Summary: Young married couples should begin their life together by keeping open, at all costs, the lines of communication. However, it often happens that communication lines are down.
Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.
Note to the reader:
If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you merely telling me where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God for the fact that all over the globe, the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God. Thank you. Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.
Series: Successful Family
COMMUNICATION IN MARRIAGE – PART 1
What is your definition of communication?
(In a workshop - Write your answer on a separate sheet of paper).
One definition of communication is that it is a process (either verbal or non-verbal) of sharing information with another person/s in such a way that he/she understands what you are saying.
The elements of communication are talking, listening and understanding.
1.2 Communication problems:
One of the key problems in communicating is making yourself understood. A placard frequently seen posted on office walls reads:
“I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” (Communication, Key to your Marriage by Norman H. Wright,)
We often do think we understand what our spouse is saying, but often what we heard is not what he/she means at all.
Communication experts point out that when you talk with another person there are actually six messages that can come through.
1. What you mean to say.
2. What you actually say,
3. What the other person hears.
4. What the other person thinks he hears.
5. What the other person says about what you said.
6. What you think the other person said about what you said. (Communication, Key to your Marriage by Norman H. Wright,)
2. THINK ABOUT YOURSELF AS A COMMUNICATOR
Here are 3 questions to help you consider your communication skills. ((In a workshop- Mark your answer with an “x”).
i). Is communication with your spouse difficult for you?
OFTEN SOMETIMES SELDOM
ii). Does your spouse appear to have difficulty to understand what you mean
OFTEN SOMETIMES SELDOM
iii). How do you think your spouse would describe your ability to communicate?
OFTEN SOMETIMES SELDOM
3. MORE LISTENING, LESS TALKING
Someone has pointed out that man has one mouth and two ears and that this is probably a good indication of the fact that man has been designed to do more listening and less talking.
Young married couples should begin their life together by keeping open, at all costs, the lines of communication. However, it often happens that communication lines are down. These breaks in communication are often a result of one of two things:
1. Husband or wife not being able or willing to talk about what’s happening in his/her life.
2. Marriage partners not really listening when the other talks.
James 1:19 “...Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (NIV)
“....It is best to listen much, speak little,......” (TLB)
Too many of us are ready talkers, but we have little or no desire to listen. Yet one of the keys to a successful marriage is wanting to hear your spouse out. This will help to build your spouse’s self-esteem. (A person’s self-esteem is his overall judgement of himself - how much he likes his particular person). When a spouse’s self-esteem is high, he/she will feel important, wanted and loved and as a result will be a better marriage partner..
3.1 Effective Listening/....
Strong communication lines can only exist where there is real listening. Listening intently with one’s mouth shut (except for responding periodically to show that you are indeed listening) is a basic communication skill needed in marriage.
Think about your own communication habits.
- Do you really listen to your spouse?
- How much of what is said by your spouse do you hear?
4. THE POWER OF WORDS
4.1 Words can and do hurt a person.
Words can help or harm a partner; heal or wound; build up or break down.
Ephesians 4:29 “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you “ (GNB)
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (NASB)
You can help your partner experience life by using the right words and so build his/her self-esteem or you can be responsible for causing death in your partner to the extent that he/she feels utterly worthless and withdraws into a shell.