Communication in Marriage

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not an expert in marriage; but Kim and I have a strong commitment to each other which brings security in our relationship. In my reading and research I discovered this information to be concise and quite interesting, regarding Communication in Marriage.


Marriage counselors agree: Most, if not all, marriage problems are rooted in poor communication. We often act in our marriages as though we are soloists, singing alone and beholden to nobody. But marriage is a duet, not a solo. And the Song of Solomon shows us a real life marriage filled with the music of intimate, personal, and open communication.

Communication Levels:

Here’s the stark truth about communication in marriage: You will communicate, or your marriage will disintegrate. And marriages today that are on the rocks are there because of poor communication. Experts say there are five levels of communication:

Frivolous Level: This is the communication we experience daily in our casual relationships. The weather, the latest scores, clothes, and the like – we do this often and think about it rarely. It’s communication on “automatic pilot.”

Factual Level: This is a little more content oriented than frivolous communication. Factual communication digs a little deeper into the knowledge of various subjects. There’s still no real personal involvement.

Fellowship Level: Now, we’re beginning to get a little personal. We share ideas, judgments, and philosophies. We begin to risk rejection for our beliefs.

Feeling Level: In this kind of communication, we go a step deeper. We not only share ideas and core beliefs but we share our feelings about those beliefs. We let others know how important they are to us. This is much riskier, and it’s about as deep as most people ever get with each other.

Freedom Level: This is the deepest level of communication. We are completely open with our mate. We share our deepest dreams, fears, ideas, and feelings – without fear of rejection. The word “intimacy” comes from the Latin intimuce. It means “innermost.” And truly intimate communication encompasses all those dreams, beliefs, and feelings you wouldn’t share with anybody else. Freedom level communication is the secret of lasting love.

When the Bible speaks of a husband and wife coming together in the act of marriage, it says, so and so “knew his wife.” To be completely known and still be loved is the supreme goal of marriage. That’s true intimacy. Every marriage needs it to survive.


Intimate communication won’t happen without some adjustments, especially on the part of men. In most troubled marriages, the men won’t talk. I read about a woman who said that the only time her husband speaks is when he wants food or sex. That’s wrong. Men need to talk, whether they want to or not.

I was at a men’s conference last year and one of the best pieces of advice I heard was in a marriage seminar, where the facilitator challenged the men to ask one simple statement when your wife is telling you about her day… “Tell me more.” It may be hard after a long day at the office and all you want in peace and quiet, but this statement allows you to hear what she has to say without kicking in the male “fix it” mode. Just listen and affirm, you don’t have to fix it.

A husband’s silence is the culprit in most family communication problems. The wife, who craves communication, pushes her husband into a corner just to get him talking. She pushes and pushes, and Pow! He explodes. Ironically, this is often better to the wife than silence. At least she has his full attention. I’m not saying she intends to pick a fight. But deep down within her there is something that prefers argument to silence. She wants communication. That’s understandable. That’s how God made her.

Have you noticed how many books there are on marriage? On intimacy? On communication? Here’s the problem: The people who need them don’t read them! Women read them, but men, who truly need to adjust to their wives’ communication needs, don’t.

This is understandable. There are natural barriers to men communicating with the intimacy their wives desire. And wives need to take that into account and make some adjustments.

Consider the articles found in women’s magazines: “Five Ways to Develop Closeness in Your Marriage” and “How to Have Harmony in the Home” and “Achieving Intimacy With Your Lover.” Now what do men read about in their magazines? “How to Remodel Your Garage” and “How to Double Your Gas Mileage” and “How to Make It Big in the Stock Market.”

Yes, there are differences between men and women that affect marital communication. Some of these stem from the fact that we are raised differently. Boys are taught not to cry, not to show emotion. Part of the macho self reliance myth is silence, which supposedly communicates complete self-control.

These differences between men and women should give us all a healthy amount of understanding toward the struggles of our spouses. But they shouldn’t stop us from trying, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to imitate the intimacy between Solomon and his spouse. We’ll never arrive at perfection. But the closer we get, the happier our homes will be.

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What Defines You as a Believer?

Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthian church to help instruct the new church on what it means to be a follower of Jesus. One topic he addressed is the problem of division among the Christians in Corinth. For whatever reason, these believers were not getting along, and were dividing up into little cliques rather than living as the unified church of Jesus Christ. Take a look at this passage:

I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-12)

One of the central factors for their disunity in Corinth was the tendency of these new and therefore immature believers to bring into the church elements of their culture that were inconsistent with the Christian life. For instance, in their previous “pagan” experience they were led into “religious mysteries” by a special person designated as a spiritual guide. They strongly identified with this mentor as their doorway into “the divine.” For others, certain Corinthian converts may have studied with a certain philosopher whose teaching and personality defined their intellectual and moral lives. So it felt natural for the Corinthian Christians to identify themselves according to the one who introduced them to Christ, perhaps Paul, Apollos, or Peter. But they must have been extremists because they seemed to define themselves in terms of the old human mentoring relationship, which was threatening the unity of the Christian community in Corinth.

Are we so much unlike them? For some people, denominational identity (or nondenominational identity) says who we really are as Christians. For others, it is our theological position or perhaps the teaching of our favorite theologian. Denominational or theological distinctions aren’t necessarily wrong, but they are harmful when they threaten our unity in Christ. If I let my identity as a Baptist become so elevated that it threatens my relationship with Methodists or Presbyterians, then I am falling into the same Corinthian trap. We have our theological differences based on interpretation of Scripture, but our identity in Christ brings unity. My identity as a Christian is my relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything else pales in comparison to this essential fellowship, through which we are bound to others who have put their trust in Christ.

On Facebook, they give the opportunity to display one’s religious preference. On questionnaires there may be a question asking the same. How often do people use the word “Christian” when asked their religious preference, rather than Catholic, Baptist, or nondenominational?

How do you define yourself as a Christian? How important to you are denominational labels? Have you ever identified so thoroughly with some Christian leader that it threatened your relationship with other believers? How can we be unified in Christ when we who have put our faith in Jesus differ theologically?

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