Is communication overrated?

I’ve been mulling over this concept recently.

If you ask almost any modern Christian, the first thing they will say is critical to a marriage is good communication. They won’t say the God or things like Bible’s marital roles and responsibilities.

If the husband and wife were able to keep putting God first, especially the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities and the fruit of the Spirit, how would that look?

There’s a reason why the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities are the way they are. They are to keep us united in oneness, even though we are prone to walking with the flesh rather than the Spirit. If the husband and wife are each doing their God-given roles and responsibilities (husband headship, love, honor and wife respect, submission, affection, etc. and freely giving themselves sexually to one another and growing in the fruits of the Spirit), you’re going to have not only a godly marriage but likely a successful and happy one too.

God knows what He is doing, yet we always try to convince ourselves we know better than God and want to do it our own way.

If you’re doing your God-given roles and responsibilities, most of the work is already done. You only need “good communication” if you want to keep arguing or being contentious with your spouse that God’s way isn’t the best way.

(Now, I’m not discounting the fact that it’s a good idea to communicate back and forth about various topics, but this can easily be warped into selfish principles of “what’s in it for me” rather than God’s).

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12 Responses to Is communication overrated?

  1. AngloSaxon says:

    Do you reckon if the woman who finds her weak, soft, out of shape beta husband infuriating to live with told him what she thinks of him their marriage might get better?

  2. @ AngloSaxon

    Do you reckon if the woman who finds her weak, soft, out of shape beta husband infuriating to live with told him what she thinks of him their marriage might get better?

    Hah, you jest but most of the modern Church ignores 1 Peter 3 for wives to win their husbands with behavior.

    They’ll easily say to husbands who have a wife like that to be better at the Biblical marital roles and responsibilities (and they’re right.. if they don’t distort the verses to mean placate her feelings).

    However, they are loathe at telling wives the same thing. It can often devolves into cries of “abuse” and “leave him.”

  3. Wizard Prang says:

    It depends on what you mean by “Communication”.

    Clear communication of shared goals and values and values is fine, but when many women talk about communication, they mean “I talk, he listens”.

    The test of this is when they say “He isn’t listening to me”, and usually mean “He isn’t obeying me”.

  4. Michael says:

    This is something I’ve been thinking about lately too. Consider how this parallels to the relationship between us and God. Communication is very important, in the sense that we need to be hearing from God (reading the Word, possibly some direct leading or gifts of the Spirit) and talking to God (prayer). Those are things we need to be doing constantly and faithfully. However it is currently imperfect communication at best (1 Cor 13:12) but eventually will be perfect when we can talk face to face with God (Revelation 21:3). Even Jesus didn’t communicate everything to His disciples until the right time (John 16:12). Similarly, I think there is some communication in marriage that should be delayed until the relationship is built on God’s principles for marriage. Some wives just aren’t ready to hear certain things, especially when a marriage has been going the wrong way for a while.

  5. Wizard gets it. “Communication” really means “the Husband keeps the Wife happy by obeying her”. However, they piggyback their evil desire within something that can be an actual issue which is Trust. Once Trust breaks down, the relationship is mostly dead, at which point actual communication breakdowns occur.

    So, as with most things of this nature, there are actual, technical aspects that are important, but they are used as a vehicle to inject Sin and Evil into the lives of others. “Lines of Dialogue” is always important in any hierarchical relationship where you have to deal with others regularly. It’s “Good Business” and good for any relationship. That why God gives us the “roles” to fill, as they work to strategically improve upon core aspects of human nature and only require a certain amount of self-control to make operate.

    One other thing to keep in mind about coming off the lowest point of Christianity in the last millennia is that few actually takes God seriously beyond the “Fire Insurance for the Soul” aspects. What is more commonly taken a bit more seriously is what some leader *tells* them, but that is rarely what God has asked of anyone. And it’s definitely not what most Christians are taught via discipleship. God keeps it simple because we’re Sheep, but Christians have been programmed & controlled in such a way that we can barely even communicate the basic concepts anymore.

    I reference Proverbs 1 sometimes, and it’s specifically because of this issue.

    20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
    21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
    22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
    How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
    23 If you turn at my reproof,a
    behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
    24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
    have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
    25 because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,
    26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when terror strikes you,
    27 when terror strikes you like a storm
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.
    28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
    29 Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
    30 would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,
    31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
    and have their fill of their own devices.
    32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
    33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

    Proverbs 1:20-33 ESV

    The Lord is pretty clear on this point. Embrace the Spirit of the Lord and accept what comes with Wisdom. But it comes at a cost, and few are willing to pay it. That’s why they sell the “Happy, Happy Fun Time” Christianity, because Wisdom costs all of your illusions.

    “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Colossians 2:23 ESV . Funny, that. ~2000 years. Ain’t nothing new under the Sun, is there?

    Frankly, though, it’s so much nicer on this side. People, generally, are a lot easier to understand. You don’t get horribly disappointed with them as much, and you generally cease to put faith into a person being something they are not.The breadth and depth of Wisdom starts to open up and the clarity is wonderful. Much of the Bible needs to be understood as the Lord telling you what “is”, and He is sometimes willing to explain the “why”. Not that a lot of it really doesn’t need much explanation; it’s the acceptable part that’s hard.

  6. AngloSaxon says:

    Most of the modern church ignores what they see plainly with their own eyes. You can’t expect a woman to submit to an overweight weakling. Relying on what a book says (even if it is THE book) isn’t going to help you…

  7. Dalrock says:

    Excellent post!

    Others have already rightly noted that “communicating” often really means the husband doing as the wife tells him to do. There is another even more subtle problem with the term. We automatically assume “communication” means “talking”. This is a near universal misconception, and because it isn’t challenged really makes it difficult to think clearly.

  8. @ Dalrock

    Good points. I’ll probably try to unpack this more in a future post.

  9. Gary Eden says:

    Notice the Bible doesn’t talk a lot about ‘communication’. But it does talk about understanding your wife. About loving her. About her obeying you. About her reverencing you. About you spiritually leading her.

    Do all those things, neither party will be worrying about ‘not enough communication’.

  10. Anonymous Reader says:

    We automatically assume “communication” means “talking”. This is a near universal misconception, and because it isn’t challenged really makes it difficult to think clearly.

    A great deal of communication between humans is nonverbal. Actions speak louder than words. Our grandparents knew this. It has been a few years since I have heard anyone in a churchgoing setting say that. In fact, pointing out “Watch what they do…” has gotten me a few odd looks from churchgoing men. Next time that happens I will try to remember to ask for a simple explanation of 1 Peter 3. The response should be interesting.

    Arguably this is one of the things that the “Love Languages” book gets right. It is certain a lot of married men are “starved for touch”, going merely by the body language that I see in public.

    Congrats on your book. It is sorely needed.

  11. Pingback: Is communication overrated Part 2 | Christianity and masculinity

  12. Christopher Conrad Nystrom says:

    If you do not have goodwill toward your spouse and do not want the best for them then even the best communication if not going to help a lot.

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