Mr and Mrs: Proactive Communication

Bottom line: Marriages that fail to plan, plan to fail.

Introduction:

In today’s modern society, “relationship goals” have become very prominent and have taken center stage on many social media platforms. It is almost impossible to scroll through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook without reading about “relationship goals.” We have goals because we expect a relationship to go somewhere. We want to learn and grow with someone who also wants to learn and grow. If a relationship is to grow in the right direction, we need a purpose and a plan. If you have a plan, then you can be proactive together as a couple. If you don’t have a plan, then you will be reactive and not move forward.

Something To Talk About:

A relationship is a connection and exchange between people. Communication plays a large role in the exchange between people. Here are four thoughts to consider: 

  1. What will be the foundation of our relationship?  Every relationship, if it is to be successful, must be built on a strong and solid foundation. Love for God is the strong foundation for any successful relationship. When two people have a strong relationship with God, it will motivate that person to search out the principles, laws, and will of God, and walk in it in order to please God. Jesus taught us in John 14:15,21,23-24, that you can’t love without obeying the one you love. Successful marriages and healthy families are not wished to be. They take hard work and a strong foundation. The challenges will certainly come but whether your family will overcome is determined by the type of foundation you have laid. Jesus Christ is the most dependable, reliable and durable foundation. Your relationship with Jesus determines the kind of relationship you will have. 
  2. What will be the communication of our relationship? At the core of every healthy relationship is the ability of two people to successfully communicate with one another. Tone is important. Whatever the content of the things we say, it’s our tone that communicates what we’re feeling when we say them. Our tone tells the truth even when our words don’t. We can even say “I love you” in a way that provokes bitterness. The tone of voice you use indicates whether you care or not. Respect is also important. True communication involves respect for the other person. Respect allows you to accept another person’s point of view. Let the other person know that your respect and value for him or her supersedes the specific issue you are discussing. God makes it very clear that we should never dishonor our spouse or other individual through our words. So be cautious when choosing your words. You might be saying the right thing, however saying it in the right way and using correct words is more important.
  3. What will the quality of time be in our relationship? One of the five love languages (Gary Chapman) is quality time. Quality time is giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television. I mean sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, and giving each other your undivided attention. For some people, if you don’t give them quality time, they will not feel loved. Quality time is a powerful emotional communicator of love. One medicine does not cure all diseases. But there are many benefits to finding time for our spouse. There are benefits to doing things together. So don’t be so busy, tired and preoccupied that you can’t spend quality time with the person you are in a relationship with. Quality time may be their love language.
  4. What do we want to accomplish together in this relationship? For relationships to prosper, we have to understand what type of relationship you have and what kind of relationship you are trying to create. In other words where are we now and where do we want this relationship to go. In most cases, creating a godly relationship requires two unique aspects, a different purpose and a different love. Both require the grace of God in our lives. When you have a Spirit led purpose and a love that is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not arrogant, not rude, not insisting on its own way, not irritable or resentful, not rejoicing in wrongdoing, but instead rejoicing in the truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things, (1 Corinthians 13:4-7), then you will create the right kind of relationship.

Questions:

  1. What do you think you need to do as a couple to get from where you are to where you need to be?
  2. What do you think God is doing in your relationship right now? What type of things do we need to leave behind to have a godly relationship?
  3. What was new or stood out to you in this message? In what ways were you challenged or encouraged? Were there any points/thoughts that you did not agree with?
  4. What are the miscommunication problems in your relationships? What changes can be made on your side to better navigate these miscommunications? What spiritual or practical techniques will be used to enhance communication?
  5. After this week’s message, what areas of your relationship is God calling you to work on?
  6. What are some ways that we can build relationships with others over the next week?

Take One Thing Home with You:

People like to plan, to set goals, and that is certainly true of relationships. We plan it out in every detail, at least in our head. It makes us feel like we are in control. But those plans often change and we are reminded that we are not in control. God is. God has a plan for our relationships. When things are going well, we are happy with God’s plan, but when things are not going well, we question God: “If God really loves me, why would He do this?”

The truth is, God has a reason behind every heartbreak, every failed test, every person who comes and goes in our lives; He has a reason for it all. God knows each and every one of our hearts better than anyone else ever will. He carefully created each one of us. But letting God take the wheel can be scary. Making changes in relationships that you have worked so hard to develop is difficult and scary. But here is the question: how can we be following God without following His plan for us?

Instead of endlessly planning every step in our relationships, remember the most important thing is to pray to God to guide you.