Communication is a skill that is developed. Let’s consider the five parts of communication using the account of the Lord Jesus Christ healing a man who had communication problems. This man is much like many marriages, unable to speak, unable to hear, and hindered in his communication.
they beseech him to put his hand upon him… There is first a desire to communicate. You and your spouse must be willing and desiring to communicate with each other.
- Right Attitude
- 1 Corinthians 13:5-7 – Charity does not come with its own agenda.
- Commitment – We’re married and we’ll stay that way. Commitment will limit your options and force a resolution.
- Wrong Attitude can be caused by the following:
- Unmet expectations will defer hope Proverbs 13:12
- Setting conditions or qualifying your behavior or speech
- Men a challenge to their authority or their competence will cause defensiveness
- Women a break in the relationship will cause defensiveness
And he took him aside from the multitude… The Lord Jesus Christ made personal time to address this man. There are several things that hinder us from making time to communicate with our spouse.
- Busy, rat race, time mismanagement. Everyone has 24 hours a day, successful and unsuccessful people alike. Time management is a skill. Learn how to do it.
- Children will monopolize time
- Children are NOT the center of the family
- Marriage didn’t start with your kids and it won’t end when your kids leave
- It’s counterproductive to make children the center of the family
- Media, TV, Internet will monopolize your time
- Fatigue will hinder your time management
- Fear of conflict will cause you to avoid taking the time needed to communicate
and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue… The Lord Jesus Christ communicates with this deaf and dumb man the only way he can to give him an understanding of what he is about to do.
- Communication is not what you say, but what your spouse understands you’re saying.
- Proverbs 18:2 – fool hath no delight in understanding
- Understanding your spouse
- The thing that makes your marriage good is the thing that will make it bad in the wrong context. Fuel, oxygen, and flames in a combustible engine are productive. But fuel, oxygen, and flames in a bedroom are destructive.
- Men think her emotional ties make her short sighted. Sometimes they do, but that relational nature also provides the glue and the sweetness to your home that you don’t provide.
- Women think he is too selfish, calculating, and unfeeling. In a certain context that’s true, but that calculating unfeeling nature is exactly what you need to have sound judgment and good decisions sometimes.
- Differences are strengths, not weaknesses. Understand where you spouse is coming from.
- Put people before things.
- Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt.
And straightway his ears were opened...
- Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
- When an assertion is made, repeat it verbatim before responding. Besides helping to calm us both, this will verify that a) I’ve heard you correctly, and b) you said what you meant (and meant what you said).
- Listen for understanding, not so you can begin speaking.
and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
- Ephesians 4:29, You are never told that resolution comes through corrupting speech.
- Be honest. Avoid these statements: “You ALWAYS…” and “You NEVER…” If these accusations are true then they should have been brought up when they first occurred.
- We will not dredge up the past sins of the other.
- Attack the problem, not the person.
- Never in public or in front of the kids
And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith… The reason this man has the ability to hear and speak, and ultimately communicate is because of the words of Jesus Christ. The principles of communication are all in the words of God. It is the source.
If you and your spouse learn the art of communication, you will be a testimony for Jesus Christ to others and be able to help others with the same help you’ve received from God. Marriage communication problems are epidemic; become part of the solution not more of the problem. Learn to communicate.