How to Have Healthy & Effective Communication in Your Marriage

Over the summer my husband came to me with a desire in his heart to go on a mission trip. When he first presented the idea, I immediately panicked. My fear was not a result of him going on a trip around the world, but from the fact that I felt like my life was going to be completely out of my control while he was gone. The funny thing is that much of our lives is already out of our control. So, here comes the “God” lesson. I would be left with our 4 kids to care for by myself for 14 days. And before you begin to feel sorry for me, I want you to keep reading. My husband and I hashed out whether he should go or stay (actually it was more of me hashing, his mind was made up!) He was going and I was going to have to figure out how to communicate to him how I was feeling about the trip, in a way that did not lead him to be defensive or resistant to hear my heart.

This was not my first rodeo in having strong feelings that were the opposite of my husband’s desires. But over the course of our marriage God has taught me how to position my heart on matters in my marriage that only he can give me proper insight on. Over the last several months God really started working on my heart and refining my attitude towards my husband and his big trip.

Now, I would like to share with you 5 of my best tips for cultivating healthy and effective communication in your marriage.

1. Start with prayer!

One of the biggest things I’ve learned (through trial and error) is the importance of praying before I have a BIG conversation with my husband. Although we are one, we still have different thoughts and ideas in terms of how things should be done.

If I just go to him before God has the opportunity to prepare his heart it can result in hurt feelings, me over explaining myself, arguing and a host of other things that are not productive in marriage.

There is power in God preparing your partner's heart for what you have on your heart. So go to God for guidance in how you should address your spouse.

2. Timing is everything

This is something you have to be strategic about. I never approach my husband with “we need to talk.” I’ve learned that timing is crucial to effective communication in all relationships. I always check to hear how my husband is doing before I lay big news on him. If he is distracted or doing something fun, I know that it’s not a good time to tell him big news.

So, create time and space in your marriage to check in regularly with each other. Also remember your tone is half the battle in communication. When we speak from a place of love our spouse is usually much more willing to hear our hearts - so be pleasant in your delivery!

Most things we want to put a timeline on, but do we really need to? Don’t allow fear to make you say something you may later regret.

3. Remember you're on the same team

When you approach from a place of believing "we are in this together" you are less likely to come at your spouse on the defense! Remember the end goal is for you to both have peace. It may take a little work to come to an agreement here, but it is possible. Ps: I’m going to share more about what God shared with me about the mission trip at the end of this post.

4. Always have a servant's heart

When we look for ways to be selfless instead of selfish it speaks volumes to those we are in relationship with. Now, I’m not suggesting here that we be doormats in our relationships. It’s definitely important to have boundaries that you stand by. But, whenever I put my husband’s needs before my own I not only see God meet my needs, but I see my husband’s heart towards me manifest through the gifts of the spirit (Galatians 5:22).

5. Remember God's perspective on marriage

Since marriage was God’s design, we know that it must be his desire for our marriages to be life-giving. When we shift our perspective to figure out ways to speak and pour life into our marriages, we are much better for it. When you are in a place of struggle in your communication remember God’s promises and remember that he has a purpose for you and your spouse. Don’t allow the enemy to tell you lies - keep your thoughts full of God’s truth.

So, back to the mission’s trip. Right now my husband is in Uganda. God began to speak to my heart and show me that I could let go of my tight grip and trust him for my provision, covering, and protection in my husband’s absence. While my husband is gone, God is strengthening me. He is teaching me how to have more patience with my kids and more tolerance for the unknown. I’m learning how to wait with an expectant heart for his creative blessings and miracles.

Will you and your spouse partner with God today for a kingdom marriage?

He wants you healthy and whole and he has a plan for you. I would love to stand in agreement and pray for strong communication in your marriage. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like me to pray for you!

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Communicating effectively with your spouse can be a real challenge, which is why I'm sharing these 5 things I've learned to help you develop better communication! |
Communicating effectively with your spouse can be a real challenge, which is why I'm sharing these 5 things I've learned to help you develop better communication! |

When It's Your Spouse's Time to Shine

Adjusting to sharing time can be difficult in marriage. When my husband and I got married almost 11 years ago we went from being the boss of “our” own individual time to having to share time pretty quickly. Because our first child was born a year into being married we had to learn how to share time so that neither of us felt like we never got a turn to do the things we wanted to do (without the baby in tow!)

As we went through the process of adjusting to the newness of being parents it didn’t always register for my husband that he needed to check in with me before he made plans. This was an area that I had to learn to give grace and not immediately get frustrated.

I knew that he was not coming from a place of malice; he did not carry a baby for 9 months so his life was not immediately altered upon conception like mine was. I had to gently express my needs in this season, where we could have easily gotten into many arguments of me feeling overlooked.

One of the things that I’ve learned the longer that I’ve been married is that your turn will come around. This is a concept that I actually teach my children as well because they can easily run into feeling like they have not been treated fairly because they did not get what their brother or sister got.

The same can come up in marriage when you have to spend a season allowing your spouse to shine while you take the back seat. In those seasons its important to have a support system and be sure to express your needs to your spouse in a way that keeps the lines of communication open and does not cause resentment.

Here are a few tips for keeping communication open when it’s your spouse’s season to shine!

Get help

This may be a season where you need to rely on family for additional help if you have children. If you don’t have that option, but you typically rely on your spouse to help out with chores inside and outside the house, if there is room in the budget, it may be time to outsource.


We should be able to express to our spouse how we are feeling. Remember to always speak truth in love. Be sure not to keep things inside and then feel like you have to unload in a rant. Timing is crucial when you have to say something that may cause a reaction, so be sure to factor that in when communicating your needs.

Be supportive

The gist of this post is that your turn will eventually come around and, when it does, you will want your spouse to be your number one cheerleader! That typically happens when you have done the same for your spouse. Even when I have not fully understood, I’ve put on my happy face because when my turn comes I would like the support!

How do you show your spouse support when it’s their season to shine?

When It's Your Spouse's Time to Shine

How to Safe Guard Your Marriage against Outside Influences

Safe Guard Your Marriage(1) Marriage is one of the most rewarding as well as challenging relationships that we can be called to. How many remember the way you felt when you first met your spouse? The way that he or she gazed at you was sure to make you feel loved and adored. Some of you may still be feeling all the feels because you are newly married.   Maybe you didn’t start your marriage on the best of terms but you are determined to make it work? How do you do this when society tells us “its okay to abort mission and choose happiness over covenant.”


What about when the work starts? Yes, that’s right marriage is a four-letter word called work!   How do we navigate those seasons when transition occurs in our marriages? Whether it’s the birth of children, changes in employment, times of financial hardship, etc. We all need a plan in place to continue to water the seeds of our marriages.


What are some things that we guard fiercely? Typically we guard our finances, we guard our time, and we will even guard our feelings. How many of us are putting that same energy into guarding our marriages fiercely?


It is so important that we take the time to pour into our spouses, to hear their heart and concerns personally as well as in our partnerships. When we date we typically look forward to building this aspect of the relationship. We wouldn’t dream of not having intimate conversations with our significant other. So what happens after we have exchanged vows, partied the night away with friends, and settled into married life?


Ever hear someone utter the words “I don’t need you,” to their spouse? Or better yet in conversation with a friend? I always cringe a bit when I hear this. Biblically speaking, God created us for relationship and intimacy. There are so many verses in the bible that God uses to show how much he values intimate relationships. The first time we see it addressed is in Genesis. When he creates Adam, he realizes there is no suitable mate for him with that knowledge he creates a “help mate” for Adam (Genesis 2:18-24.)   We need each other. This is an extremely important safe guard you can put into place for your marriage. Deciding that you need each other and vowing that you will not use “I don’t need you,” as a part of your marriage vocabulary. Life in death is in the power of the tongue, so choose to speak life into your marriage.


Do you trust that your spouse has your best interest at heart? What are some ways we can cultivate trust into marriage? When God put you and your spouse together he knew that there would be a level of vulnerability that only the two of you would share. Husband’s are the protectors and provide covering over their households. Wives are the heartbeat of the home and provide an intuitive spirit. We both have a role in keeping danger out of our home. How serious are you currently taking this responsibility in your marriage? You should know your spouse intimately. This is not just physical. Spending time together and hearing what’s going on with one another helps build a deeper level of trust and communication. One thing that helps my husband and I foster trust in our marriage is reminding each other that we are on the same team. When you fight against your spouse you are essentially fighting against yourself. Ways to build trust involve, creating a space that is judgment free (we already have enough critics in the world and don’t need our spouse to be one of them,) listening to your spouses heart, trusting that when they are sharing it may be an area that they need you praying for them in. Remember that scripture everyone was charged to remember growing up…do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31). Do you think about how your words and actions will make your spouse feel? We should always seek to leave our spouse better when they leave our presence.


How often are you communicating with your spouse? This is huge. I don’t mean an occasional surface chat. This is connected to trust. Those on the outside of your marriage should not know more about you than your spouse. Before you ever run an “idea” by your family of origin, inlaws, best friend, co worker (you get the point!) You better have talked to your spouse about it first. They should never get news about you at the same time or after others. In marriage sometimes you know you need to have a conversation that may be difficult or uncomfortable. In this case you exercise wisdom and make sure that you get your timing right! My husband and I recently played a conversation starter game! It was so much fun. Don’t allow your marriage to get stuck in a rut. Find new ways to keep things fun and exciting. Don’t forsake communication, as this is so important in keeping your marriage safe.


Your spouse should help identify your weaknesses and help them into strengths. Have you ever felt a little awkward when your spouse has pointed out your weaknesses? I know I have.   It takes some maturity to hear a person point out areas where you may not be strong. One of the things that I’ve learned over the course of my 10-year marriage is God fit me perfectly with a husband who is strong in the areas that I am weak. This is not a bad thing; we have found ways to “lovingly” point out each other’s weaknesses. Do you know why God may show you the weaknesses of someone close to you? It’s never so that we can harp on their inabilities, but instead to build them up and speak life into areas where they may have some growing and maturing to do. I’m remind of (Ecclesiastes 4:12) though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. When the Holy Spirit points out to you a flaw in your spouse, partner with the Holy Spirit on praying for and helping you help your spouse gain strength in this area.


I’ve saved the best for last! Have sex often. This type of intimacy is what sets the marriage relationship apart from any other relationship. God’s gift to marriage is sexual intimacy. We should be working to serve and please our spouse in this area of our marriage.   For a couple whose marriage is pretty whole and healthy there should be sparks flying in the bedroom. Get creative, don’t use tired as an excuse. Keep your bedroom space a space that feels welcoming and sexy! Focus on each other and keep outside chatter to a minimum. Locker chat about whose getting what does not help with what’s happening in your own marriage. Ever heard that saying “the grass is greener where it’s watered!” Focus on keeping your marriage healthy in thriving in the area of sexual intimacy. Guard your ears, eyes, and heart where the marital bed is concerned. You get to make a choice every day to love your spouse.


Marriage is work but it can be so rewarding and fulfilling. It is such an honor to partner with another person and only have shared experiences with that one person. Build your marriage on a solid foundation with God first. Pray and ask him to give you wisdom in safe guarding your marriage. Take the vows you said seriously. Fight for what is yours! Surround yourself with like-minded friendships. Sometimes it can be scary to let go of friendships, but know that if your values are not the same and the relationships are pulling you away from your spouse and your home responsibilities it may be time to examine and let go.


God gift of marriage was created to make you a better person. You should be growing and evolving and looking for ways to help one another. If you are not quite there yet, that’s okay. Continue to work towards wholeness and health in your marriage.


Looking to take your marriage to the next level? I would love to partner with you and your spouse and come up with a customized plan to help you set healthy expectations as well as communication. Click here to schedule a 30-minute discovery session.


What are some ways you safeguard your marriage? Share in the comments below!

How To Have a Guilt-less Vacation with Your Spouse

Guilt FreeKid-less VacationYes Please! The burning question that I got from several people when my husband and I returned from our 8 day anniversary getaway was, if I felt guilty leaving my kids for such a long period of time. My answer is NO. I love my children with all that I have, but if mom and dad aren’t connecting, home life for all will be less than stellar!

Here are my tips for planning for successful time away with your honey!

  1. Pray and ask God to Send Help You Can Trust: If the thought, I would love to get away but have no one I can trust comes immediately to your mind then it’s time to pray and network! We mamas should always have a back up plan for childcare. One of the first missions I went on after I became a new mom was to find help that I could trust so that I would be able to have some me time. If this is an issue for you check out my post on Self Care.
  2. Cut out the Excuses: This will go back to number 1. Many times we say we can’t afford to get away and have help. There are so many options available. Maybe you can exchange sitting with another family, have a family member watch the kids, or exchange one thing in your budget for the time spent with your husband and childcare. The key here is to get creative. Trust me. Your marriage needs it!! Don’t wait until you are completely disconnected to try and fix your marriage. We have to nurture things in our life we want to grow!
  3. You Have to Give up Some Control: Your kids are going to be okay without you! As moms we don’t want to leave our kids because we think they won’t be okay without us. The same dramatics they put on when we leave the house for date night, work, or to run errands are the same dramatics they will throw your way when you are trying to get some quality time with your hubby. Be strong sister! Be strong.
  4. Enjoy the Time Away: Maybe your first trip is not 8 days. Maybe you start with a weekend getaway. The key is to do something and to get rid of the guilt. Whomever you left the kids with is going to take great care of them. I enjoy my time with my husband so much when we getaway and often wonder what took us so long to schedule it! Don’t make excuses. Date your husband, hear his heart, communicate with him, and rekindle that intimacy! When you come back refreshed and rejuvenated your whole family will be better for it.
  5. Come back with New Energy: My husband and I came back feeling like teenagers! Our kids were happy to see us too! We all had a new appreciation for each other. They enjoyed grandma’s house and we enjoyed our time away. They also had some new good habits after spending a week with their grandparents!


Need help with having better connection in your marriage? Click here for a FREE discovery coaching call. We will discuss tips and strategies for strengthening your marriage.

Let’s chat! Tell me in the comments below the best getaway you’ve ever had with your spouse? Never been on a getaway? Tell me your dream location and on your next date night start dreaming and planning.

Let's Talk Marriage

My husband and I will be celebrating 10 years of marriage this Saturday and we still enjoy each other's company.  Here are my 6 tips for sustaining a healthy marriage. Marriage Photo

  1. Communicate Often: We have to learn how to work together. What works for one season in your marriage will not always get you through the next. Discern and recognize when it's time to make a shift and reevaluate how things are going. For example, it may beneficial when first starting out for one person to be primarily responsible for taking care of the household budget, however you may find as your family grows and time commitments change the other person may need to take this on.
  2. Fight Fair: Learn how to fight fair. Early in our relationship before we got married we created ground rules for dealing with conflict. We don't raise our voice at each other, we don't call each other out of name, and we don't hit below the belt. Because we are on the same team, we choose daily to respect each other.
  3. Compliment each other: There is nothing worse than hearing your spouse gives everyone but you compliments. That should not be the case. Sometimes when things get busy or we are under stress we can forget to nurture those closest to us. It's so important to speak life into the one you became one with. We have to be intentional about saying kind things to our spouse. If this is an area of strength for you, but your spouse falls short, be sure to express your need for encouragement and kind words.
  4. Pray together and for each other: This right here I can't emphasize enough! I distinctly remember a tough season where I needed my husband to hear my heart and make a decision based on my needs. At the time he couldn't see what I "needed" him to see. I was in the process of demanding an answer from him when God stopped me in my tracks and told me, you can't change his heart. So my question to God was, what am I supposed to do? God reminded me that I was to make my request known to Him, I now go to the Father before addressing situations with my husband. God gives me insight and discernment and helps me to approach my husband in a way that honors Him. We are still working on getting more prayer time together, but I can tell you I know how to petition heaven on behalf of my husband!
  5. Serve each other: We typically do this well in the dating phase. I read a book once called Life Long Love Affair by Jimmy Evans. In it he talked about serving your spouse in the good and the bad. I can honestly say it works. Even when we have our disagreements I still continue to serve my husband. It's my way of showing him that despite the way I feel, I still choose to do the right thing and honor him. When we do the right thing for the right reasons God is pleased!
  6. Have fun together: This is another thing we do well while dating and the early years of marriage.  My husband and I actually have decided going forward we are recommitting to this area and are choosing to have more fun in our marriage. We laugh a lot together. My husband is one of the funniest people I know, however, with the busyness of work and 4 kids sometimes we are just down right exhausted. Men need to have fun, so make sure that you are finding ways to keep it light whether it is…going to the movies, rock climbing, taking on a new hobby that you both enjoy. We are actually honoring our comment to more fun by taking our 10 year wedding anniversary trip kid free! Can’t wait to share our adventure with you when we get back

I want to hear from you! How do you keep your marriage alive and healthy? Please share in the comments. If you found this article helpful please pass it along! Sharing is caring!