I'm so excited to welcome Alisa from Flourishing Today for this next post in the Standing Against Satan series! She offers great biblical insight into the communication battle in our marriages. Read on to discover how to take a stand against Satan's attacks on your marriage!
Have you ever experienced a complete breakdown in communication in your marriage?
You say something; he completely interprets it in a different way. And not the good way.
My husband and I can tend to speak different languages.
After all we are very different.
But many times it isn't our differences that cause us to fight, but a blatant attack from the enemy in the area of communication.
The truth is....we are in a battle for our marriages every day.
The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy the very union that God has proclaimed holy and sacred.
There's a lot at stake.
Not just our relationship as husband and wife, but the lives of our kids and ultimately the plan that God has for us together.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
When my husband was in the military, he told me that the first thing the enemy goes for in a battle is the communication.
If the communication is cut, the soldiers are at a loss for what to do next....unless they had already established a plan.
So what can we do to sure up the communication in our marriage?
I believe our answer is found in the Book of James:
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19 NLT
Be quick to listen
This is a hard one for me. I can admit that I am not the best listener. This is something I'm working on, especially in my marriage.
Just yesterday my husband and I were in a discussion about the plans for the day.
I had one idea and he had another.
Rather than listen to his idea, I began mentally planning my debate, in order to win in the discussion.
Childish I know. But don't we all do it at times?
When we see someone as an opponent, we immediately begin planning what we will say next.
That's how I was seeing my husband....as an adversary.
But the Bible is very clear who the real adversary is.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
When we stop listening and start scheming, the conversation has essentially stopped. Our discussion turns into an argument and the only one winning is the enemy.
On the other hand, when I listen to what my husband is really trying to communicate, we both win. No matter what the plans were yesterday, the victory wasn't in who got their way. The triumphant moment came when we both listened to what the other had to say. It drew us closer together and kept the enemy at bay.
Be slow to speak
The old adage, think before you speak, rings true. I can't count the times I've said something that I desperately wanted to take back.
Words can hurt.
They have the power to build up and the power to tear down.
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
Whatever words we speak will have consequences.
I want my words to be a blessing to my husband. Each day I fervently pray for him and want to see God's best for him. I don't want to negate that blessing with careless words that are uttered in the heat of an emotional outburst.
When I'm slow to speak, I allow God time to work in my heart and mind, showing me the correct response in any given situation.
Be slow to get angry
Anger in itself is not a sin. It's an emotion. Even God got angry when the Israelites repeatedly disobeyed Him.
It's our response to the anger that gets us in trouble.
Anger has the potential to cause us to sin.
Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:20 NLT
The anger referred to in this scripture is defined as a temper, wrath, or an agitation of the soul.
It's a selfish anger.
It says you hurt me, you're going to pay. It speaks of revenge and unforgiveness.
When our spouse hurts us (intentionally or not), our safety net lies in being slow to anger.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
That kind of self control only comes from the Holy Spirit.
He reminds us that we can respond in grace, because we've been given grace. We can forgive, because we've been forgiven.
Does that mean we will never get angry with our spouses?
We probably will.
But when we do, we can choose to respond in a godly fashion. When we talk it out in a peaceful way, we defeat the enemy's plan to cause division.
How do you protect the lines of communication in your marriage? Communication is key to the success of a marriage. By listening to our spouse, thinking before we speak and controlling our anger, we are setting ourselves up for a victory over the enemy's attacks on our marriage. What he means for harm, God will work out for our good.
About the Author:
Alisa Nicaud currently lives just north of New Orleans, LA with her husband Philip Nicaud, their five children and their dog, Roux. She owns a boutique coaching practice and is the founder of the blog, Flourishing Today. Through her own tragedies, Alisa is intimately familiar with the struggles of anxiety, fear, insecurity and depression. Alisa's willingness to be transparent gives her a unique advantage in relating to women from all walks of life and leadership. She freely shares helpful hints and practical encouragement rooted in Biblical truth in her posts and resources. Her passion is to help women grow in faith and walk in purpose. You can learn more by visiting her blog at www.flourishingtoday.com