“Effective communication is the key to a healthy relationship.” I remember my mom telling me this ever since I was a little girl. Effective communication will strengthen and bring joy to your relationship because it is intentional and purposeful. I challenge you, then, to take the time to get back to the basics by enhances effective communication.
Pray with each other and for each other.
Prayer is the most direct way we can communication with God, and he loves to be a part of our relationships with others.
Praying for your significant other is extremely beneficial for your relationship, but praying for your relationship together with your significant other is even better.
God wants to be at the center of your relationship, so don’t leave him out of the conversation. Prayer is a time to be honest with God about struggles in your relationship, and it opens the space for you both to receive his peace and guidance. If you are having a conflict with each other, of course, it is helpful to pray about it individually, but it is also a source of strength when you can put aside your differences and join together to bring your concern to the One with all the answers and all the love.
God also likes to be a part of the good things in your relationship, so it is important to include him in the highs as well as the lows. Prayer is a time to rejoice and be grateful for all God has done in and through you. Coming together to rejoice in prayer will help you both see the strengths in your relationship and encourage you to continue forward together. In every situation, communication is vital – with God and with each other.
It is important to communicate with each other; however, how you communicate will dictate whether or not it is effective. Luckily the Bible shares a wealth of knowledge on this topic. Effective communication means successfully conveying your feelings and sharing information with other person; to do this you must…
Listen first –
Listen before you speak and pay careful attention as to not interrupt the other person. Though you may have something wonderful to add to the conversation, the other person will be much more receptive if they feel they were able to share their thoughts fully and that they were heard and understood.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
To answer before listening – that is folly and shame.
Listen attentively –
Listen to understand, not just to respond. In fact, you might even wait until the person is done with their statement before starting to develop a response. It’s ok if there is a pause before you speak. This shows you are taking the time to make sure you understand what the person is saying and meaning before you jump in with your opinion. This pause is also a great time to take few deep breaths, especially if the topic of conversation is not a joyful one, which will help you stay calm and continue.
Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.
Speak gently –
Raising your voice, using harsh words, and reacting out of emotion rather than responding appropriately will lessen the effectiveness of your conversation. Sometimes conversations feel like they go around and around in circles, with each person just repeating their point of view without actually making any ground. This can be very frustrating and often times “heats-up” a situation. In order to avoid that happening, always be sure to respond gently, even if the other person does not do the same.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Speak good things –
This doesn’t mean we aren’t supposed to speak the truth, it just means we are supposed to speak the truth in love.
There are kind ways to talk about hard subjects, gracious ways to correct someone, and tactful ways bring an opposing point of view to the conversation.
For communication to be effective, it should benefit all of those involved, increasing wisdom, love, and forward movement.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Speak graciously –
Words are extremely powerful, as are tones and body language. When you are in communication with someone, be sure to check all these aspects of communication. If you are saying something kind or neutral but your tone is harsh, it may come across as you being upset or rude. Or, if you are looking away or at your phone when someone is speaking to you, rather than being sure to keep some eye contact, they may think you are disinterested. These can be barriers to effective communication.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
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Communication with God is vital for a thriving relationships with others. Effective communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and scripture highlights ways for our communication to be successful – accomplishing our desired result: entertainment, resolving a problem, finding a solution. Through it all, never stop praying – for each other and, most importantly, with each other.