Communication is an art. Verbal communication. I believe that our words have power. And that if our hearts are true, then the words we speak will work together with body language, heart intent and any other non-verbal cue that we use to get our point across. But I believe that with most things, words should lead the way.
“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34b)
Any art form must be practiced, exercised and continually perfected. With reference to communication, no arena in life (except our relationship with God) is more important than that of our marriage. Sure, mom and dad (hopefully) loved us and understood us without words, but it’s also their presence in which you learned to speak. For God’s sake, your mother’s womb is the first place you experienced the phenomenon of communication. But now you find yourself living on your own with someone who is not related to you by blood, but by spirit. Who, for a time, didn’t know you from Adam. Getting on the same page (a fully justified page, at that) with someone who—in some ways—might be your polar opposite, is an art form that you will spend the rest of your life cultivating and perfecting. God help you. And spirit is thicker than blood.
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8) Same goes for a double minded woman.
I can’t read your mind.
I take that back. If I were to try hard enough and you were deliberately transparent toward me, then something might come across. One of the many reasons (outside of knowing God) that I have a hard time resorting to a theory of scientific materialism is the plethora of unspoken communication (for good or ill) that happens between humans. Animals too. But as we are pretty much exclusive in the spoken-language capacity (Alex the parrot knew…), the chief means of communication in interpersonal, human to human (read: spousal) relationships is words. We weren’t created to think at people, to telegraph our thoughts and feelings to another person. Even if subtle, non-verbal clues seem to indicate that your spouse gets what you’re projecting, that assumption may be totally wrong. No way around it. And it isn’t about enlarging your vocabulary (though that can help), it’s about selflessness and altruism in a loving and Christlike manner toward your significant other. About living out the tenets of love so that even though we’re learning how to see the other person in light of Jesus, we still believe the best for them until their communication is as incisive as it needs to be. So please, don’t think at me.
“Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name.” (Psalm 86:11, emphasis mine) That word “unite” is yachad in Hebrew. It means join, unite, become one. It appears thrice in the Bible (Genesis 49:6 and Isaiah 14:20).
I can’t read your heart
Though the Holy Spirit can let me see something, or tell me directly. But again, that’s God’s arena. He knows what we think, He knows how we feel and even then He asks that we speak to Him: “And He (Jesus) spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (Luke 18:1, emphasis mine) When we take the easy road and elect to use (for lack of a better term) telepathic transmissions as a substitute for genuine conversation in which real words from a renewed mind and a transparent heart are spoken, we are doing everyone (God, ourselves, our other, to be clear) a disservice. Emotional insecurity and ambiguity–and animosity–are silenced by verbal disambiguity: the speaking, in love, of exactly what we think, and therefore mean, to say.
Words have meaning. I think words are one of the chief examples of symbolism in our lives. Here’s a word. It means this. The sounds and letters that form said word, that in turn forms a thought on which rests emotion and action is one of the miracles of God’s creative power. Learning how the whole system works and using it to the best of our advantage should be one of the chief aims of our lives. Our lives as lived out with our spouse.