Positive Communication is vital in marriage. If you don’t believe us, please read the many couples blogs we’ve posted over the years. Communication is a pivotal thread in all of them, as this is how we get to know our spouse and truly hear what their heart wants and needs. Communication is also how we fall in love, work through problems, and know when to be there for each other. Without it, the opportunity to grow and achieve a safe and connected marriage is impossible.
Jimmy Evans is a pastor who has become an authority on the power of positive communication in marriage. While he echoes many of the same thoughts we have, it’s refreshing to hear his perspective on the subject.
Below is a summary of what he calls his
5 Principles of Positive Communication
“Men and women communicate very differently, but there are five standards
that both genders must use with each other.” — Jimmy Evans
- Both spouses must care — Communication is a two-way street. If your wife is willing to talk, but you don’t care enough to reciprocate, your bond is weakened. We wrote a blog post on how to care for your spouse, and Evans adds that “we communicate concern and interest through our body language.” Rather than roll your eyes or show that you are annoyed, turn toward your spouse. Make eye contact, show concern, and give them your undivided attention.
- Have a positive tone — As Evans says, “Negativity destroys marriages.” Even though men and women communicate differently (read our blog on heart talk vs. work talk), both genders can practice positivity with every word they say — especially during times of conflict. Focus on strengths rather than weaknesses and positives rather than negatives. Evans says a positive approach to marriage “keeps us focused on what is right and why we fell in love.”
More Positive Communication
- Focus on truth — I love this analogy Evans makes: “Love without truth is like a cheerleader smiling and waving her pom-poms while her team is losing.” Positive communication means opening up to one another about what is really going on inside our heart and mind, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, and being honest about ourselves and each other.
- Act out of an abundance of faith — Have faith in God and your spouse that change will happen. Spouses are so quick to nag, bully, or browbeat each other to get a point across. Sometimes, you just need to communicate your needs, step back, and allow that person the time to show they were listening and that they value the marriage.
- Surrender to each other — We can only be drawn closer to each other and God when we surrender our hearts and our minds to Him and our spouse. Communication takes trust, and it takes teamwork. Furthermore, communication is real when there is a win-win scenario. As Evans says, “We must give our mouths and our speech to God. Once we surrender to Him, we allow Him to use our words to draw us closer together.”
God loves it when the giver delights in the giving — 2 Corinthians 9:7
Generosity in Marriage
Les and Leslie Parrott expanded in their own way on this positive communication conversation when they wrote about the role of generosity in marriage. We all know what generosity is, but what we don’t consider is how much of an impact small acts of generosity play. Examples include making your spouse a cup of coffee in the morning without them asking for it or expecting it, or a little back rub while watching the evening news.
These acts — even though no words are being spoken — are perfect examples of positive communication. Through actions, we are communicating our love for one another. As a result, couples who practice showing generosity toward each other tend to have happier marriages and communicate better long-term.
All we are saying here is that communicating positively with your spouse is a bigger piece to the happy marriage quest than you might think. It is directly tied into everything else we do, and without it, our bond is weakened. Effective communication takes time and lots of practice and both spouses must want to be better at it. We hope this blog post helps as you continue on your journey together.
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Our heart is devoted to caring about people and marriages!
Our heart is devoted to caring about people. We want to ensure you have the tools to communicate better in your marriage. The best way we know how to do that is by spreading the word to more people and let them know that we are here.
Did we leave anything out? What do you think about Evans’ take on the principles of positive communication? How have you learned to be more communicative with your spouse? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going. mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.