Effective Communication James 1:19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In relationships, like marriages, effective communication is vital to understanding and happiness. To be effective you must:
Listen – Jas 1:19 you are to be swift to hear, and slow to speak. You can’t hear if you are preparing your answer rather than listening. Prov 18:13 says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” If you respond before you understand what the other person is saying, you will be ashamed and look foolish. Give the person with whom you are talking your undivided attention. Ask questions if you aren’t sure. And don’t get riled up over something that your spouse didn’t say, but you “thought” he/she said.
Minimize your words – Prov 17:27-28 – he that hath knowledge spareth his words… even a fool when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise. Get to the point; say what you mean. Make sure your spouse gets what you’re saying. Don’t assume anything. If your spouse wants to know more, he or she can ask for details. You can avoid a protracted argument by keeping your answers short. It is harder to argue with the answer than it is to argue with the reason for the answer.
Speak the truth – Eph 4:25 – be 100% honest with yourself and wth your spouse. Don’t lie; don’t exaggerate; don’t embellish your stories. Relationships are built on trust.
Honor your wife – 1 Pet 3:7 and reverence you husband – Eph 5:33. Hold each other in high esteem and respect. Don’t berate or upbraid each other. The more respect you show for each other the more your children will be inclined to show the same respect.
Rule your spirit – Prov 25:28 – he that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. Don’t let things get to you, where emotion overrides reason. If that begins to happen stop and admit that you are becoming emotional or that you are too emotional to continue at that moment. And then deal with the emotions (whether you are fearful, sad, mad, etc.). Remember to H.A.L.T. Never have serious discussions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
Control your anger – Prov 14:17 he that is soon angry dealeth foolishly (Ecc 7:9). When you respond with anger you have shifted from a conversation to aggression. Your spouse will change his/her way of communicating with you. He could shut down, she might become timid, he might become political, she might become passive and then aggressive, you could escalate the conversation into a rock fight. Furthermore, don’t be manipulated by a spouse’s anger. When you give in to anger once, you will be forced to give into anger again and again.
Watch your body language – 1 Pet 3:2 while they behold your chaste conversation. A woman can say a lot by her behavior. Prov 20:8 a king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes. A man can say a lot by just looking at you a certain way. You can say a lot without saying anything.
Conclusion: if you will practice these seven points of communication in your marriage, you will see notable improvement in the effectiveness of your communication.