The other night, I was in a marriage coaching session with a couple. After we had finished, I sat and thought about the communication between these two spouses. I gradually began to think about my communications with my husband over the past 13 1/2 years.
I realized that many times couples underestimate the effectiveness of loving, open-hearted communication.
When we were in our first two years of marriage, I remember thinking that good couples in healthy marriages did not argue. Now that I have been married to my high school sweetheart for more than a decade, I have come to realize that some of the best couples, indeed argue. They are just careful about how they do it.
Many times in life, we try to avoid some of the hardest situations. When we are in the fire, we run away, refusing to get burned. What we fail to realize is that somethings require fire in order to be refined, like gold. That is how our lives are.
We spend a lot of time around people who want to tickle our ears. They don’t want to ruffle our feathers because they are afraid that challenging our perspectives will jeopardize the relationship that they have with us. Yet, without challenges, we cannot become better individuals or live our best lives for Christ. Without challenges, we are stuck in our same ol’ ways, smiling, but never better. However, marriage is not one of those relationships, nor should it be.
In a marriage each partner, by default, should make the other better.
Think about it. This is the person that lives with you and sees you at you best…and worst. He knows when you are giving something your all and when you are doing it half way. He can see when you are walking in love and walking in anger. To be even more precise, he can see what you cannot see about yourself and speak truth to you about it, in love.
I know, it doesn’t always feel like he is speaking in love, but what if you adjusted your hearing. Do you think that you could turn down your detection of pessimism, resentment, and anger long enough to detect the love that he has in his heart for you. Do his words challenge you and call you out of fear? Does he confirm what God has already spoken into your heart about the changes that you need to make to be your best?
I have found that over the course of my marriage, communication with my husband has not always been easy, but more times than not, it has been very beneficial. I have had to make a choice to remain accountable, open-hearted, and humble towards him, so that he could lead me.
Yes, I said that my husband leads me. When I have prayed for direction and I’m looking for someone to speak into my life, God will often use my husband to say some of the toughest things to me. Because his eyes are watching me each day, I have also been held accountable.
In trusting our husbands with our hearts, we leave room for God to speak to us through them. He is able to validate us through the one human relationship that will be most fulfilling on this earth.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. ~Ephesians 5:22-33
Today, I want to encourage you to consider the communication that you have with your husband. Don’t think that it always has to sound or look a certain way in order for it to be effective. It should not be abusive, but it doesn’t have to be pretty either. It needs to be what God knows is best for you in your life and in your marriage. Your husband loves you and servers God in helping you though this process of sanctification and cleansing that God is so mercifully taking you through. See the fire and the flame as methods used to make you better. Never stop talking to, texting, emailing, winking, or smiling at your husband. Leave the lines of communication open and know that in a loving relationship, iron sharpens iron.