Sep 26

Hello my friends! I am excited to share with you some important lessons God has shown me in His word on the importance of communication within our marriages and how He designed it to work properly. This is going to be the first of several postings on communication so stay tuned!

My husband and I have done our fair share of fighting, let me tell you! I have noticed that when we get into it and go round for round, we tend to keep saying the same things over and over, sometimes in different ways, but nothing gets resolved. Why is that? We are just like a broken record, and an annoying one at that. As we prayed for help from the Lord, we began to realize that we were so much more interested in being heard than in hearing the other person. It was very important to me that my husband listened, understood, and validated my position or I would remain miserable and defensive. And, as long as I was defensive my walls were up and my ears were shut.

The Lord began to show me that communicating with my husband was a reflection of my prayer life with Him. I did a lot of talking, asking God for things, looking to God for help, and wanting to see answers to prayers. I wanted to do all the talking and I wanted Him to do all the changing that needed to be done in my world. Notice I said my world? And when it didn’t happen, communication would stop….I mean what is the use of praying if we are not going to see answers to those prayers right? My prayer life was totally one sided…what kind of relationship is that???

You see, communicating with God and communicating with our spouse go hand in hand. To communicate effectively, we must close our mouths…yes I said it…keep them shut…and begin to listen. Listen intently and open our hearts to understanding and validating what is being said, not just verbally, but the feelings behind the words. How can we say we have a relationship with God if we can’t hear Him speak to us? How do we know His love for us without hearing the tone of his Word? How do we understand His heart for our situation without giving Him input?

The same principle can be applied to our communication with our spouse. How can we expect them to listen to us and validate our feelings when we do not listen to them and validate their feelings? I have learned something in all the times my husband and I have really fought. I know I’m right…and so does he. But sometimes it is better to be happy than it is to be right. Many times I thought I knew what he was saying, and my perspective on it would be very negative. But once I stopped and really listened and tried to put myself in his shoes to fully understand where he was coming from, I realized my perspective was far off. Once my perspective changed we were able to move forward. Once my views on it changed then my husband began to soften his views and we were able to come to compromises and change together the things that needed to change in order for our marriage to be something we both wanted. BTW…this went both ways. Sometimes it was his perspective that changed first, but God always worked it out. It is the Lord that changes hearts.

So…if you are struggling either in communication with your spouse or with your Bridegroom Christ, take a step back and change how you are going about it. It is the first step in breaking a bad cycle. It doesn’t matter who initiates the change in the marriage, just that someone does it. Stop arguing and listen.

On a very practical note, here are a couple of things to try.

  1. Ask Questions: seek to understand a point more deeply by asking them clarifying questions.
  2. Watch your tone: if you want them to open up you need to welcome them to do so without judgement or anger
  3. Repeat back to them what you think the are saying: sometimes things will be said and the other person will imply something unsaid.
  4. Do not interrupt: let them finish their thought.
  5. When the conversation is over, think about what they said: Meditating on it will help you to better understand their perspective.

Listening is the best way to begin to communicate differently. My husband and I have something we always try to do. We spend one day intentionally putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes so when we come back to discuss the matter we can do so with fresh perspective.

Next time I’m going to talk about the importance of meditation in communication, but for now I’ll leave you with this, in John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” James 1:19-21 says, “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” This principle of listening first is universal, and will work. Try it and see the hand of the Almighty begin to move on your behalf. God Bless you!!

2 Responses to “Listening: The First Step to Restoring Communication”

  1. Sherri Says:

    I love how God allows you to go through tough times but has a way of turning it around to bless someone. Thanks for the practical steps.

  2. glorywarrior7 Says:

    I am so glad God has taken my mistakes and used them to help build my character. What an amazing and loving God we serve!

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