IN THIS TOGETHER ◽ MARRIAGE
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Before my husband, Britton, and I were married, we dated long distance for two years. Most long distance relationships don’t work out, and I can testify to the fact that it is very difficult to do. But despite the hardships, there are extremely valuable lessons to be learned. During those two years, we definitely faced days of uncertainty about the future. What we didn’t realize was that we were strengthening our future marriage along the way. We were building skills that would help us later on, and I am so very grateful for that. At the time, I wanted nothing more than to be with Britton and not be separated anymore. But looking back, I’m thankful we had to go through it because it made us stronger.
There are many keys to having a successful long distance relationship, like trust and faith and patience. But I think the biggest one is clear and concise communication.
When you only get to talk over the phone, you learn to weigh and measure your speech. You are forced to consider the way you are coming across to the other person and how your words make them feel. Communication can make or break a relationship, especially a long distance one. Britton and I had to learn very early on how to do it in a healthy and effective way. This has carried over into our marriage, which has been a lifesaver at times.
If you can’t communicate effectively with your husband, your entire marriage can quickly fall off the tracks. Communication is an essential building block to having a strong relationship, and it helps you grow together, too. If this is something that you feel you are lacking, then go back to the basics. Think before you speak. I know that sounds silly, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Really consider your words before you let them come spewing out. Are they helpful or hurtful? It is also vital to say what you mean. Speak clearly and be straightforward. Don’t try to make your husband guess how you feel. Along with that, mean what you say! If your words do not match up with your heart, then it may not be a good idea to speak them. Our speech should be transparent and truthful, not convoluted or dishonest.
Being open and honest with your husband is absolutely necessary in order to enjoy a happy marriage. And it is critically essential to our spiritual lives as well. In fact, our relationship with God is compared to marriage many times in Scripture. Like any intimate relationship, being close to God requires good communication, which occurs in the form of prayer. Bring your heart to God openly and honestly. Trust Him with your worries and fears. Tell Him how you feel. And don’t forget to listen in return.
One-sided conversations don’t work with our husbands, and they certainly won’t work with God. We can’t talk and talk and talk, without stopping to listen to Him. His words might not be audibly discernable, but He is always speaking to us, and He has so many wonderful things to say!