The Sweet Christian Bride

10 Reasons for the Christian Bride To Marry a Christian Man: Reason 1

by admin on June 19, 2012 in Spouse with 2 Comments

I hope you enjoy the re-posting of this series until I return from my travels!

Reason 1: A Common Foundation for Communication

Let’s just address the tough stuff from the start: your fiancé is a sinner, you are a sinner… we are all sinners.  Thankfully, we are freed from the punishment of our sin because Jesus loved us so much that He paid the price.

So what does this have to do with communicating in marriage?  EVERYTHING!  But to be more specific, recognizing that you are both sinners makes it so much easier to say, “I’m sorry” and actually mean it. 

A husband and wife can love each other infinitely, yet they can still encounter disagreements and miscommunications.   Sometimes it’s because they have different communication styles and love languages; other times they are speaking out of pain, fear, and hurt, rather than peace, hope, and love; and still other times, it’s because their values and their visions are not aligning. 

But if the husband and wife, recognizing that they are both sinners, have both put their trust in God, then they will have a common foundation from which to work through their communication issues.

For example, take the first major reason for miscommunication: different communication styles and love languages.  My husband Chris is a word man.  He means exactly what he says and spends a lot of mental energy finding the precise words to express his thoughts.  Sometimes he even says something three times just to fine-tune the connotation of his thought to whomever he is speaking. 

I, on the other hand, speak like a writer with figurative language and sweeping generalizations.  A pet peeve of mine that I picked up along the way is having to repeat myself or hearing someone else repeat himself when I understood the first time.  But in God’s beautiful irony, He saw it fit for us to be married. 

The result is that I frequently tune out when Chris is on his second and third phrasing of one idea, and he is frequently protesting my sweeping and inaccurate language (Me: “You never help me with the dishes!” Chris: “I did once last week and twice the week before.” Me: “But that’s not the point.  I don’t mean you have never done the dishes, I mean you never do them.” Chris: “ [insert some statement of frustration here].”)  Needless to say, we get in a lot of arguments because our communication styles are so different that we often misunderstand each other.

And for love languages, Chris is most confident of my love for him when I can affirm him verbally.  I’m okay at this, but sometimes I think it’s silly to have to tell him I love him when I can just show it.  And since I’m a “sweeper” I end up saying things like, “I love you so much! You are the greatest husband in the whole world!” And he will ask why (because he thinks in specifics) and I will embarrassingly draw a blank because I don’t. 

My love language is quality time.  I feel the closest to Chris when we are being and doing together.  Things like dancing, walking, hiking, dining, or pretty much any face-to-face activity.  Chris loves quality time too, but for him, quality time is shoulder-to-shoulder, ideally watching sports together.  So we often sit there feeling like we have nothing to do together and blaming the other for that.  In the moments when we feel our love language is not being spoken, we can easily feel justified in being angry at one another.

Chris and I have learned a lot of communicating techniques from pre-marital counseling, our church groups, and books, but the most effective tool that we learned was not about communication at all.  It was about perspective.  When we started confessing our sins each night to each other, our perspective shifted away from ourselves and onto Christ. 

After awhile, when I would snap at him or he would correct me, we would just confess our sinful and selfish communication right there on the spot because we knew we would be confessing it that night any way.  Eventually a dynamic shift happened where our taking offense to miscommunications was no longer the norm.  It still happens from time to time, but he and I can more easily give each other the benefit of the doubt because we know that is not where our hearts are anymore.

The other two prime reasons for disagreements and miscommunications are different angles of  not sharing a common foundation.  Many times spouses speak out of pain, fear, and hurt because they are desperate to survive. 

They do not feel safe or valued (sometimes this is because a past wound is reopened, but it can also be from something uncomfortable in the present that does not appear to be changing for the future), so they assert control in any area they can.  Their language reflects this because if they don’t speak up for themselves, they are struggling to believe that their spouse will ever speak on their behalf. 

If, instead, each spouse understood that fear, anxiety, pride, and control (one’s own over God’s) is a symptom of sin, then both spouses could more easily throw off the sin and work through the issue.  It’s when spouses are too close to their sin that they speak and act with defense and entitlement.  That’s when things get really personal and messy.

The same is true when husband and wife do not share the same values or visions for the future—they begin to act and speak with defense and entitlement.  I know a couple who had different visions for their family.  The wife wanted kids soon, and the husband wasn’t sure if he wanted them at all.  The difference in their visions for their family nearly destroyed their marriage because it became more important than the marriage itself or than Christ. 

In defense of their dreams, they each placed value on something other than Christ, which made it incredibly hard to find middle ground.  Having kids or not having kids represented something bigger to each of them than the actual issue.  For the wife, having kids represented fulfillment of a woman’s purpose, but for the husband it represented stress, conflict, and oppression. 

She valued her identity as a woman and he valued his freedom more than they valued their oneness as husband and wife.  The way they finally got through this was to each work on his and her own relationship with God.  When they were able to yield their control to God’s control, they were able to stand united with each other. 

What issues do you and your fiancé disagree on?  How do you communicate differently from each other?  In what ways do you experience love the most clearly?  Where do your values and visions not align? 

In all of those differences, you do have a common ground to begin healthy communication about difficult issues.  On Christ the solid rock you stand!  When you can together admit that you are both sinners with imperfect agendas and selfish words, you can more easily speak to each other with the other’s benefit in mind. 

In an argument, you can face your own sin and confess it. Then you will have room to work out the problem and grow together from it.  In all your disagreements and communications, you are both more than conquerors through Christ who loves you both dearly!

When I feel like Chris and I are on different pages and are hesitant to let go of what each of us wants, I pray Romans 15:5-7 as a prayer for unity in values, vision, and communication.  If you find yourself struggling to be united with your fiancé or unable to communicate effectively, try praying this verse:

God, You are the One Who unites us and encourages us.  Please grant that [insert fiancé’s name] and I would live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that we could praise You together with one voice giving glory to You, Father, through Your Son Jesus Christ in all that we do and say.  Help us to accept one another just as Christ has accepted us into Your glory!  Amen.

By Lindsay
  • There are currently 2 Comments.

  • The Sweet Christian Bride
    • Melissa says:

      I wanted to thank you for this post! It was very timely for me. My fiance and I just had an argument that we are trying to work out and everything you said here rang out true for us! This gives hope, a practical solution, and best yet- can only result in both of us growing closer to God!

      Thank you so much! This and all your posts are fantastic!

    • admin says:

      Melissa, Thank you so much! I’m so glad that this post was timely. God has a way of doing that. Blessings to you and your fiance! I will pray for your continued growth in oneness (and in good communication). Enjoy this time!