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Communication involves free open conversation and careful attentive listening. It involves both the sending and receiving of a message. Most often it is a non-verbal expression. We must be attentive to the other person and focus on them. One should not dominate the other. If you talk a lot, give way to the other person who talks little. Remember, talking is not the only way a person communicates. Become a student of how your spouse communicates non-verbally..
A. Is what I am going to say true? Do I have all the facts? Both Ephesians chapter 4 and Proverbs chapter 18 speak to the issue of telling the truth, and speaking after knowing the facts. It is wrong to lie, so don’t tell lies, particularly to your spouse.
B. Is what I would like to say profitable? Will it be constructive or destructive? Both Proverbs chapter 20 and Romans chapter 15 give us insight in these issues. Your tongue should benefit your spouse when you speak to each other. There is power in your tongue that can either give life or death to the one you love, your spouse. This is an understanding that is too often forgotten. We see the fruits of it, but we very seldom think before we talk. We have a choice of using words and expressions that can build up our spouse, or we can use words that destroy our spouse.
C. Is it the proper time for me to say it, or would it be better for me to wait? Proverbs chapters 15 and 25, and Ecclesiastes chapter 3 instructs us that there is a proper time for all things.
D. Is my attitude right? Ephesians chapter 4, I Corinthians chapter 16, and Titus chapter 3 addresses our attitude. You could have all the facts. You could desire to speak for the benefit of your spouse, and the time could be right, but if your attitude is wrong, it will "blow up" in your face.
E. Are the words I use the best possible way of saying it? The Scriptures in Proverbs chapters 12, 15,16, and Ecclesiastes chapter 12 teaches us the importance of the right words.
F. Have I prayed about the matter, and am I trusting God to help me? Proverbs chapter 3, Colossians chapter 4, and Psalms chapter 19 gives us good advice in this area.
This is very much needed for good communication. In Proverbs 12, verse 18 and chapter 16, verse 27 along with James chapter 3, verses 5 to 8 instructs us that our words can be a destructive power. We can inflict wounds with hateful, violent, vindictive, hasty, careless, bitter, cutting words. Your words can cause communication to shut down. Proverbs chapter 18 verse21 says The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. James chapter 3 verses 1 through 12 tells us that if we can bridle our tongue, we can control our whole body. The following Scripture verses are of great help. Read them over. You will find many verses throughout the book of Proverbs about the tongue, lips and the mouth. It seem that true wisdom involves control over our tongues. A wise person will exercise discipline over that small member and receive the blessing of it.
2) Talk With A Charitable, Accepting, Forbearing Spirit
The way we communicate can open doors for real sharing. Ephesians chapter 4verses 29 to 31 instructs us to put off wrongful words and attitudes. Ephesians chapter 4 verses 2,3 and 32 encourages us to put on righteousness and godliness. We should make every attempt to see the glory of God in the other person. Remember whatsoever you do to another child of God, you do it to Jesus.
3) Speak Words That Will Build Up Your Spouse
You have the power and the responsibility to build up your spouse. The words you speak are powerful. If words can cut and hurt, words can also heal and soothe. Your spouse needs kind, gracious words that only you can provide. Because of your place in your spouse’s life, your words carry more power than anyone else. Use your tongue to speak life to your spouse. Even if he or she is not living the way you would like, speak those things that are not as though they were!
Listening is the other part of communication. Listening must be active. We tend to forget most of what we hear. Therefore, it is important that we actively listen to hear what our spouse is saying. Active listening includes paying attention to what is being said..
1) Let the other person speak without interruption
. Proverbs chapter 18 verse 13 states "He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame".
2) Give the other person your undivided attention
.James chapter 1 verse 19 states "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." The important issue here is undivided. It means that you not are watching the football game while your wife needs you to listen to her. Or you are not preparing dinner while your husband needs you to listen to him. Great communication can not take place when listening is in competition with looking at something else, or hearing something else, or your mind is somewhere else. There must be focus and attention.
3) Making sure you really understand what the other person is saying or thinking
. Read John chapter 2 verse 19, Mark chapter 8 verses 15 to 21.