Working as a Certified Christian Life & Marriage Coach definitely blesses me in being able to offer my clients the best of both worlds. I have been able to apply effective coaching strategies, tools, and resources while being guided by the Holy Spirit and applying the greatest resource of all…the Word of God.
For the sake of not alienating anyone, let me make it clear that some of my clients favor that I use one or the other, and some prefer that I use both. Some of the lessons below certainly apply to all marriages as the couples see fit.
In our work together, we center on characteristics of communication as one of the main ways to progress the marriage. Certainly, there are numerous approaches and thoughts that married couples can implement in order to progress their communication.
For Christian couples or couples that are believers and spiritual in nature I recommend establishing “go-to” scriptures that you and your spouse can stand firm on (foundational) as you strive to honor your spouse through your marital communication.
Below are five scriptures to assist your union in putting the Word of God to work in your marriage along with your marital communication to train your mouth to speak life and not death to one another.
No Weapon (Words) Shall Prosper
Proverbs 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Just as we know right from wrong, we know the right words to use and certainly the wrong words to use in speaking with our spouses. It is my belief that we are to design our marriages to speak life using carefully our words to build one another up and to express our emotions, desires, and aspirations with our spouse. Our words have no room in our marriages to be used as a weapon. Think about it…do your words bring healing or hurt to your spouse?
It’s Not What You Say Rather How You Say It
Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
You can say anything you want to your spouse…it all is in HOW you say it! Be aware of your word selections to your spouse. We all have heated fellowship in marriage at one time or another, so be mindful. As tensions heighten, this can be difficult to do, but with practice, it becomes second nature. As you converse with your spouse, begin to ask yourself, would God be delighted with my tone and word selections. Begin to pray with one another that your conversations would be pleasing to God.
James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to get angry.
Marital communication consists of more than just talking. If each spouse is dedicated solely to talking, they will likely end up with negative emotions consisting of feeling and/or being misunderstood, unheard, and possibly unvalued by their spouse. In this scripture, we see that God’s design for communication assigns a hefty emphasis on hearing versus talking. We were gifted with two ears and one mouth for this reason. I encourage you like never before in new and refreshed ways to really open your ears toward your spouse and fully hear what it is that he/she is saying to you. Train yourself to talk less and listen more.
Restraint, Restraint, Restraint
Proverbs 17:27 – Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
It requires a great deal of self-control to restrain from “unforgiving” lashes of the tongue. Hence the LIVING Word of God that tells us that life or death is in the power of the tongue. You must be alert and sensitive to your emotional states while recognizing that God has already equipped you with the tools to self-soothe, and what is critical to the success of our marital communications is to stay engaged with our spouse through the tough times. Understanding, experience, and wisdom are the groundwork of mastering restraint.
Proverbs 18:13 – If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
The basis of healthy communication starts with “active” listening. I have witnessed many react (vs. respond) to their spouse without completely understanding what he/she was trying to communicate. Proverbs says that it is folly to respond before we hear. What is the healthiest way to really hear our spouse? We must be committed to giving our spouse our undivided attention and refrain from giving in to distractions. I recommend looking at one another face-to-face and consistently keeping eye contact along with encouraging an element of physical touch in order to subtly communicate your care and concern. Start with the goal of seeking to understand your spouse’s perspective first then only afterward share yours.
BMWK, are you ready to put your mouth into training?