Communication Is Not Campfire Kumbaya
Deep Dive will take you deeper in your personal walk with the Lord. Sometimes we are hindered from growing as a couple because of personal issues that keep us feeling stuck. This content is meant to be applied personally. Remember, the only person you can change is you.
This week we are talking about Communication Drift.
One important aspect of communication is learning to share your feelings with your spouse. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to sit around a campfire and sing Kumbaya, My Lord. But the truth of the matter is our feelings are a big part of who we are. Being able to identify and talk about them contributes to our overall health, including the health of our marriage. When we fail to talk about our feelings, marital drift occurs.
Let me ask you a question:
How satisfied are you with the emotional intimacy in your marriage?
My husband and I were recently fighting about money. Or so it seemed to us. Upon closer examination, we discovered how we were discussing the matter was actually the problem. We weren’t creating a safe place for one another. My husband felt like I was doubting his ability to make good decisions, and I felt like he was making decisions without me. In the end, my husband felt disrespected. I felt unloved.
The Bible provides wisdom about how to communicate effectively in marriage.
1 Peter 3:7 instructs husbands to dwell with their wives in an understanding way (emphasis added).
Ephesians 5:33 instructs wives to respect their husbands (emphasis added).
How can we do that?
Becoming A Safe Place
If you answer yes to any of the following questions you might be an unsafe place for your spouse.
- Is it hard for your spouse to get a word in edgewise around you?
- Are you sometimes sarcastic when your spouse is experiencing intense emotions?
- Do you dismiss your spouse’s contributions to conversation privately or publicly?
- Do you chide, patronize, or criticize your spouse?
- Do you get defensive when your spouse asks you a question?
- Do you interrupt your spouse or attempt to finish their sentences?
- Do you sometimes not respond at all to your spouse?
- Do you check your phone when your spouse is talking?
- Do you prefer to watch shows or scroll the internet instead of talk to your spouse at night?
Taking It Further
As you consider your answers to the above questions, recognize that every couple experiences degrees of emotional brokenness in their marriage. The important thing is what we do with our brokenness.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isaiah 58:12 calls God the, “Repairer of Broken Walls.”
Ask God to forgive you for the ways you have been an unsafe spouse and repair your emotional brokenness. Apologize to your spouse, if necessary. By God’s grace, through faith, you can build a marriage you love and experience emotional intimacy with your spouse.
#DateNight is the place where you will be encouraged to continue to date your spouse. Carving out time to be together can be challenging. Let’s keep trying!
I promise you don’t have to sit around a campfire or sing for this one either — but you do have to face your feelings and share them. We all know how easy it is to sit in silence in the car or at dinner with our spouse. To help combat this tendency, bookmark this email and use the questions below on your next date. Asking a few simple questions can really take your date up a level and make your spouse feel seen and loved.
Note to Dominators: If you tend to dominate conversation, remember to simply ask the questions and then stop talking! Don’t interrupt your spouse or attempt to answer for them.
Note to Daydreamers: If you get distracted and stop listening, admit it, tell your spouse you are sorry and ask them to start over.
Check It Out is where you will find links to outside resources including helpful articles, funny videos, book recommendations, recipes, and more.
✅ Check out these fun questions to ask on date night.
✅ When your spouse is talking about their feelings, remember not to do this.
✅ The thought of sharing the gospel can be scary. Check out this book which will encourage and equip you to communicate God’s invitation of salvation to anyone.
✅ Feeling sluggish? Try this catch-all remedy.
May God bless you with emotional health this year. I know you can do it!
Melissa Gilmour is a home-schooling mom and recovering perfectionist who finds freedom within the boundaries of God’s Word. She enjoys rearranging furniture, uninterrupted conversation, and coffee with her husband. She is known to curl up in the fetal position when she hears her five children rouse in the mornings.