Not just what you say, but how you say it.
Growth,  Marriage,  Motherhood

Four From Four

Communication is huge. If you are not communicating clearly it makes all other areas difficult. I used to think that the ultimate for communication was making sure my side was heard and I would make sure that happened no matter how it would come across. Now, I have come to learn that there is so much more than making sure I am heard, and that is how I am heard. 

Stereotypes of an aloof man and nagging woman are there for a reason. For most of our marriage, my husband and I have fallen into these roles. My husband is not the easiest with communication, believing being harsh or completely succinct is perfectly fine. I have been the nagging wife saying the same thing over and over because I want to make sure my point is driven home. 

At one point we read a book set for couples to help with communication. Our communication got better for a while. I was trying to look at him and pay close attention to cues in his speech and in the way he was bringing the subject up to better understand what he was saying. He was encouraging me to get my emotions out and try to help him understand my side of things. Both of us made attempts to communicate more like the other gender and so make communication even clearer and easier. All these attempts did not end well, and only lead to more frustration and miscommunication in the long run.

I am still trying to do a better job of communicating well with my children. Figuring out how to say the right statement in the right way to make sure they are understanding what I am asking of them. Of course, with the kids, it seems to change almost daily as they learn and mature. A couple years ago if I said we might go to the park and something else came up that day it would be an hour of tears about Mommy lying about the park. Today if I say we might go to the park and something else comes up my children are old enough to understand Mommy wanted to take them to the park, but life happens. Either way, when it is time for the final decision I have the bad habit of just snapping it at the last minute. 

As important as what I am trying to say is how I am trying to say it.

While we were busy trying to fix our communication the way the world said we should God’s Word had the answer. Self-help books, lots of tearful blog post searching, and plenty of hurtful miscommunication could have been helped with reading chapter four of Ephesians from the beginning and filtering all advice through it.

“25 Since you put away lying, Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, because we are members of one another. 26 Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and don’t give the Devil an opportunity. 28 The thief must no longer steal. Instead, he must do honest work with his own hands, so that he has something to share with anyone in need. 29 No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. 30 And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” 

Ephesians 4:25-32 HCSB

Four ways Ephesians breaks down communicating with each other:

  1. Speak the truth, always.
  2. You can have emotions! Just don’t let them rule you, or your mouth.
  3. Remember WHO’S you are and speak accordingly.
  4. Everything we say should be filtered through compassion and with a heart for forgiveness.

When we take the time to think through these four concepts from God’s Word we can communicate clearly and lovingly instead of allowing the world’s advice to cloud our judgement. Above anything else, take a moment to pray before communicating anything when you are overly emotional. Angry, sad, ecstatic- all emotions, and God-given ones at that, but we need to make sure our speech is God-glorifying even amid extreme emotion.

Anything we read is only as good as what we apply though. Sometimes I find myself having a lazy heart, especially when I am emotional about something, and needing to remember and put a biblical filter back on my mouth. Over time my prayer is that these four from Ephesians four will be my natural inclination for communication and not something I have to consciously recall when I am emotional.

I'm Rebecca, a Christian, wife, and mother of three. I lived wrong for a long time, got pretty well slapped with the reality of how sanctifying marriage and motherhood are, and now I am hoping to help others to hold on to Jesus in all the hard parts of life.

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