There are five levels of communication in marriage. Communication is simply talking, but of cause, there are more things involved than just talking. A healthy conversation involves not just what is said but what is heard.
In essence, communication is a two-way conversation that involves speaking and hearing. The two spouses must form the conscious habit of allowing the other spouse to express himself or herself. While he/ she speaks, the other partner should be actively listening.
Not listening for pleasure, not listening for information but should practice empathic listening. This is putting yourself in the conversation. Trying to understand and feel the impulse of the speaker.
It is unhealthy to dominate a conversation without waiting at intervals to get feedback, to check whether your hearer is hearing the right thing, to know how he/she is processing the information. The aim of your conversation, especially in marriage, is for your partner to understand what you are saying and then obey you.
Listening should not also be done with the intention of giving a reply that will defend your status or what you represent in the marriage covenant.
I think we cannot also have a good conversation with our spouse if our interpretation of what marriage is, is defective. Until we see our marriage from the viewpoint of it being a covenant relationship, every other thing becomes loop-sided.
What we see most couples practicing is a contract and not covenant marriage. This is so important. It is a contract (which could be unwritten and informal) when the marriage is based on mutual benefit. That is, we are both doing something for each other.
For example, I will be nice to you, if you bring in enough money. Or, if you help out in the house, I will prepare the meals. The opposite obtains if your spouse doesn’t do what is expected. I will be very cold and unresponsive to you if you hurt my feelings. I will be uncaring to you if you disrespect me.
Marriage is a covenant in which each partner takes up his/her responsibility. The wife is to submit fully. The husband takes up his responsibility to love her like Christ does irrespective of what she does. It is the aim of a covenant relationship to please and serve the other person despite what he/ she does.
It’s kind of difficult right? Very hard. Especially if you have been to some school of hardknocks where you have been deeply hurt.
If you are starting on a clean note and you have this understanding, how blessed you are.
No matter how farther away we have gone, in Christ there is always a way out. He shows us and leads us in the way since He is the way.
We need to retrace our steps and in humility, accept what works. When a marriage is not working, both partners are responsible. It is not just one person’s fault but the two parties have their contributing factors.
Tomorrow, I will attempt to summarize the five levels of communication. A further read is encouraged on the subject of communication especially by the best-selling author Gary Chapman.
I am sure you will find it rewarding and worth your while.
God bless your marriage.
CONFESSION FOR THE DAY
I know how to communicate with my wife
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord, give me wisdom
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
ACTION PLAN FOR THE DAY
Talk to your spouse
BIBLE READING FOR THE DAY
1 Tim 4
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