Let this sink in:
- Our kid’s hearts are being shaped by observing our marriages.
- Our kid’s faith is being influenced by observing how we treat each other as husband and wife.
- Our kid’s faith, their ability to trust, their sense of safety and security, is either being bolstered or being destroyed every day, as they watch us.
- Since marriage is a metaphor for God’s love for His church, (Ephesians 5:25-32) what are our kids learning as they study how we relate to one another?
Our kids observe how we communicate. They also evaluate how invested their parents are in one another, based upon how they perceive they speak to each other. Communication, especially in marriage, is so important that it is frequently addressed in Scripture. Read these passages to be reminded that the Bible extols the value of communication.
- Proverbs 18:13;
- Proverbs 29:11;
- Proverbs 12:18;
- Ephesians 4:24-27;
- James 1:19
Look below for some helpful tips for a successful conversation:The person who is speaking should:
- Say whatever you mean to say in manageable pieces – not too long or too short. If you don’t say enough the message is insufficient, but if you say too much the message causes overload and isn’t received.
- Look the listener in the eye. Eye contact (instead looking at your smart phone or the TV) instills credibility and worth in the conversation. If you are making eye contact, you can discern if your message is being heard.
- Be careful with non-verbal cues. When tone and content are in conflict confusion and misunderstandings are to be expected. More importantly, when tone and content are in conflict, always go with the tone to interpret the message.
- Use “I” statements when communicating your message. Your perspective is what you know best so “I” statements are trustworthy. Plus, “I” statement prevent the listener from becoming defensive and ceasing to listen.
- Consider the disposition of the listener. If the listener is too emotional, or too tired, or too busy, or too anything, then you will not be successful in communicating your message.
- Focus on what the other person is communicating rather than formulating a response or offering a solution.
- If the speaker’s message is too long for you to follow, politely ask the speaker to present the message in a manageable size so that you can successfully hear and interpret the message.
- Paraphrase the manageable piece of information back to the speaker to confirm that the message was successfully communicated.
- Be careful with non-verbal cues. The speaker will be distracted if the listener rolls their eyes, sighs deeply, reacts too emotionally (anger, disinterest, sad, amused).
- Consider the disposition of the speaker. If the speaker is too emotional, or too tired, or too busy, or too anything, then they will not be successful in communicating the message. Call a time out to allow the speaker to regain a better state of mind. Be sure to return to the topic and not withdrawal and ignore the speaker.
Our responses to one another, especially in the arguements, must be graceful and gospel centered:
- Mistakes are made,
- Grace is offered,
- Forgiveness is experienced,
- Repentance causes change and
- Mercy is enjoyed!
|Dr. Phil Sallee, Pastor|