time on phones or devices, can limit face-to-face communication, creating a gap in intimate conversations.
  11. Emotional Distance: Emotional distance, caused by stress, work pressures, or other life events, can hinder the openness needed for effective communication.
  12. Lack of Active Listening: Failing to actively listen to one another, interrupting, or not giving full attention during conversations can create a disconnect and hinder meaningful communication.

Challenges of Communication in Christian marriages

  • Different Communication Styles

Individuals are not the same; we have different temperaments and personalities. Different communication styles or preferences may lead to misunderstandings or conflicts, requiring efforts to bridge the gap. It is more difficult to resolve conflicts when both partners are not willing to yield.

  • Unresolved Issues

Allowing unresolved issues to thrive can cause a bridge in communication between partners. When communication fails, unresolved issues may persist, affecting the overall harmony and satisfaction in the relationship.

  • External Influences

External factors such as stress, work, family, or societal pressures can impact communication, requiring a conscious effort to maintain effective communication. Negotiating these influences without compromising the sanctity of marital communication is a challenge Christian couples often face.

  • Misinterpretation of Biblical Teachings

Despite a shared faith, spouses may interpret biblical teachings differently. This can lead to challenges in communication, requiring patience and openness to discuss and align perspectives in a manner that respects individual interpretations while seeking unity.

 How to Improve Effective Communication in Christian Marriages

  • Active Listening and Empathy

Christian communication emphasizes active listening and empathy. Listening becomes an act of respect and love, fostering deeper understanding, while empathy cultivates a compassionate approach to marital conversations. If partners are willing to listen to each other’s thoughts and opinions with empathy, a lot of conflicts will be easily resolved.

Encourage attentive listening without interruptions. Focus on understanding your partner’s thoughts, feelings, and perspectives before responding. Reflect on what you’ve heard and calmly clarify what needs to be clarified.

  • Conflict Resolution

Conflict is inevitable, but in Christian marriages, resolution draws from biblical principles. Forgiveness, reconciliation, and humility play pivotal roles, guided by the teachings of Christ in resolving conflicts.

  • Couples Devotions and Discussions

Studying scriptures together and discussing their application in daily life strengthens the bond between Christian spouses. It becomes a shared journey of faith, fostering intimacy and understanding. Praying together and actively meditating on the word of God is a great way to build both physical and spiritual connection.

  • Marriage Counselling and Spiritual Guidance

Seeking support from church or spiritual leaders, or engaging in marriage counselling, can provide valuable insights and tools to enhance communication, offering a structured approach to resolve communication challenges. Couples can also attend marriage seminars together so that they can learn new things and gain new insights.

  • Create a Safe Space for Communication

Foster an environment where both partners feel comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment or criticism. Ensure discussions remain respectful and constructive. Make it a principle that both of you will always respect each other even during heated arguments or conversations.

  • Use “I” Statements

Frame conversations using “I” statements to express feelings or thoughts without assigning blame. For example, “I feel…” rather than “You always…” I believe this is easier when you accept your blame and acknowledge your fault in the cause of the conflict.

  • Validate Each Other’s Feelings

Acknowledge and validate your partner’s emotions, even if you don’t necessarily agree with their perspective. Validation helps create emotional connection and understanding; your partner sees your empathy and responds with the same energy.

  • Clarify Assumptions and Misunderstandings

Learn to address assumptions by seeking clarification and discussing any misunderstandings promptly. Avoid assuming, be patient enough to know your partner’s thoughts or intentions.

  • Set Aside Dedicated Time for Communication

Try to Schedule regular check-ins or quality time for open, honest conversations. This can range from daily debriefs to weekly discussions, ensuring communication doesn’t get neglected. You and your partner can have a habit of discussing how your day went before bedtime; it forms a beneficial pattern.

  • Be Mindful of Non-Verbal Cues

 Pay attention to non-verbal cues, such as body language and tone of voice, as they often convey underlying emotions. Understanding these cues can enhance comprehension. This tip is useful for all kinds of relationships; always read actions more than words.

  • Practice Empathy and Understanding

Put yourself in your partner’s shoes to understand their perspective. Empathy fosters compassion and strengthens the emotional connection between partners.

  • Seek Compromise and Resolution

Focus on finding mutually acceptable solutions during conflicts. Aim for compromise rather than trying to “win” the argument, prioritizing the health of the relationship.

  • Seek Professional Help if Needed

Consider couples counselling or therapy to facilitate communication if issues persist. A neutral third party can offer guidance and tools for effective communication. I usually suggest visiting a Christian counsellor whose faith aligns with yours.

  • Support Each Other’s Growth

Nurturing individual growth within the marriage is a vital component of communication. By supporting each other’s personal goals and aspirations, couples can strengthen their bond and create a more harmonious connection.

  • Forgiveness and Letting Go

Forgiveness plays a significant role in resolving past communication issues. Letting go of grudges and past misunderstandings frees the relationship from the weight of the past, creating space for growth, commitment and understanding.

  • Identify external stressors or Influence

External stressors often impact communication. Identifying these stressors and developing strategies to manage them can minimize their impact on the relationship. By working together to alleviate external pressures, couples can create a more nurturing communication environment.

  • Love Language

Understand your partner’s love language and communicate using their love language. Understanding each partner’s love language is a powerful tool for improved communication. By speaking in a way that aligns with a partner’s love language, couples can enhance the quality of their interactions.

  • Honesty and Transparency

Being open and honest in communication is paramount. While honesty may sometimes be uncomfortable, it is the pathway to building deeper understanding, connection and communication in a Christian marriage.

  • The Power of Timing

The timing of a conversation plays a vital role in its success. Choosing the right time and place for important discussions ensures that both partners are receptive and ready to engage in open dialogue. Always read the mood of your partner before starting a conversation.

  • Prayer

It is important to pray for your partner always. Men should pray daily for their wives and wives should pray daily for their husbands. The role of prayer in fostering love and communication is very crucial.

10 Bible Verses about Communication in Marriage (with Commentary)

Before I conclude the article, let me share some bible verses that are helpful for Christian marriage communication. I have added commentary to each verse and I believe they’ll inspire you.

1. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

   “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

   Commentary: This verse highlights the importance of constructive communication in marriage. It encourages speaking words that edify and uplift your spouse, promoting a healthy and supportive environment. It encourages us to use words that are not degrading or dehumanizing for our spouses, building their confidence and not tearing it down.

2. Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

   “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

   Commentary: This verse explains that Communication holds immense power. Words spoken can either build or destroy a marriage. Speaks life into your partner, not death.

3. Colossians 4:6 (NIV)

   “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

   Commentary: Graceful communication involves speaking with kindness, understanding, and wisdom. It encourages spouses to interact in a manner that reflects Christ-like love.

4. James 1:19 (NIV)

   “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

   Commentary: This verse highlights the importance of active listening and the restraint of anger in communication. It encourages patience and a willingness to understand before responding.

5. Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

   “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

   Commentary: It emphasizes the power of a gentle response in diffusing conflicts. Choosing gentle and respectful words can prevent unnecessary disputes and strengthen marital harmony. We must never use fire to quench the fire.

6. Proverbs 12:18 (NIV)

   “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

   Commentary: Wise communication brings healing and reconciliation. Speaking with wisdom can help to build a home where peace and love abounds.

7. Proverbs 21:23 (NIV)

   “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

   Commentary: This verse underscores the importance of exercising control over one’s words. It encourages restraint to avoid unnecessary strife or harm in relationships.

8. Matthew 5:37 (NIV)

   “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

   Commentary: This verse emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity in communication within marriage. It encourages straightforwardness and transparency.

9. 1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)

   “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

   Commentary: Communication involves not just words but also the tone and manner in which they are delivered. This verse emphasizes respect and consideration in communication between spouses. Physical and emotional abuse should never be heard in a Christian home. Both partners should treat each other with love and care.

10. Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)

    “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

    Commentary: It emphasizes the impact of kind and gracious words in marriage. Words spoken with kindness and love can bring comfort and restoration to the relationship.

How to build effective communication in marriage
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva

Final Thoughts

Communication in marriage is the cornerstone of a healthy, thriving relationship. It involves active listening, empathetic understanding, openness, and a commitment to understanding and being understood. When nurtured and prioritized, effective communication strengthens the bond between partners and contributes to a fulfilling marital life.

The devil is after Christian marriages because he knows that Christian marriages are one of God’s strategies to raise an end-time army. We must work on our marriages and find ways to communicate effectively with our partners. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us, we will be able to build a marriage that is formidable and stands the test of time. We will have a Christian marriage where communication is a tool to foster love, peace and unity.

Implementing these strategies requires dedication, patience, and willingness from both partners to actively engage in improving communication. Consistent efforts towards bridging communication gaps can significantly strengthen the marital bond and foster a deeper connection between spouses.

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