Monday, February 3, 2014

Communication is Key

I'm currently taking a marriage and family class through the SWI program at the seminary, so I thought during the month of February I'd share some of what I'm learning on Mondays.

This past week we talked about communication. This is something that may seem like it is overemphasized at times, but it is so important to have good communication in marriage. I am still learning so much in this!

Men and women are different and they communicate in different ways. No matter what your communications style is, it is likely to differ from your spouse. One big thing that I have learned recently is more about the differences in how men and women's brains are designed. Men are generally single minded and do only one thing at a time. When they switch gears they have to turn off what they were doing and turn on to the new thing. Women's brains have 4x as many brain cells connecting the left and right hemispheres, which allow us to do more than one thing at a time and take it all in. This effects everything including how I communicate.

Some ways to handle these differences are:

  • Not calling things good or bad that are simply different ways of doing things
  • Remembering you have a clear marital mission
  • Use differences to your advantage
  • Reap the benefits of compromise
  • Get a balanced perspective (let the little things go)
  • Give each other a hand (grant permission for your spouse to help you when you need to make changes)
It is more important to communicate well than to win an argument. So when your having a disagreement how can you handle it well? 
  • Freely forgive
  • Discuss the conflict as soon as possible
  • State exactly what is bothering you
  • Stick to the subject at hand
  • If your mate says you do, then it just may be true 
  • Avoid generalizing
  • Avoid personal insults and character assassination
  • Confront the truth, affirm with love
  • Listen to learn
  • Confront to heal, not to win
To communicate well we need to listen and be attentive. Practice active listening by giving your spouse your undivided attention, restating key elements, let them finish their own sentences, and express your feelings. 

Remember you are a unit, the two become one flesh. When we work together we seek the interest of the whole, not just for the individual. May God give you wisdom and the desire to communicate well. 

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