One very important area of the marriage covenant is communication. It is the glue that holds the family together. Where there is no effective communication in a marriage, there will be confusion, misunderstandings, arguments, etc. Communication is such a vital force that it can make or break any relationship or family.
According to Pastor Faith Oyedepo –“Communication is a major component that makes oneness possible”.
The day you decide to sign up for marriage is the day you lose your liberty to be independent; the merging of your goals, dreams, aspirations with that of someone else is expected to take place. In order to do so successfully, effective communication is a must. The essence of marriage is to become one, and in order to fully become one, you and your spouse must communicate.
Until communication is effective, the unity of the home is in jeopardy and for communication to be effective in the entire family, it begins with the husband and wife in the home. If the husband and wife, as the leaders of the home, don’t communicate well, there will be a communication breakdown in the entire family.
There are many married couples whose marriages are more like a battleground; when one takes a glimpse into such homes, they look like necessary evil. They shout, abuse, hurt, and do the wrong things to each other, believing that they have communicated. In actual fact, they have communicated, but is the communication effective? NO! This leaves each person assuming that they have rightly said what was on their minds and so there should be no confusion later. Most marriages are operating on assumptions today; there is no communication going on. Dr David Oyedepo has said that “assumption is the mother of frustration”. That is a very short but profound statement.
The most challenging thing about a marriage is that there are two people in it. As far as the husband is concerned, the problem is his wife, and as far as the wife is concerned, the problem is her husband. I have met some who said, “If only we could just work things out alone, we would do an excellent job”. Such people may be right; however, that is not God’s concept of marriage. God expects us to find a way to fit our dreams, desires, hopes, mindsets, needs, and habits in with those of someone else’s.
Dear reader, I would like you to understand that the foundation of a good marriage that will last a lifetime, has to be built by effective communication.
The level of communication in a marriage is a determining factor, whether or not the marriage will survive. Remember, it is not just communication but effective communication.
What Is Communication?
Communication is defined as the art of passing across news, information or feelings to somebody else. It means to transfer your thoughts to another person. That definition is for communication. What then, is effective communication?
Effective communication is simply ensuring that the message sent is rightly received and accurately interpreted by the receiver. When that is done, there would be no room for assumptions. When something is effective, it means it is successful, helpful or valued. So effective communication must bring profit and help, support to both parties for the sake of the home they are building.There are two ways we express ourselves and they are:
Verbal: This involves the use of words. We use our words to communicate. It involves speaking to your spouse. Without verbal communication, it is impossible to build a lasting and fulfilling marriage. It is how we use our words that brings about a positive or negative result.
Non – verbal: This involves gestures such as body language, facial expressions, attitudes, etc.
Please note that verbal and non-verbal forms of communication must work hand in hand. Your words should reflect in your body language and your body language should reflect in your words. For example, if your spouse is talking to you and you are huffing and puffing, folding your arms, saying “Ok, ok I am sorry”. Would that bring about the right reaction from him/her? NO! This is because your body language is not reflecting your words. So, you see why both must work hand in hand? Many times, the husband may be saying the perfect words, but his attitude takes away from what he has said, because it contradicts his words. You may be asking how one can know when communication has been effective. Let us look at a few components. It is my prayer that your understanding is enlightened in Jesus’ name.
Components Of Effective Communication:
Openness: Genesis 2:25 tells us that Adam and his wife were “…Naked and not ashamed”. I believe that this verse talks more about their physical state, but also about all that concerns them; it talks about transparency!!! Being transparent means being free of secrets! When a man is not open with his wife, it is because they don’t communicate effectively. Where the financial status of each other is not known or properties that one may have are not known to their spouse, it shows a lack of transparency. I have had the privilege of counselling couples, who are experts in playing hide-and-seek games. Even during counselling, they have to be probed and probed to be open with their spouse. All these things won’t be there, if both parties communicated effectively. It is difficult to open up to someone you don’t communicate well with. There are circumstances where a wife does not know how much her husband earns, so her demand is more that his supply because she is assuming that he has a hefty bank account. She wants to go on vacations just like everybody else, she wants a new car just like a friend; all because her husband is not real with her.If he would only tell her, then she would stop assuming. Many husbands say that even their wives know that they don’t earn much, but still demand much. However, my answer has always been if she is a wise woman, once she knows, she would live according to their size.
Where there is no openness, more often than not, it leads to a man or woman pointing to someone else outside the home as their best friend or confidant. That outsider, who should be more like an acquaintance, is the one who knows more about the man than his wife. There is great danger in that. Remember, you are one flesh – you won’t hide anything from your flesh (Isaiah 58:7).We must have no inhibitions, when it comes to our spouses. Don’t pretend or be a hypocrite. No one outside your home should know anything that your spouse is not aware of. When you communicate effectively, it gives you room to be completely open and honest with your spouse.
Trust: Trust is defined as a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone else. Please note that a marriage without trust is a marriage that is doomed. No matter how much love is in the marriage, if there is no trust, there is nothing. Your ‘yes’ must be ‘yes’, and your ‘no’ must be ‘no’. When you sit down and communicate with your spouse, whatever you say you will do, you must do. Trust does not happen overnight; it is a growing force and is based on experience. Your spouse will not trust you without seeing proofs that you can be trusted.If your spouse does not trust you, somewhere down the line, you may have given them a reason not to. It is, therefore, your responsibility to work on becoming trustworthy again! If as a wife, you talk too much; whatever your husband tells you is as good as going to the Cable Network News (CNN) channel, the communication cannot be effective. He won’t be able to be open with you. His trust in you will begin to diminish. Without him telling you, “This information is confidential”, he should trust in you so much that he would not hear whatever he has not sent you to announce, from someone else.
Remember Proverbs 31:11 says: “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”. The same goes for husbands! Where there is no trust, both parties cannot communicate effectively. Rather, a husband or wife would be found filtering through the information they choose to give their spouse, which should not be so. That defeats God’s purpose of ONE FLESH!
Understanding: Proverbs 24:3 tells us that “Understanding establishes”. Where there is no understanding, there will always be chaos, there would be misunderstandings, frustrations and assumptions.The more you talk to each other, the more you understand each other. Understanding helps you to read between the lines. When a husband reacts a certain way that causes people to wonder why he is reacting, because he has communicated well with his wife, she understands his reactions better than anybody else. She, in turn expresses herself in a way that shows understanding of her spouse’s personality. You don’t lump him or her in with every man or woman out there. He/she is unique, so you adjust yourself accordingly. When there is understanding, you won’t jump to conclusions. Understanding helps you to remain calm. “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding” – Proverbs 17:27. When you understand your spouse, it helps you guide how you speak to them.
The above list is not exhaustive but helpful, for all who seek to know if their communication is effective in their homes. It is my prayer that as you apply what you have received, your profiting in your family life would appear unto all (1 Timothy 4:15).
You need to learn from the Author of communication, to have an effective communication. This can only be possible, if you surrender your life to Christ. If you are ready to surrender your life to Christ, please say this prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, I come to You today. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your Blood. Deliver me from sin and Satan to serve the living God. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. Make me a child of God today. Thank you for accepting me into Your kingdom.
Congratulations! Till I come your way next time, please call or write, and share your testimonies with me through firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and Tel: 08141320204; 07026385437 or 07094254102
For more insight, these books authored by Pastor Faith Oyedepo are available at the Dominion Bookstores in all Living Faith Churches and other leading Christian Bookstores:
Remain blessed Forever