SOURCE: Bill Bellican
As a Counseling Pastor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, I continually am on the outlook for solid resources to help marriages grow and improve. After counseling couples for 24 years, I am convinced that learned communication skills promote effective communication practices. When effective communication practices are employed, healthy marital outcomes are achieved evidenced by marriages that work well and honor God.
Marriage communication is like oxygen is to the body. Generally, if there is a healthy flow of oxygen, the body tends to be healthy. If the oxygen flow is compromised or cut-off, the body is in trouble. Even if there are other medical issues to address, the oxygen flow must be considered first or all else is a moot point. This is the way it is in marriage. Without healthy communication, a marriage is in trouble and won’t function as God intended.
Rob Flood’s book, With These Words, helps to ensure a marriage has a healthy flow of the right words, tone, attitudes, and techniques allowing spouses to work together to work out what needs to be accomplished in a way that honors each other and honors God.
While With These Words stresses how important healthy communication is to a strong and healthy relationship between husband and wife, it achieves something more foundational. More than just achieving a better marriage, it is clearly outlined in this book that all communication is designed to glorify God and reflect his image through how our words are used. God is to be glorified in all things including the way communication is successfully handled within marriage. That is the real motivation to reach a higher level of communication. A better marriage is the outcome of being conformed to the image of Christ through the way spouses communicate and work through life and marriage challenges. Flood emphasizes that this motivation becomes practical and fruitful as a couple walks with Jesus seeking and allowing him to influence each moment of their lives. Therein lies the power for growth and change that makes a marriage a delight to the Lord and increasingly joyful for each other.
Once the rationale is established for better communication and the source of true Power for genuine change is known, Flood outlines the practical tools for crafting more effective and honoring communication skills that work within the marriage.
As Flood highlights, whether a marriage functions wonderfully or is beset by troubles, healthy communication is a fundamental part of a strong relationship between husband and wife. And, a marriage like this brings glory to God!