Summary: Discover how good communnication restores hope for marriage.
This morning, we conclude our message series, Restoring Hope for Marriage. I thought we would have two more messages, one on conflict resolution and the other on intimacy. But after reflecting on the previous five messages and on today’s message, I realized we’ve covered the basic skills and attitudes to restore a broken relationship and to foster closeness in that relationship, as far as it depends on us.
Our final topic is communication. Communication can be a source of disappointment or a source of joy in marriage. A lack of communication causes the husband and wife to drift apart. And poor communication leads to misunderstandings. Misunderstandings in turn can lead to a series of conflicts and hurts. Good and regular communication, on the other hand, can build a strong and intimate marriage and resolve conflicts before they become a negative relational pattern in marriage.
Communication involves more than conversation, but conversation is a significant part of communication, conflict resolution and intimacy. In fact, many wives experience a greater sense of intimacy through conversation than through sex. Yet both husbands and wives will benefit tremendously by improving their verbal communication skills.
James 1:19 will provide the outline for our message on communication.
James’ letter to the church addresses how the Christian’s relationship with God affects his or her relationship with others, and not just one hour a week in a building called “church.” Our relationship with God colors the way we see life, what we say, how we say it, what goals we have in life, how we arrive at these goals and how we relate to others, both the rich and the poor.
Communication is also God’s idea and is central to life with others. Communication is what enables relationship to take place, whether with God, with our coworkers or with our spouse. While the context for this morning’s passage addresses how we can benefit from responding to God’s Word, the same principles apply to how we can benefit from responding to our spouse’s words. Let’s look together at how to become a better communicator.
First, to become a better communicator, we must learn to become a good listener. “Everyone should be quick to listen …”
In school, we are taught to read and write, and maybe to speak. But rarely are we taught to listen. Some of us end up with the false belief that listening is for those who don’t have anything important to say or who are not articulate. We need to discard that false belief.
We need to know how to listen and what to listen for. Only then will we know how to respond to what we hear and gain valuable information, knowledge or wisdom. And in marriage, when we listen well, we know how to respond to our spouse and create a rich and meaningful relationship. There are at least four considerations to help us listen well.
When we listen, listen for God. We can listen for God when we pray, but we can also listen for God when you speak with others, including your spouse. God’s Spirit is in Christians, bringing biblical truth into our minds at the appropriate time. We can miss God’s help if we don’t listen for Him.