Frequent, Intentional Communication

Frequent, Intentional Communication October 23, 2018

Last week, I mentioned that a major communication skill for a healthy marriage is the ability to speak in a caring tone.

Today I want to share a second important skill: frequent communication. Healthy communication is a daily practice. To build an open and honest relationship, you and your spouse have to talk often and intentionally.

Now, many husbands and wives will hear the “often” part of that sentence and agree. “We talk all the time!” they’ll say. But they tend to miss the part about intentionality. One thing I’ve discovered is that not every couple deliberately plans regular times throughout the day to communicate and share feelings.

Frequent communication is good, but I’ve found it to be most effective if it happens on a regular, intentional schedule.

When our kids were little, Karen and I developed a daily bedtime ritual. We would pray with them, sing a little, tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. Then we would leave them with the understanding that they weren’t allowed to come out of their rooms.

They could read if they wanted, but they couldn’t get up. Why? Because they knew this was Mommy and Daddy’s time to be alone. Karen and I would retreat to the small sitting area in our bedroom, where we’d talk for as long as we wanted.

No television. No distractions. Just us, face-to-face. This was our sacred time together.

We were very intentional about introducing this time to our marriage, and honestly—when we first started—I wondered what we would find to talk about. After all, we spoke to each other off and on all day long.

But once we started, we never seemed to run out of things to say. In fact, we had to make ourselves stop talking so we could get some sleep. I had to teach myself how to best communicate with Karen, but once I figure this out our talks became the highlight of my day.

This “talking time” has evolved over the years. When the kids were old enough to be home alone, Karen and I began taking long walks together to talk and pray. Today we have an empty nest, and we spend most of our days together, but our nightly talks remain a sacred and intentional part of each day.

Every night we set aside this time, and we leave the television off until we’re finished visiting.

If you and your spouse haven’t made the effort to set aside a regular time to communicate with each other, I encourage you to start doing it right away. Schedule a time and place to visit for at least thirty to sixty minutes a day.

Take a walk together. Hide yourselves away in your bedroom. Make sure you turn off the television, set aside your cell phones, and shut down your computer when you do.

Get rid of distractions and sit face-to-face with your spouse. Do it tonight, then do it again tomorrow night, and the night after that. I guarantee it will be worth the effort.

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