He Said, She Said...The Marriage Forum

May 2018

This month, Patty and I would like to address what’s been labeled as the "biggest issue in marriage".  That is, effective communication.  When we think of communication, we think of the KISS principle: “Keep It Simple Stupid” [or Sweetie].  In Ecclesiastes 7:29 GNT, we are told, “…God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” There are just a few principles that need to be mastered, in our opinion, to develop effective communication in marriage. These are:

  1. Be specific.  Never use “never” and never use “always”.  If there is an unmet need or a frustration concerning our spouse, spit it out.  Don’t beat around the bush.  
  2. Avoid sarcasm above all else.  Sarcasm is a cowardly substitute for honest and direct communication. 
  3. Never, ever say anything negative about your spouse to friends, family, in public, etc.
  4. When you have to communicate a negative to your spouse, try to accompany it with 2-3 positives, and always in a private setting.  Again, be specific.
  5. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.  “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  (Proverbs 15:1). 
  6. Accept your spouse's needs, desires and dreams as their reality.  Never be demeaning or condescending when your spouse is sharing their heart.  This does not mean that their reality is necessarily your reality (although it may help if you are going to have a healthy marriage). On the contrary, thank them for their openness and honesty.

We said we would keep it simple. There are obviously many other aspects to positive communication.  However, if you master these 6 principles, then you will be light-years ahead of most couples. 
 
For us (Doug and Patty), it is far easier to share these principles than to apply them on a daily basis.  Please pray for us as we pray for the couples in The Fellowship. Persevere! (1 Cor. 7:33-34)

Sincerely,
Doug and Patty
patricia.grogan52 [at] gmail.com
dgrogan [at] bmgwc.com

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