Open and Honest Communication

It has always been our goal to be open and honest with one another. As husband and wife, I think it’s most people’s dream to be married to your best friend. Best friends share everything — their goals, their dreams, their hurts, their pains….even their chocolate (thank you, Sweetie for sharing that Dove bar with me 13 years ago).

 Me and Franicia on the island of Guam. Photography by Paige Overturf (https://www.facebook.com/PaigeOverturfPhotography)

Me and Franicia on the island of Guam. Photography by Paige Overturf (https://www.facebook.com/PaigeOverturfPhotography)

Building a Strong Marriage

Without open and honest communication, it’s impossible to build trust and, ultimately, real love and affection in a marriage. Physical attraction is surely a key factor the sparks that fly as new couples get to know each other. Physical attraction is not enough to keep a marriage strong, though.

True Love

Don’t confuse physical attraction with love. Unchecked physical attraction without knowing the other person and outside of marriage is lust. Jesus said that lust like this is equivalent to the physical act of adultery!

“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

Obviously, physical attraction in the context of marriage is not wrong, but a strong marriage needs the deep, emotional connection and commitment that only open and honest communication can bring. That kind of relationship is on a spiritual level. I think when we talk about loving our spouses more today than we did when we first married them, we’re often speaking to that emotional, more-intense connection that getting to know someone on the level brings.

Motivation — For Me

Sadly, I’m good at being selfish (or bad at it since being “good” at being selfish isn’t a good thing) — I think we all are since sin comes naturally. So, I want that deep connection with Franicia because a wonderful relationship with Franicia brings fulfillment and satisfaction to me.

Communication is key.

That’s a common saying, but it’s so true. We must be open and honest with our spouse. Next to the worship of God, communication is the most important aspect of our interaction as husband and wife. Peter even spoke to this in 1 Peter 3:7.

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Hindered prayers

“That your prayers be not hindered” — can you imagine what it would be like for your prayers to be hindered? I can, and that sounds really scary. I want God to hear my prayers. I NEED God to hear my prayers. If that’s what I want, then I need to “dwell with my wife according to knowledge” — I need to KNOW her. In order to know her, I need to talk to her — openly and honestly.

Do it for your spouse

Selfish motivation really isn’t good, though. I should be committed to building a deep, spiritual, emotional, strong marriage because I love Franicia. I know that a wonderful marriage will bring pleasure and fulfillment to my wife. If I truly love her, then I will want the very best for her — fellowship with God and His people, happiness, fulfillment, joy, peace, etc. What husband wouldn’t want the best for his wife? I’m ashamed to say, though, that, as a man, risking my life for my wife sounds easier than engaging in a deep, soul-searching conversation. The Lord is working on me in that area, though.

Do it for God

There is even a better reason to build a wonderful relationship with Franicia, though — I should be committed to a wonderful marriage so that God would be glorified and receive praise! What better reason and motivation could there be? The best thing that we could do with the life that God has given us is to use it to bring glory to Him. Do you know what the most important commandment of God is? When a Pharisee who was a lawyer asked Jesus about the greatest commandment, Jesus’ response was,

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matthew 22:37

God commands us to love Him first and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I’m amazed when I consider God’s commands. God created us AND He told us, His creation, how to live — isn’t He so merciful to do that? If we obey Him and live according to His commands, we will be more healthy, more fulfilled, more productive, and, ultimately, happier than we would be otherwise.

They’re worth it

Ultimately, money and material things matter very little. Our relationships with people — especially our close friends and family — are ultimately second only to our relationship with God. Investing in those relationships requires open and honest communication — especially when it comes to the relationship with our spouse. Open and honest communication can be a little scary because being open and honest requires that we make ourselves vulnerable. Meaningful relationships are so worth it, though. Make the investment in your relationships — they're worth it!

Question: What do you do to cultivate open and honest communication in your relationships? Share your answers in the comments below or on Twitter.