Communications that keep marriage sweet
The Bible says that we have the power to speak life or death into our marriages. The words we speak will reveal the subconscious motivations of our hearts. Our spouses will know when we speak with love or judgement towards them. Do our words ultimately build up or tear down? May we keep our marriages sweet through the way we choose to communicate.
Proverbs 18:21 ESV The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Matthew 15:18 ESV But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
Godly, not earthly, standards
We are all capable of learning how to speak life into other people’s lives, especially our wife’s or husband’s, regardless of the role models we’ve had growing up. Our perspectives on marriage ought to be based on God’s Word, rather than what we have been taught by our earthly families.
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 John 4:7 ESV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
God created the first couple and is the Master of all relationships. He will show us how to have fruitful, lasting and joyful marriages. Praise God that He who is the source of all love is our primary role model.
Mark 10:6-9 ESV But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
The intentional marriage
Strong marriages require intentionality and commitment. They don’t just happen by accident or “going with the flow”.
The ironic thing is that we often use up our best energy for things outside the home, only to return to our own spouses, worn out and unable to give much more. It is times like these when we may unintentionally say unkind things.
When we love somebody, we want to give them the best, not the leftovers.
Hence, it is wise to ask ourselves to flitter all our communications through two questions:
- Am I being the sweetest person my spouse has come across today?
- Am I making our home the safest and warmest places he/she has been to today?
When we fail to do either of these things, we give the enemy a foothold to tempt our spouses to look elsewhere for comfort, acceptance and companionship. This is very unwise.
God first, spouse second
Godly marriages are where people place God in a far more superior position than their spouses.
We are all imperfect and sinful. The more we love God, the more we can be forgiving and unconditional with our spouses. Our motivation is no longer to please our life partner nor ourselves first. It is to honour God.
1 Corinthians 11:3 ESV But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Men want to be respected, women want to be loved
As the head of the household, men need to be respected and honoured to order to fulfil their roles. God declared that women would be ruled by their husbands, whose affections they would desire after. This is the order that God has set for all marriages. A husband is assigned leadership at home and responsibility to love his wife sacrificially, but God has the ultimate authority over both. Hence, men instinctively feel the need to be respected, while women instinctively need to feel loved.
Ephesians 5:33 ESV However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Genesis 3:16 ESV To the woman he said, … Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
This means that our communications will be fundamentally different. Here are a few examples to illustrate.
|Husband to wife||Wife to husband|
|“I love you more than you know.”||“You are so capable and wise. Thank you for your leadership.”|
|“You are so beautiful and kind, I love those qualities about you.”||“I appreciate you working so diligently to provide for the family.”|
|“I love you for being such a good mother.”||“You set such a good example for the children.”|
|“I love your godly qualities.”||“Thank you for seeking God first in all your decisions for the family.”|
Communications that keep marriage sweet
1. Voice our admiration or love at least once a day
Just as we make time to commune with God and worship Him each day, we should also make time to praise our spouse at least once a day.
Every new day we have with our spouse is one less day to appreciate and adore him or her. Let us not neglect to say something sweet and meaningful. It could be as simple as saying something like, “I’m so glad I married you”, “thank you for marrying me”, “looking at your makes my heart feel warm”, or “God made a perfect choice in choosing you for me”.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
2. Don’t gripe about our spouses to other people
Let us not grumble or complain about our life mates to anyone – not directly to our spouse, friends and especially not our parents, parents-in-law and children. All this dishonours the man or woman that God has chosen as our life partner. We should never place our spouses in positions where other people hear unpleasant things about them that they haven’t told them, no matter how tempting it might be to “let off some steam”. If we have issues we need third-party views on, it is much better to seek an older godly couple with more experience in marriage for counsel and mentorship together.
James 5:9 ESV Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.
Proverbs 21:9 ESV It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
3. Leave it to God to lead our spouses
When God joined us with our spouses, He already anticipated all the quarrels and disagreement we would have. Let us go to the Holy Spirit to help us resolve our individual conflicts.
He will convict whoever is at fault and move both our hearts towards His perfect love. Sometimes, it is not our spouse that needs correcting, but us. We don’t see our own blind spots. So let us bring all our grievances, fears and concerns to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to lead both husband and wife towards resolution and peace.
Matthew 7:3 NLT “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?
Matthew 5:9 ESV “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
4. Always speak as a team player
We are to be team players that help each other, not tear one another down. Any marriage that becomes about “me vs. you“ will eventually fall apart.
Ephesians 5:31 ESV “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Godly spouses use their words to do one of three things in their marriages: to edify, to comfort and to encourage. When we wish to edify our spouses, let us be mindful to choose a quiet time away from other people and to speak with gentleness, tenderness and humility.
Proverbs 15:4 ESV A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
5. Testify to our spouses
As far as possible, we should not “dump” our problems on our spouses, but go to God first. We are called to give our burdens to God, not to our spouses.
Psalm 55:22 NLT Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
What a joy it is to live with a spouse who only shares good news about how God has worked in his or her life, rather than pour all their grievances onto us.
6. Be the first to greet our spouses sweetly
In making our home a haven for our spouse, we should make an effort to be the first to greet him or her sweetly in the morning or after work. We want to be the person our spouse feels most embraced and accepted by.
This is a simple step that takes little effort but pays back richly. The more we pour sweetness into our spouse’s heart, the more we get to enjoy the rewards of a sweet marriage.
1 Peter 4:8 ESV Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
7. Make time to have fun and be childlike
The couple that laughs and has fun together will enjoy and cherish each other better. The ability to be childlike and “silly” is a sign of trust, openness and vulnerability, a key source of intimacy. We ought to be our wife’s or husband’s number one playmate.
Proverbs 17:22 ESV A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
8. Avoid saying “never“ and “always“ at all cost
The words “never“ and “always“ can come across as accusing or proud. Statements that include “never“ and “always“ are seldom accurate anyway. Let us avoid using them against our spouses.
9. Pray together for guidance and protection every day
Most importantly, we should not neglect to pray with our spouses every day. Bless our spouses by asking God for His guidance and protection in their lives.
Our Heavenly Father will be pleased to honour our prayers and bless our marriages when we go to Him with the right attitude. So let us never be tempted to speak with judgments and personal bias in our hearts but speak unconditional life and encouragement to each other – giving thanks to God for our spouses. This is God’s will for our marriages, that we are always thankful and joyful.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
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