Fostering a Fulfilling Marriage
02/18/22 – 02/21/22
The Third Key to a Fulfilling Marriage: Conversation
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 02/21/22
Read Ephesians 5:21-33. You don’t have to look far to find a marriage that appears to be healthy on the surface. It can be easy to develop a routine with your spouse; we just want to get things done—get through the day. And things may look fine and feel fine, but what has really happened is that this married couple has ceased to converse, and worse still, they are content with that. They don’t realize the tremendous blessing of marital love and intimacy that they are forgoing.
There are several factors that contribute to the demise of conversational intimacy within a marriage. In my experience, there are three common weak points where the enemy applies pressure: our calendars, our children, and our conflicts.
These days it is tremendously easy to fill our calendars with good activities—work, school, church events, service projects, extracurriculars for the kids—but leave out essential time to converse with our spouse. Many couples never schedule time for themselves—to converse, to exchange their thoughts and feelings, to react to one another. Every couple needs time outside of the chaos of everyday life for conversation.
Small children, though they are a blessing from the Lord, can be one of the biggest hindrances to intimacy and conversation in marriage. Many people make the mistake of thinking children must come first in a marriage. But children draw security from seeing that Daddy is Mommy’s number-one priority and that Mommy is Daddy’s number-one priority. So it is healthy for the entire family when parents love one another well, following the example of Christ.
Lastly, there’s conflict. It is a great fallacy to say that a good marriage does not have any conflict. The Truth is that the only way to avoid conflict in marriage is to stop conversing, thereby stifling intimacy. But if you make conflict your ally, handling it wisely, you and your spouse will grow in leaps and bounds.
Implementing these three practical principles will certainly improve your conversation in your marriage. But before you put them into practice, if you haven’t already learned to pray together, hold hands and start praying! Pray for God to reveal to you your own inadequacies, weaknesses, and failures. Pray for the love of God to be poured into your heart toward your spouse. And see what new life He brings to your marriage.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for becoming complacent toward my spouse, for just getting through the day. Help me to prioritize with my spouse our calendars, children, and communication according to what will strengthen our relationship and glorify Your name. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21)