Good communication fills the emotional bank account of those closest to us. Just as we were created for community, we were also created for communication. Only through good communication can we hope to “know and be known.”
Good communication in marriage was a slow learning curve for me. Early in our marriage my goal in communication with Rhonda was to prove my point. Only as I began to live into the “love trumps knowledge” message of I Corinthians chapter 13 did I reorient my thinking. Now my number one goal in communication as a couple is to understand my wife, not prove my opinion. This change has brought a new sense of freedom to our marriage.
I am set free from the need to win, the need to have the last word, the need to keep up some kind of knowledge facade. (Although you still have no chance against me in a game of Trivial Pursuit. “In what year did the Winter Olympics begin?”) And Rhonda has been set free from the badgering of “why are you doing that your way when it would be much smarter to…”
Recently, we were together in Walgreens ordering some Christmas photo greetings. After working together choosing the layout and the pictures, we came to the quantity screen. Rhonda suggested 60 cards. The “knowledge” communicator in me wanted to say, “We ordered 50 cards last year and sent out about 20 and you want to order even more. What are you thinking!” See the “knowledge” argument here. It’s based on the facts I know that she has probably forgotten. By the gift of God’s Spirit inside, it was the “love” communicator that spoke first. Recognizing the schedule challenges where this kind of thing usually ends up in Rhonda’s already busy court, I said, “I think if we work together we can do 60 cards.”
In marriage, we have every opportunity to practice the supremacy of love over knowledge in our conversation. And when we do, the sky is the limit in the joy that lies ahead. And, by the way, we had to go back for more cards.