As humans, we have a great need to be heard and understood. Our friends, acquaintances and voluntarily organised and joined groups such as churches, recreational sports and clubs are a testament to our need to be understood by others. This is also true of marriage. However, the only way to be understood by those around us, and particularly our spouses, is to communicate better.
In this article, we are going to show you that communication with your spouse is not only words, but involves other dimensions (popularly known as “love languages”) which are gift-giving, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch.
In its basic form, communication is the ability to send the message to the next person(s) and it is understood the way it was intended. We have been taught the art of verbal communication, the importance of our tone, pitch and facial expressions when we communicate — however, verbal communication is only the half of it.
In his book ‘The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate’, Gary Chapman proposes that in order for us to communicate with our spouses effectively, we should affirm our partners on a daily basis across 5 dimensions, that is, in words, in service, in touch, in giving attention and in gift-giving.
Words of affirmation
“Kind words are like honey — they cheer you up and make you feel strong.” — Proverbs 16.24
Verbal communication is the foundation of communication, hence, it is important for us to tell our partners positive messages on a daily basis. We should make it a point to compliment our partners on a daily basis to boost their confidence in themselves and to show that we see them. Complement them on their shoes, hair, dressing, cooking, and the way they do things. Tell them “you are beautiful” and “I love you” over and over again. For those of us who have been married for a long time we take for granted the joy and warmth that is brought by the words of affirmation.
Acts of Service
One of the ways to bring joy to your spouse is through acts of service, that is, doing things for them that will bring joy to their heart. We can always be of service to our partners as a way to demonstrate our love to them, this often communicates “I love you” better than words do. We can give our partners foot massages when they are tired, or make them coffee when they are working from home, or wash the dishes when they are tired. Small acts of service can transform our marriages to be the Heavens on earth as God intended them to be.
As human beings we are touchy. Touch communicates more sometimes than words can do. A hug says “I (will) miss you and I want you close”, a handshake says “I trust you”. This is why hugs and handshakes are essential in greeting (well, that is, before the coronavirus changed our world). Therefore, even in marriage, touch is very important to keep the sparks flying. Make it a point to hold hands, hug, cuddle and kiss on a frequent basis.
Spending time with someone brings us closer to them. It gives us an opportunity to know them better and to understand them. By spending time with our partners we get to share their joy and sadness, we understand their intents and motives and we also get to share time. Therefore, it is important to have planned frequent quality time with your spouse. This can be taking them out on a date every two weeks or watching your favourite movies together or just doing things together. They will appreciate this gesture of love.
Gifts are a great way to stay in someone’s heart even when we are not there. When a gift recipient sees that perfume, or shoes, or watch or pendant or phone we have bought them they will always think of us. Therefore, even in our marriage, it is good for us to give gifts from each other. Gifts will show our partners that we think about them and they will be grateful for it.
To conclude, we should move from just telling our spouses that we love them like a rose, we should also hold them like a rose, buy them a rose, take a walk in a rose garden with them and make them rose tea.
This article on communication in marriage is a lead up to our bi-monthly series on “A marriage that keeps growing”, and this week on Wednesday 21 October we are discussing “Communication in marriage”, if this interests you as a couple, please join us and reserve your place by texting, calling or sending a WhatsApp message on: +263 77 212 9909. Otherwise please share this post with your friends and family.