Scripture Verse: Ephesians 4:29.
Outside of a commitment to Jesus Christ, there is nothing more crucial to the life of a marriage than communication. Money, children, intimacy, spiritual growth, sexuality, and unity all depend on the lifeblood of communication. By the words we speak, we can bring life or we can bring death; we can encourage or discourage; we can build up or tear down; we can promote unity or we can ensure division. This is especially true in marriage.
In considering communication, every husband and wife needs to examine their motivation and heart attitude. In Matthew 12:35-37, Jesus tells us the heart of a man is revealed by his words. We must begin our search for righteous communication in our heart. What is our motive? Why do we say what we say? Are we telling the truth? Does the desire of our heart want to build up or tear down? Is God’s will more important than the last word? Among others, these questions must be asked and answered before truly intimate communication can take place between a husband and wife.
Communication also takes time. Anyone believing the essence of communication is quality, not quantity, should consider this alternative – the essence of communication is quality and quantity. Speaking from personal experience, it sometimes takes an hour just to wade through the small things and begin communicating on an intimate level. Both husbands and wives should be prepared to spend large amounts of time talking and sharing.
One of the difficult areas in communication is vulnerability. Revealing who we actually are isn’t easy, nor is it comfortable. But, if a husband and wife can learn to open themselves to one another, fear will subside and be replaced by genuine intimacy and growth.
- What should be the primary topic of conversation in a marriage? Joshua 1:8-9; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Malachi 3:16; Psalm 145:11; Ephesians 5:19.
- Discuss what happens when people don’t communicate effectively. Matthew 5:23-26; Proverbs 18:13,17; Amos 3:3.
- Why is it necessary to understand that our heart attitude is just as important as our words? Matthew 7:17-19; 12:34-37; Ephesians 4:22-24.
- What should be the tone of communication between a husband and wife? Ephesians 4:15,25,29; Proverbs 15:1; 16:24; 25:11; I Corinthians 13:4-8; Philippians 2:3-5.
- Do husbands and wives have a responsibility to rebuke and admonish one another in love? Ephesians 4:16; Romans 15:14; Proverbs 27:6.
- How important is it for husbands and wives to take responsibility for their words, especially when they’re sinful words? Galatians 6:5; James 1:13-15.
- Why is it necessary to deal with current problems and not past arguments? Ephesians 4:26; Philippians 3:12-14; Isaiah 43:25.
- What value is there in addressing problems one at a time? Matthew 6:34.
- Discuss the principles of Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:35 and how they relate to marriage.