Summary: A topical study on communication in marriage
Foundation Four: Communication in Marriage
At the core of every healthy marriage is the ability of a couple to successfully communicate with one another. Communication can be difficult because each individual may have a different background, experiences, and sometimes even culture, which all affect communication. In addition, 60 to 90% of all communication consists of body language, eye contact, facial expressions, and tone rather than words. Communication is a skill that must be learned and practiced in order to have a successful marriage.
The Bible teaches us a great deal about communication, since God, the author of the Bible, is a communicator. When he created the heavens and the earth, he did it by communicating. He said, “Let there be light.” In fact, through nature he speaks to us every day. David said this:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
God speaks to us through nature, telling us of his great glory and splendor. He also speaks to us through his Son, who came to the earth not only to die for our sins but also to give us the Father’s words. In fact, John the Baptist called Jesus “the Word” (John 1:1); he was the very communication of God. Jesus said this about his teaching: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me” (John 7:16). And, ultimately God speaks to us through the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Tim 3:16-17). God is a communicator, and man, who is made in the image of God, is a communicator as well.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
What do you think Solomon meant when he said the power of life and death is in the tongue?
Solomon understood that as people made in the image of God, we similarly have power in our tongues. We have power to create and power to destroy. We can encourage people and lift them up with our words or destroy them with our words.
Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was very mistaken. Many people carry great hurt and pain from words spoken over them years ago. They were ugly, skinny, fat, not smart enough, not athletic enough, not social enough, etc., and that stigma stayed with them for years. In the same token, people who have had encouraging friends, family, and community typically are confident and hopeful. In fact, words spoken over people can even affect their destiny. James, the brother of Jesus, taught that even though the tongue is a small member of the body, it controls the body. It guides the body like the bit in a horse’s mouth or the rudder of a ship (cf. James 3:1-6). There is a tremendous power in our words to give life or bring death.