We're going to discuss in today's podcast about how well we communicate with our spouses. God created us as relational beings so we are designed to communicate not just with Him but with one another. Because we're created in God's image, our communication within our marriages should be one of intimacy, beauty, and harmony.Because we're created in God's image our communication within our marriages should be one of intimacy, beauty, and harmony.
Communication is a huge part of our lives together. We share all of life together in our marriages and home should be a place where we can be vulnerable, open and honest with one another regarding all areas of our lives.
We're going to break the show today down into three areas: Listening well, our day-to-day communication and dealing in a God-honoring way with conflict.
When we hear the word communicate speaking is probably the first thing that comes into our minds. But to be a good communicator we need to listen well and with humility. We begin listening well to God by listening to His Word – this is where it starts in our relationship with one another.
“But he who can no longer listen to his brother will soon be no longer listening to God either; he will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too. This is the beginning of the death of spiritual life, and in the end, there is nothing left but spiritual chatter and clerical condescension arrayed in pious words.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“High-quality listening brings good results. But it takes an awareness of how much people need to be listened to, plus time and practice.” ~ Janet Dunn
“For some strange reason, human beings . . . tolerate stress and pressure much more easily if at least one other person knows they are enduring it.” ~James Dobson
“A good listener gives us the opportunity to express our views without being judged, interrupted, or redirected. We feel safe and unhurried, so we are more likely to express what is really going on within us.” ~ Janet Dunn
Our marriages will not be able to achieve deep oneness without good communication. A strong, healthy, unified marriage is not possible without good communication.
“Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.” ~ Wayne Mack'Wherever you find marital failure, you will find a breakdown in real communication. Wherever you find marital success, you will find a good communication system.'
How many times have we spoken something and said, “I didn’t’ mean that” – well actually we did – it was what was in our hearts at that moment that the words came out. What we may mean is “I regret that I said that out loud.”
One way to start communicating well with our husbands is to learn to practice affirmation. It’s biblical to affirm others – the apostle Paul it throughout his epistles. How do you see God at work in your husband? Share this with him. If you haven’t been doing it and all you’ve seen is the negative it may take some practice and the habit of re-focusing our thoughts. Express to him gifts from the Lord you see in him.
Because of Jesus, we can have homes where we communicate with grace and peace. Our tongues can be tamed by the gospel – Jesus came to set us free. We are new creatures in Christ.Because of Jesus, we can have homes where we communicate with grace and peace. Our tongues can be tamed by the gospel – Jesus came to set us free. We are new creatures in Christ.
“Christians should bring peace, between people and God and between those who are at odds with each other. We share the Gospel of peace.” ~ Warren Wiersbe
4 G’s to Practical Peacemaking: (taken from Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande)
1 How can I focus on God in this situation? – G1 Glorify God
2. How can I own my part of this conflict? – G2 Get the Log Out of My Own Eye
3. How can I help others own their contribution to this conflict? – G2 Gently Restore
4. How can I give forgiveness and help reach a reasonable solution? – G4 Go and Be Reconciled
“The more I focus on my proper role and avoid the temptation to play the role of the Holy Spirit (by repeating my words over and over and over and trying to coerce or manipulate others to change), the more often I see people listen, soften, and respond to God’s gracious work in their lives.” ~Ken Sande
“You may need to bear the impact of the other persons sin over a long period of time. This might mean fighting against painful memories, speaking gracious words when you wish to say something hurtful, working to tear down walls and be vulnerable when you still feel little trust or even enduring the consequences of an injury the other person is unable to unwilling to repair.” ~Ken Sande
Question to ask ourselves in the midst of conflict: “How can I please and honor God in this situation?”Question to ask ourselves in the midst of conflict: 'How can I please and honor God in this situation?'
“When we can’t resolve conflict we face an enormous temptation to take matters into our own hands. We think, God’s way didn’t work, so it must be time to try a new approach. One natural reaction is to back away from a relationship and stop doing any kind of good to our opponent. Another is to strike back at people who resist us. Without determined effort, we inevitably fall back into escaping or attacking, the same sinful responses we have worked so hard to be free from.” ~Ken Sande
“God doesn’t want us to give up on on peace or get tangled up fighting the way the world does. This isn’t the time to close the Bible on a problem, but rather to dig deeper into Scripture. Our goal isn’t to beat down or destroy our opponents, but to win them over, to help them see the truth, and bring them into a right relationship with God.” ~ Ken SandeGod’s way of success is to be faithful to His ways.
“The state of your heart is usually reflected in the words coming from your mouth. The more intense a dispute becomes, the more important it is to control your tongue. When you face prolonged conflict, you might be worn down by temptations to give in to gossip, slander and reckless words, especially if your opponent is saying critical things about you. Yet if you give in to harsh words, you make matters worse. So make every effort to say only what is both true and helpful, speaking well of your opponent whenever possible, using the kindest language you know. As Peter wrote, Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).” ~ Ken Sande
“Even if other people don’t choose to do right, your decision to keep doing right honors God.” ~ Ken Sande'Even if other people don’t choose to do right, your decision to keep doing right honors God.'
“It is not hard for a wife to be open and honest with a husband who is lowly in mind and meek and patient. It is not hard for a woman to communicate freely with her husband when she knows that he will bear with her and make allowances for her rather than condemn and demean her.
Likewise, the wife who makes it a practice to use only such speech as is good and beneficial and fitting to the need and occasion; the wife who readily and freely forgives and seeks to be helpful to her husband will make it very easy for her husband to open up and share his life with her. In such a non-threatening, understanding atmosphere the husband has no reason for pretense or putting on a false front or practicing deceit or hiding his fears, frustrations, and anxieties. He knows he is accepted as he is and for what he is. He knows his wife is for him and will help him rather than judge and condemn him.” ~ Wayne Mack
Scriptures & Resources:
1 Thessalonians 2:8
2 Timothy 3:16
1 Thessalonians 5:14
1 Corinthians 6:11
1 Corinthians 4:7
1 Peter 4:8
1 Corinthians 10:31
2 Timothy 2:24-25
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
1 Peter 3:9
Marriage Series at the Blog (all posts and podcasts)
Thankful Homemaker Facebook Group – (there are two quick questions to answer before you can join the group.)
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change through Ordinary Moments by Winston Smith
How to Become a Better Listener – Article from Discipleship Journal by Janet Dunn
Strengthening your Marriage by Wayne Mack
War of Words by Paul Tripp
Practicing Affirmation by Sam Crabtree
The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
Resolving Everyday Conflict by Ken Sande
Listen & Download the Podcast: