I’ve been married 30 years, and through those years I’ve seen all kinds of marriages around me. I’ve seen people that have been together for 40+ years that are really bad examples of marriage. I’ve seen people married for three months and it looks like they’ve been together forever. It’s not about the number of years you’ve been together, but rather what has happened during those years. Are you compatible? Do you have common interests? How well do you communicate with each other? Is your marriage growing? Today, we’ll consider how to communicate with your spouse.
Dana and I have been through all kinds of issues during our marriage (miscarriages, Katrina, homeschooling, money issues, etc.), but the key was we were going through it together. Not just in the same boat so to speak, but instead both rowing in the same direction. There is a big difference.
One of the best things Dana and I have done over the years has been doing marriage studies together. We spend time working on our marriage by discussing topics, learning about each other’s wants and desires, and reading about what God wants our marriage to be.
Dana and I were in a married couples small group, and we were thinking about doing a marriage study. I asked, “how many have ever done a marriage study?” No one raised their hands! I said, “no one has ever done a marriage study before?” Some of the people in that room had been married for many years. My immediate thought was, “how in the world can you have a great marriage if you are not working on it?”
Men and women are as different as the sun and the moon; we need to spend the time learning about each other. Many years ago, Dana and I did Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages,” and it helped with our communication process.
The 5 Love Languages are as follows:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Example: If you love to give your wife gifts but she’d rather you spend time with her, you both will be frustrated as neither will get the reaction you were looking for. You need to learn how to communicate with each other. If your wife’s love language is spending time with her…SPEND TIME WITH HER! You’d be surprised how many men don’t do that in spite of knowing that’s her love language.
How to Communicate with Your Spouse
This is the time you need to prioritize your wife and listen to her input. If she is talking about wanting to lose some weight, that is a cue to set a goal to eat healthier as well. If she is showing some concern about money, maybe you suggest reading a book together or take a class about budgeting. The more you invest in your marriage, the healthier it will be. Developing a great marriage takes time and effort. You get out what you put in.
Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”