Drawn from my archives
When it comes to communication, what is the goal? Do we want to speak? Do we want to be heard? And do we want to listen? Of course we do, but there’s something we need even more than all that–it’s to be understood.
My brother-in-law is a carpenter and one of his rules is measure twice, cut once. In the same way a good rule of thumb for communication should be, listen twice, speak once. If we could listen twice as much as we speak we’d master the gift of communication much sooner. And we’d win a few hearts in the process.
One thing I’ve always admired about my closest friends is that they understood me like no one else could. Looking back on it now I’m guessing that’s probably the reason that we connected so well in the first place.
There’s been quite a few times when I could say to my friend Steph, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” And both of us would start laughing uncontrollably.
The really cool thing about being married to Michael is that our communication goes even deeper than that. We read each other’s body language as often as we verbalize our thoughts. But even then–when we’re speaking without words–it’s important that we listen.
So how do we communicate better? How do we listen more than we speak?
Here are three Bible verses that are a good rule of thumb.
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. – Proverbs 25:28
Without self control communication can easily spin out of control and turn into a full blown argument. Careless words are weapons that cut deep into the soul. We also need self-control if we hope to listen more than we speak. We’ll never understand the heart of another person if we don’t slow down to hear them.
Walk in Humility
Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. – Philippians 2:3
One of the quotes in my book* that I get asked about the most is from chapter four, “Give up your right to be right.”
We all have the right to speak our mind in the heat of an argument, and we all feel like we’re entitled to win. But here’s the thing, exercising our rights and doing the right thing are two very different things.
We need to be asking ourselves, “Is it more important that I win this argument, or win the heart of my husband?”
Stepping down isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of inner strength. You have a better chance of winning someone’s respect when you walk in humility than you do by proving your point.
Walk In Unity
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. – Mark 10:8
When we accept the fact that we’re one flesh and that we’re no longer two, we realize the importance of communication. How can I possibly hope to grow in unity with my husband if I’m not empathetic to his needs?
Have you ever pressed a coin into a ball of play dough? What about your fingers? If the dough is pliable enough it takes on the likeness of the image. In fact I’ve been able to see my fingerprints in the dough almost as if it became one with my hand. That’s what being empathetic and understanding is like. We welcome that impression upon our heart. We carry each other’s burdens and take them to prayer. We listen intently hoping to learn. And we encourage each other to press on in faith.
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
Pick up a copy of my book, Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages. *
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