Summary: Understanding and Improving Communication in Marriage
DR. DAVID IBELEME
Relationship is the position you hold in respect of another or to someone else.
The major problem in marriage is disrespect for one another, however, this primarily or mainly manifests in the form of breakdown in communication.
One can then easily say that communication is very important because it is the No. 1 problem area in marriage.
Open communication will solve most, if not all, difficult marital problems – Eph. 4:29-32; Heb. 13:16.
OTHER KEY THINGS ABOUT COMMUNICATION
1. Communication is important – Mt. 18:18-20
2. Communication involves talking, listening, understanding and acting or taking action.
Greek – Koinonia – Fellowship – Intermingling – Intercourse
3. You cannot communicate unless there is a common ground. Communication comes from the word communion, i.e. common union.
4. Can be verbal or non verbal – Lk. 7. words, gestures (action), spirit (attitude)
5. Communication involves a sacrifice – Heb. 13:16; Jam. 1:18-19.
6. Communication is a process – it takes time; therefore requires patience
7. Makes one vulnerable – Gen. 2:24 (realm of nakedness)
8. The primary purpose of communication is to achieve bonding or intimacy (into-me-see)
9. Hinges on the Law of giving and receiving. Communication involves opening up and sharing yourself with another person.
10. Words can make or break people – Prov. 18:4ff, 21; 12:25; 15:1-4; 16:24
PROBLEMS IN COMMUNICATION
1. Fear – being ignored, rejection, ridicule
4. Misunderstanding – mainly as a result of poor listening skills, also poor regard or respect for one another and preconceived ideas (presumption) – Ps. 19
a) What you want to say
b) What you actually said
c) What the other person heard you say
d) What the other person thinks they heard you say
e) What the other person says about what you said
f) What you think the other person said about what you said
5. Attitude – not just what you say but how you say it
6. Poor Timing – a word spoken in season
7. Improper Perception – suspicion, previous hurts
LEVELS OF COMMUNICATION
1. Frivolous – Cliché – Hi, weather
2. Factual level – statistics
3. Fellowship – Personal judgement
4. Feeling/Emotional level – suppressing your feeling or emotions; level of vulnerability especially with a feeling of insecurity
5. Freedom – Total openness & transparency – Gen. 2:24-25
KEYS TO IMPROVING COMMUNICATION
1. Quality decision – dedication
2. Establish time to share – making time for someone encourages healthy communion.
3. Take an interest in what the other person is doing – Amos 3:3; Neh. 2:20
4. Find a common ground; communication = common union – 1 Pet. 3:8
5. Avoid belittling remarks and Maintain a Godly purpose – 1 Pet. 4:11; Eph. 4:29-32; Prov. 16:24; Rom. 12:3. Spend more time discussing your strengths not your weaknesses.
6. Maintain courtesy – 1 Pet. 3:8; Prov. 10:32. Form healthy habits:
a) Avoid words like never and always when dealing with “negative” qualities.
b) Remember compliments and words like “I’m sorry”, “Please forgive me” and “Thank you”.
7. Be willing to admit you are wrong, remember that you don’t know it all – Eph. 4:15; 1 Jn. 1:8-10
8. Keep the door of forgiveness open – Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13. You cannot communicate in strife
9. Give surprise gifts regularly – Prov. 21:14
10. Depend on God all the time – Prov. 16:1,7; 1 Pet. 4:11
3 TECHNIQUES INVOLVED IN COMMUNICATION
1. Mirroring – ensures that you heard what was said } Products of
2. Validation – ensures that you understood what was said } effective listening
3. Constructive Instruction/Encouragement – Eph. 4:15; Pr. 15:1; Eph. 4:29
Jam. 1:19 Tune in; Tone down; Sweeten Up
MORE THAN BEING GOOD TALKERS, EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATORS ARE VERY GOOD LISTENERS.
God is a good listener that’s why He invites us to pray – Prov. 18:13; Ps. 34; Is. 59.
Listening – A conscious effort to hear – Pr. 18:13; Pr. 17:27-28
1. It must be done intentionally – people are confident to speak when they are listened to with the purpose of how you can apply what you are hearing.
2. It must be done sincerely – You must truly listen to the individual not just play/pretend that you are
3. It has to be done attentively – Prov. 4:18-22. No distraction, good eye contact. Jesus said “Take heed what and how you hear.” Mk. 4/Lk. 8. Attention translates into Love.
4. It must be done quietly (silently) – You cannot be talking at the same time. Listen=Silent
5. It must be done calmly (peacefully) - Don’t be too anxious to react or even respond.
6. It must be done hospitably or accommodatingly – Let your body language and general composure show that you are listening. Make them feel welcomed – Prov. 19:11