by Kim Moore
If you ask most husbands and wives what is the number one challenge they face in marriage you will often hear “communication.” It makes sense too. However I offer a different mind about this. Communication is simply the exchange of thoughts and ideas between one or more people.
Communication problems can be quantified into a set of skills, which we all can learn and develop. But, this is not so easily done when the problem is the heart. No set of skills will change the nature of a self-protective and self-serving heart. It seems easier to say we have communication problems than to say we have a heart problem.
Getting beyond the need for communication, I have discovered that what husbands and wives really want at the end of the day is to connect! Certainly, communication has its part to play in two people being able to connect, but communication is not the goal – connection is the goal. Husbands and wives desire to connect deeply, intimately and honestly with one another. Our fear of abandonment and rejection keep many of us in survival mode, especially in the relationships that matter most.
While communication skills enable us to better convey our thoughts, cares and concerns, they cannot displace fear. The antidote for fear is love (I John 4:18). Fear prevents even the best of us from speaking up, being quiet and otherwise engaging one another honestly. Poor communication skills simply aggravate the problem. Imagine the experience we would have if fear of abandonment, rejection, being misunderstood, or being exploited did not figure prominently in our interactions.
Fear teaches us to lie, cheat and manipulate others for our own benefit and survival. Love, on the other hand, encourages and inspires us to tell the truth, give rather than take, and honors the free will of others at the expense of ourselves. This kind of love cannot be manufactured, simulated or acquired through purchase. It is free and must be received before it can be offered as a gift to another (I john 4:19). What if husbands and wives learned how to receive love from God first? (Romans 5:5) What if through this love God exchanged our fear of rejection with unqualified acceptance (Ephesians 1:5 and 6). And what if the hearts of husbands and wives truly discovered that God would not ever abandon them? (Hebrews 13:5) Still, even better, what if either husband or wife received and began participating with these biblical truths? Jesus taught us that while it does take two, it was He working together with His Father through which we were reconciled and restored to God (Romans 5:8).
I imagine a day when husbands and wives will receive God’s love abundantly. This love will drive out fear and unhealthy dependencies upon each other. Each will choose to love the other as a sovereign act of their will. And they can because the love of God abides in them. I imagine such husbands and wives to be emotionally available, sexually desirable and deeply connected and committed to one another. In this climate few words are needed. Oh yeah, about those communication skills we are developing—they are icing on the cake!
BMWK – letting go of fear and embracing God’s love will allow husbands and wives to connect in ways that they never thought were possible.
Kim Moore believes every woman (young and old) deserves to know and be confident in the reality that she is loved. You can reach Kim via her website, Kim Moore and Friends