In Paul Newman’s classic 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, the cruel prison warden justified his beating of Luke with this classic line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
A failure to communicate has been at the root of many failed relationships, especially in marriage.
Author Julie Baumgardner offers several keys to good communication within marriage:
- Spend time together every day.
- Use “I” statements more than “You” statements.
- Be specific.
- Avoid mindreading.
- Express negative feelings constructively.
- Listen without being defensive.
- Freely express positive feelings.
Paul cautioned, “Let your speech always be gracious” (Colossians 4:6). That is the only way we can hope to enjoy good communication within marriage. Perhaps your spouse has done something that destroyed your trust. Or maybe you are the one who violated your marriage vows. Either way, healing demands communication. And Paul was right; good communication always requires grace.
Recovery Step: In order to find healing within your marriage, you must learn to communicate with grace. Today might be a pretty good time to start.