Communicate Clearly With Your Spouse – No Manipulating!

This week we are focusing on what it means to live a Christ Centered Marriage that is focused on Glorifying God during our 5 Days of Intentionally Living series.

Communicate Clearly with your spouse - no manipulating!

Image courtesy of [Anusorn P nachol] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Yesterday we discussed one of the first keys to living out a Biblical, Christ Centered Marriage: Selflessness! It’s so important to learn how to daily die to self and live for Christ!

But our selflessness may go unnoticed {not that recognition is our goal} when we fail to communicate in marriage. Even the most selfless person’s marriage can hit the rocks if both spouses are not communicating clearly.

Early on in your marriage, communication may have been easier. But as the years go on, life gets busier, and conversation and communication suffers. But communication is so vital to every marriage. Especially when we are upset, we need to learn to deal Biblically with our anger and communication.

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” ~ Ephesians 4:26-27

 

This verse has a certain level of urgency to it. Don’t let the day go by without dealing with anger and conflict. Many married couples will go days or weeks in the same fight. They dwell on arguments and harbor ill feelings toward their spouse. But this isn’t Biblical. We are called to deal with our anger that very same day.

Learning to Communicate Through Conflict

If we are to not let the sun go down on our anger, then this means we need to learn how to communicate through conflict. You can have a cooling off period, but don’t let hours {or days!} slip by without coming back together and dealing with the problem at hand. Ask for and give forgiveness quickly! Learn how to communicate Biblically in conflicts.

Don’t Manipulate

In marriage it can be easy to turn to manipulation to try and get our own way. Wives, I daresay, are particularly bad at this! And sometimes it’s not intentional.

Crying, pouting, giving the cold shoulder, giving the silent treatment, ect. can all be ways we try and manipulate our spouse. I don’t cry very easily but sometimes I just wish I could cry so my husband could see how upset I am. I’m not thinking ill thoughts when I think that but it’s a form of manipulation. It’s dishonest!

Steps to Communicating Clearly

Clear communication can be very hard to accomplish, especially if years of bad communication are firmly established. But with God’s help, any marriage can change and start down the road to healing.

1) Try to Stay Calm

Don’t blow the discussion out of proportion. Try to keep calm and stay present in the moment, however hard that may seem. Don’t bring up past arguments or problems. Stay away from “you always” or “you never.” These are very exaggerated terms!

2) Don’t Let Time Elapse

Thankfully when we were engaged, we had some very solid teaching from an older couple that we should never go to bed angry with each other. So thank the Lord we have never gone to bed mad at each other {although that has made for some late nights}.

But sometimes I just get so mad I can’t think or see clearly. In the back of my mind I know the right response I should be having, but anger clouds my judgement. In times like that I know I need to take a break from the conversation or my sin will take over. So my husband knows now that I need a little time. Just some time away to clear my head and pray. But we always know that within minutes {or sometimes hours} we need to come back together to reconcile. 

3) Pray

There have been many times, in the midst of conflict,  where I know my first response is sinful. So while in the conflict I silently pray that God would help me to respond in a godly way. Or ask your spouse for a few minutes away so you can privately pray and then come back together.

Another excellent tool is to pray together. Stop and ask your spouse if you can pray together so as to come to reconciliation. Ask God to change your hearts so that even within disagreements you can communicate clearly and glorify God.

4) Be Patient

I know this can be hard at first to work through problems when you are used to being angry for days or weeks. When we were first married I was not used to trying to work through a problem with urgency. I was perfectly happy to sit in my own sinful anger and be mad. I had a hard time sitting and talking when all I wanted to do was yell, scream, and run away. But slowly over our marriage it has gotten easier. And because we have never gone to bed mad at each other, we just know that we have to work through problems.

If I walk away for 10 minutes to cool off,  I know in the back of my mind that it can’t last for long because we have to reconcile soon and not put it off. It gets easier and more effective the more you practice it! 

This discussion just barely scratches the surface to what it means to communicate clearly. But with a few intentional thoughts and lots of practice, you can start to get your marriage back on track by communicating clearly – and remember, don’t manipulate!

This post is part of 5 Days of Intentionally Living!* A mini-series that runs all week long brought to you by 16 bloggers. That’s over 80 posts on living intentionally. Come back the rest of the week for more Christ Centered Marriage posts!

Our Christian Marriages should be firmly rooted in the Word of God. But it can be hard to know how to do that or what that should look like. Join us as we explore what a Christ-centered, God-glorifying Marriage should look like! {Plus many practical tips}

*While we support this series, we have not read through everything on all of the series’ blogs and thus cannot say for sure if we agree with everything written on these blogs.*

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Comments

  1. So God! Hallelujah for this post! I always remember this verse when I am in some conflict with my husband and definitely feel convicted if we don’t take care of it asap. Lord Jesus, cause us to look away unto you! Lord, we don’t want to miss you during these times. Gain us Lord so that we can just be open to your leading day by day. Oh Lord Jesus, how we fall short many times. Lord, keep instructing us day by day. You are so good at being God and we trust in you with every experience we have!

  2. Often times I can get so upset I don’t even remember what I am upset at! Hubby and I have learned that calling a timeout, literally making the ‘T” motion with our hands, is super important. But then also trying to set a time to come back together. That way we ensure we come back to the problem instead of letting it hang.

  3. Totally! We have to set a time to come back together or it won’t happen lol! But my hubby is the opposite. He has to deal with it here and now. He hates even going 10 minutes without resolving things. But he has learned that sometimes I just need my space. And then he always makes sure we reconcile! I’m so fortunate for him :)