God has designed the family to be the channel to pass on His plan for redemption to the next generation (Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 78:3-8). NBFamilies are working to discover providential opportunities where - traditional parents, single parents, grand parents, step parents, foster parents - can experience God’s life changing presence in their homes.
Let this sink in:
Our kids observe how we speak to each other. They also evaluate how invested their parents are in one another, based upon how they perceive they communicate. 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.
- 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?
- Proverbs 18:13;
- Proverbs 29:11;
- Proverbs 12:18;
- Ephesians 4:24-27;
- James 1:19
- Week #1: - Our Kids Study Us!
- Week #2 - Don’t Raise Your Voice With Me!
- Week #3 - Don’t Shut Me Out!
- Week #4 - Befriending My Spouse
- Week #5 - 10 Tips for a Successful Conversation
- Week #6 – “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones,” but a Lack of Intimacy Will Hurt Me Too!
- Week #7 – I’m Sorry. I’m not listening!
- Message Confusion: Message Confusion occurs when there is confusion between the verbal content and the nonverbal cue. (sighing, eye rolling, arm crossing, lips pursed, forehead wrinkled, etc.).
- Physical Distractions: Physical Distractions are those tangible, material issues that prohibit communication from being successfully transmitted.
- Health Issues:
- Speech Problems: .
- Noise in the Environment: Noise in the environment has become an aggressively significant factor in destroying effective communication. Digital technology can cause spouses to be distracted by hundreds of channels - CNN, FOX, MSNBC - 24 hour news, ESPN 24 hour sports, movies on demand, Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV. No one would have imagined that people would be carrying around an electronic instrument in their purses and pockets that can:
- Stream video content (YouTube).
- Send private text messages.
- Receive private social media requests (Facebook, ).
- Search for and troll former romantic interests
- View pornography.
- Read news information.
- Play fantasy sports games with friends.
- Play hundreds of video games.
- Write and read email.
- Look at and send photographs
- Modify photographs so that they will look their best.
- Enroll privately in dating websites and flirt with and entertain conversations with other “singles.”
- Etc. etc. etc,
- Beliefs and expectations:The power of beliefs and expectations is well researched. Research has demonstrated that human beings have an inconceivable propensity to see in others what they believe and expect to see. If they believe strongly about something, either positive or negative beliefs, they will transfer those feelings and opinions into a relationship or conversation that has no basis in present fact. Usually humans are not aware that they are influencing others’ behaviors, either positive or negative, by their own beliefs and expectations. But they are!
Examples?Married people can significantly enhance satisfaction or dissatisfaction depending upon their beliefs and expectations of the one to whom they are married. It is the task of each spouse to listen to a comment, and direct their beliefs and expectations in a positive direction. It is the duty of each spouse to pay attention to a remark, and focus his or her beliefs and expectations in an affirmative way.
If your spouse accidentally forgets a date that is significant to you (birthday, anniversaries of noteworthy events, etc.), do you look forward to the next significant date with anticipation or with trepidation? Typically, you will dread the next significant date because you believe they will forget and expect to be disappointed.
If your spouse asks, “Are you hungry?,” do you look forward to a romantic dinner at an nice restaurant, or do you assume they are wanting you to get up, go into the kitchen, and cook them something to eat? Typically, your answer to the question, “Are you hungry?” is going to be based upon what you believe and expect from your spouse.
- Would you snarl, “Why is it always my job to make you food?”
- Or would you flirtatiously reply, “Yum, I love it when you take me to ____________ (insert favorite, romantic restaurant here).”
- Communication Styles: There are several types of communication styles. Some are talkative and others are quiet. Some are too wordy and others are less likely to speak. Some speak first and think out loud, other think first and say nothing at all. Some are expressive and effusive when they speak and others are unemotional and dry when they speak. Some are loud others are soft. Some are direct, even abrupt, and others are indirect and their intention are implied.
In most cultures, communication styles follow gender patterns. It should be notes that there are exceptions, but they are in the minority. In the southern and mid-western United States, females are commonly those who pursue a conversation. Females use more words to communicate. And females utilize more expression, and are more effusive when communicating.Males are commonly those who avoid a conversation. Males use fewer words to communicate. And males utilize less expression, and are less effusive when communicating.
No one style is better than the other. Amusingly, both styles falsely assume their style is the better style and wish the other style would change to be more like themselves. In fact, a diversity in communication styles (talkative/quiet; wordy/silent; expressive/unemotional; loud/soft; direct/indirect, etc.) can bring a needed fullness to the conversation. Those who are more prone to consider and reflect can evaluate words of the verbose and bring clarity. Those who find speaking easy can articulate the thoughts of those who are less likely to speak and present understanding.
Here are two important rules about Communication Styles:
1) Different styles which are left misunderstood can lead to irritation or to miscommunication.
2) Tolerance and patience for your spouse’s unique communication style is absolutely essential.
Our responses to one another, especially in the arguments, 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|