Need 4, Conversation: you must have noticed by now that your wife loves to talk-talk-talk. Men, one way to show your love to your wife is to talk to and with her. Women speak 25,000 words a day and men speak 12,500.
Marriage experts tell us that the number one cause for divorce in America today is lack of communication. Everyone was born with one mouth and two ears-the basic tools of communication. Couples must learn how to use their mouths and ears properly for true communication to take place. Since God created marriage for companionship, completeness and communication, we can be sure that He will also provide us with the resources for fulfilling His design.
There are three partners in a good marriage: husband, wife and God. In order for healthy communication to exist between husband and wife, there must be good communication between all the partners. If there is a breakdown in dialogue between any two members it will automatically affect the third member of the partnership. Lines open to God invariably open to one another, for a person cannot be genuinely open to God and closed to his mate. God fulfills His design for godly marriage when lines of communication are first opened to him.
If you and your mate are having difficulty in communicating, the first area to check is your individual devotional life with God.
Need 5 Communication: There are three elements in proper communication: talking, listening and understanding.
- Talking: Most of us have little difficulty in talking. We are usually willing to give an opinion or offer an advice-even when it has not been requested. Often our communication problems are not from just talking, but from talking too much.
James 3:2-10, states that the human tongue can be employed for good purposes or bad. From experience we know that our mouths can say wonderful words in one moment and, in the next, say something hurtful or embarrassing. 1st Peter 3:10 warns us to keep control of our tongues. We must watch our mouths at all times and be continually alert to its positive and negative capabilities, Proverbs 25:11 says: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Paul says in Ephesians 4: 29, “ Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” We are not to speak ugly words that tear down our mates; we are to speak uplifting and encouraging words that will bring blessings.
- Listening: Listening is usually the trouble area. Instead of patiently hearing what our mates have to say, most of us can hardly wait until they stop talking so we can talk. God gave each of us two ears, but only one mouth. We should be ready to listen at least twice as much as we speak.
Listening is the disciplined ability to savor your partner’s words much like you savor a fine meal, lovely music or a great book. To properly listen is to take time to digest the content of the message and let it get under your skin and into your system when we openly and patiently listen to our mates, we truly learn from them. The following questions will help you probe your personal listening attitudes and habits.
- Have you already stopped listening? For some couples, one or both partners have already stopped listening to the other. They block out everything their mates say by hiding behind a newspaper or working long and late. If you find yourself shouting at your mate to be heard, you are probably married to someone who has stopped listening. When your mate stops listening to you, you will probably react by either withdrawing and talking less or over-compensating and talking louder and longer. Neither reaction is productive in the long-run. If your mate is not listening to you, it may be because you are not communicating at a level that invites your mate’s participation.
In his book, “why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” John Powell lists five levels of communication, each one deeper and more meaningful than the last. Try to identify the level you and your mate most commonly employ, then seek to improve upon your communication by moving to deeper levels.
Level 5: Common conversation, which includes everyday, casual conversation, based on safe, surface statements such as, “How are you?” “How is the family?”, “ Where have you been?” “I like your suit.” Lacking depth, common conversation barely acknowledges that the other person is alive.
Level 4: Reporting facts about others. At this level you are quoting others instead of giving personal commentary. “It will be a sunny day.” “The weather is too hot” “It will rain soon.” There is little or no emotion or commitment at this level.
Article: Rose Corner with Rose HANSEY
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