Communicating in a relationship without having the necessary skills causes many marriage problems.
Lack of communication in a relationship is the #1 cause of marriage problems.
Expecting to communicate effectively in a relationship without the proper skills is like expecting a Chef to cook a great meal without the proper ingredients.
Is it possible? Sure.
Is it preferred? Probably, not.
In this article, I aim to give you biblical and practical tips to not only provide you with techniques that you can only use in certain situations, but I plan to use these tips as a way to quickly help you develop the required mindsets needed for effectively communicating.
I pray these tips really renew your mind.
I’d really love it if these communication tips helped you establish habits rooted in mindsets that you apply daily.
How do you communicate effectively in a relationship
Communicating in a relationship starts with having a good relationship with God.
When people ask themselves how to fix communication in a relationship, they rarely start there.
I start there.
Having a good relationship with God, which is demonstrated by being obedient to God’s word, sets the foundation for communicating effectively in your relationship.
Many people don’t start there. Many people just start with techniques. I have nothing against techniques; I use the techniques.
But, techniques in communication are like ingredients in cooking.
Sure, smoked paprika may be great when cooking smoked chicken wings, or barbeque ribs.
But, should you use smoke paprika on everything? Probably not.
In other words, people will learn a technique that works well in one situation, and try to use that same technique in every situation.
For example, imagine a husband is dressed and ready for a date with his wife.
His wife steps out of the bathroom after putting her makeup on, and he tells his wife, “you’re absolutely beautiful.”
In that example, the husband telling his wife that she is beautiful would be the technique.
That would be the smoked paprika. (I love smoked paprika)
But, which would be better, learning that technique to tell your wife she is beautiful in situations where she has just gotten ready to go out with you?
Developing the communication habit and mindset of complimenting your wife regularly. Regardless of the specific situation.
Trust me, that will lead to far fewer marriage problems.
I personally believe, that the same God who created the world with words, has a design for how his creations( the people in the world) should use words.
How can we expect to know the proper way to communicate in a relationship without knowing how God intended His creations to communicate in the first place?
If you really want to know how to communicate better with your spouse, work on your obedience to Christ.
Unfortunately, people just don’t realize how true that is. Let me try to help with that.
5 Ways to Improve Communication in a Relationship
Communicating in a relationship tip #1:
“Do unto your spouse, as you would have your spouse do unto you.”
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
Treat your spouse like you want to be treated.
Felice. Really? That’s the tip?
You would be extremely surprised, how many marriage problems that one truth will save you from.
Do you know what’s funny in a sad way, about us sinful humans? What’s sad and funny is how we often don’t follow that very basic tip.
We hate being lied to, yet we often communicate lies.
We won’t tolerate disrespect, yet, we often communicate disrespectfully.
We want to be apologized to when someone does us wrong, but we are tight-lipped when it’s time to admit to people when we are wrong.
In other words, hypocrisy causes many, many, marriage problems.
I once coached a couple that had communication issues.
The wife was telling me that her husband criticized her cooking and never complimented him.
Of course, that shouldn’t happen. Constant criticism leads to horrible communication in marriage. But, what’s funny in a sad way was that she had a habit of cursing at him and yelling at him.
And she claimed to be Christian!
Is that how God says we should communicate?
Do you get my point yet?!
Sure we can all instantly agree that we should treat others, and more specifically, our spouses how we want to be treated, but just because you can agree it should be done, doesn’t mean you’re committing to doing so.
To wrap up tip #1, commit yourself to treating your partner how you want to be treated, REGARDLESS of who your partner is in the relationship.
That’s the mindset you should keep in mind in all that you do.
Communicating in a relationship tip #2:
“Seek honesty, not deception.”
Proverbs 6:17 names a “lying tongue” as one of the things God hates.
We should be as honest as possible in our relationships.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
We’re sinful creatures from birth.
We’re going to deceive directly, or indirectly.
What we can do, is take conversations in our relationships, moment by moment, and day by day.
Strive for more and more honesty.
The spouse that is receiving honesty has a responsibility too.
Their responsibility is to control their reactions, and refrain from judgmentalism so that your spouse has an easier time opening up to you.
Communicating in a relationship tip #3:
“Learn to take criticism positively.”
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but, deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”
I think everyone has experienced having a relationship with someone that used flattery as a way to get what they wanted from you.
Even if the relationship was just a superficial relationship. Hereee comes the flattery….waittt for it…here comes the request after the flattery.
What’s interesting is that even if someone we know is communicating with flattery to use us for something, why do we often prefer that form of communication than communication with honesty that may unintentionally hurt our feelings?
As my Sifu says, “People don’t like hearing their baby is ugly.” Forgive the comical example, but the meaning that’s being communicated is, people often don’t want to hear the truth about reality.
The point is this, learn to take loving criticism from your spouse.
Trust your spouse that should also be your friend, your companion, your lover, the helpmate God has given you with the responsibility of not only loving you by telling you positive things.
But, loving you in truth and showing you the things about yourself that you need to work on.
Don’t be so quick to get defensive and shut the conversation down when you hear something about yourself you need to improve.
Communicating in a relationship tip #4:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
James 1:20 “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
It’s amazing how many things we get angered that in our relationships. Especially, if been in married for a while.
Sometimes we have triggers that have nothing to do with our spouse.
Sometimes when communicating in our relationship, we’re actually the wrong ones, but we get angry at our loved ones.
Sometimes we have absolutely no reason to get mad at all, and it’s just a built-up, unnecessary action.
How do you attempt to deal with all that anger? You deal with it by being slow to anger. When you feel that anger rising, restrain it for as long as you can.
Make a habit of doing that. It would be great if you could restrain the anger AND not let it out at all, but usually, if you have anger issues, you have to work up to that.
Work up to that by holding the anger back as long as you can while communicating in your relationship.
Communicating in a relationship tip #5-
Matthew 6:14-15″For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
As Pastor John Macarthur, or as I call him, ‘Daddy Mac’ once said,” you have two imperfect people together. Don’t you think there’s going to be problems?”
We are imperfect humans, permanently stained by the sin since Adam.
We are going to make mistakes in our relationships. We are going to mess up while communicating.
We’re going to make promises to do better, and then, sometimes we’re going to do worse, right after making those promises.
We can’t hope to ever have a long-lasting and loving relationship without having two spouses constantly and consistently forgiving each other.
Hopefully, now you see how being obedient to God’s words helps with communication in your relationship.
Hopefully, now you clearly see how being faithful to God’s instructions contained in the Bible naturally leads to spouses communicating better in their marriage.
Don’t use these tips as techniques. Use these tips to help you instill the mindsets needed to improve communication in your relationship.
Improving communication is a process.
That process usually doesn’t happen immediately.
Normally, the process of learning to effectively communicate happens gradually, over time.
Don’t be discouraged when you fail from time to time.
When you fail, commit to doing better in the next conversation.
Communication in a Relationship
What’s the number one problem with communication in your relationship?
Let me know in the comments.