One of my dad’s favorite saying is “communication is the key to success.” I agree that there is some truth to that statement but it only address the surface. I myself find it challenging to communicate. I have never been good at communicating with words and I have improved as I have aged but still struggle. One of the most challenging obstacles in our marriage is communication. I am American and my husband is Chinese. The differences in our culture, gender, native languages, personalities, past histories all contribute to difficulties in communication.
This break in communication has been one of the biggest struggles in our marriage. My husband has often failed to meet some of my innate needs not out of a lack or desire or love but out of ignorance and misunderstanding. Similarly I have failed to share, verbalize needs not intentionally but because I do not know how. All couples encounter this struggle but for intercultural marriages it is even greater.
So what is the key to our marriage? What is the key to our success? The key is Jesus. Without Jesus at the center of our marriage we would never be able to learn to navigate all the barriers to communication that we face on a daily basis. So we struggle, we wrestle, we fail but we always pick each other up, forgive, learn, change and grow because Jesus teaches us how to overcome and redeem.
So what do I mean by Jesus is the center of our marriage? For me, praying as an individual is a big part of making Jesus the center of our marriage. My husband praying with me as the leader of our house makes Jesus the center. Us both studying the Bible for guidance and wisdom often shows us area that need to change and grow. For my husband he grows spiritually through meeting and talking with people. He has meet with an American pastor regularly for several years and this has helped him make Jesus our center.
Communication is important but the key to effective communication is Jesus Christ. For he transcends all barriers.
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James 1:19