Careless or caustic words can cause more damage in a marriage than anything else. Take the time to covenant together about how you will communicate - it will enrich your relationship every day:

We covenant together never to raise our voices in anger. Even when we are angry, or hurt, or wronged.

We will respond calmly if the other raises their voice in anger. We will end the discussion and leave the room until the other has controlled their anger.

We will never discuss a problem or situation in anger.

We will never insult the other person with our words. We will not attack their personhood.

We will never bring up issues that have been dealt with.

We will never bring up past faults when dealing with a present problem.

We will address one issue at a time in any given discussion.

We will define goals, work toward them, and hold each other accountable in them.

We will respect one another's personhood, mind, experience, opinions, and emotions. We will never degrade the other in any of these areas.

We will never belittle the seriousness of the concerns the other brings to our attention.

We will seek to build one another up. We will never bring up a problem without also encouraging the other in something that they are doing well.

We will seek every day to express our love for the other in thought, word, and deed.

© 2002 Paula Marolewski

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. This article is not to be sold or included with anything that is sold.

Author's Bio: 

Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School classes at Sink Your Roots (www.SinkYourRoots.com). Studies include such topics as Debunking the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The site also offers free weekly Seedlings - “Little thoughts that grow big results.”