Christian Counseling For Communication In Marriage
Do you have questions or concerns about communication in your own relationship? Have you been wrestling with some tension over harmful or frustrating communication patterns? If you are experiencing some frustration or confusion over this issue, Christian counseling is a great place to begin to sort that out. I would welcome the opportunity to help you find some answers.
Change is definitely possible. You may not be in a place where that feels possible right now, and thats OK. But with the help of a good Christian counselor, you can begin to find the solutions you are seeking. I would be delighted to partner with you as you enter this challenging and important healing process.
Scriptures To Engraft Into Your Everyday Life Together:
A mans wisdom gives him patience. It is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
When pride comes, then disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Before his downfall a mans heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
If you have played the fool and exalted yourself, or if you have planned evil, clap your hand over your mouth! For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Dont they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but dont get it. You kill and covet. But you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam. So drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
It is to a mans honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.
Go Public With Your Praise
Now it gets a little more difficultbut hang in there.
Have you ever seen that guy at the office who is surrounded by coworkers when his wife calls on the phonethe guy who at the end of the conversation says, Me, too? Its obvious that his wife has just said, I love you, and he has replied with a shorthand substitute: Me, too. He may actually say I love you at home, but hes not quite secure enough to say it in front of the guys in the office.
Yet heres the next principle we learn from The Song. Go public! Put it out there. In the eleventh verse, Solomon continues, We will make you ornaments of gold with studs of silver. Note the change in pronouns from verse nine to verse eleven . Solomon has gone public with his love he is involving other people in professing his love for Shulamith through the creation of gifts of gold and silver.
It was as if someone had let the air out of the room. Everyone was shocked, and I can tell you that after thirty years, I can still see it and hear it vividly in my memoryparticularly the injured expression on the womans face. Nothing will destroy a marriage more quickly than public insult. If theres an issue, you need to attend to it. But do it in the privacy of your home. In public, only loving support is appropriate.
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Live By These Scriptures:
He who loves a quarrel loves sin he who builds a high gate invites destruction.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor , for we are all members of one body. In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
If you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbors hands: Go humble yourself press your plea with your neighbor ! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids.
Practice Listening To The Holy Spirit
God wants to give us wisdom to minister to the uniqueness of our spouse. He knows our spouse in a greater way than we do. Therefore, we should practice praying, even sometimes during conversations, so we can hear what God wants us to hear and say what he wants us to say . James 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
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Dont Speak On Subjects You Dont Know Anything About
Another instance where The Bible indicates its best to not say anything is when you dont know much about a subject. Proverbs 17:28 says Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues . Sometimes we make ourselves look bad in an attempt to appear smart when we speak on subjects we dont know much about. Keeping quiet in such instances not only protects us from embarrassment but may actually make us seem knowledgeable.
So lesson number four on biblical communication is to not say anything. For at least the three reasons I shared, we shouldnt talk if we dont have to.
See more details on these 3 reasons in my article How To Communicate According To The Bible.
Practice The Art Of Listening
In conjunction with speaking only words that edify, Scripture also gives us further teaching about healthy communication. James, the brother of Jesus, said, My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry .
In order for a person to only speak edifying words, they must master the art of listening. Here are a few tips to aid in becoming a better listener. One should:
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In Our Digital World Relationships Have Also Become Digital Sometimes This Brings The Benefit Of Making Those Who Are Far Away Near But It Can Also Have The Disbenefit Of Making Those Who Are Near Far Away Sometimes We See People In The Same Physical Space But They Are In Their Own Digital Worlds It Can Also Be Easier To Use Electronic Forms Of Communication When Personal Interaction Would Be Possible Why Meet Up With One Friend When You Can Chat To Multiple Friends By Simultaneous Text Conversations But We Miss Tone Expression Body Language Touch And Presence Some Studies Have Concluded That Technology Has Had A Negative Effect On Both The Quality And Quantity Of Face
The Bible gives considerable emphasis to face-to-face communication. It speaks of open and unhindered interaction. In two short letters the apostle John shows the superiority of face-to-face meeting over paper and ink . It is rather startling when we pause to think deeply about who was writing and what he was writing. Writing was useful in the mean time but it was not the best means. It was limited not in mere terms of efficiency but in communicating their love in Christ. Being able to speak face to face would make their joy full.
He could write his teaching about the faith but there was no substitute for being able to come to them. Then he could instruct them more fully in a way that would make their spiritual joy full. It reminds us also that audio as well as written sermons are ultimately no substitute for being present at a sermon. No internet preacher can replace the personal concern, awareness and prayers of a pastor who looks into your eyes and situation when he declares Gods Word. When Gods people meet together it also encourages one another . Live sharing and live-streaming a service are not the same thing.
Can God Speak To My Dreams
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. –Acts 2:17
Yes, God can speak to us in our dreams. He can do anything! He is our Creator, our Father, and our omnipotent and sovereign God. We know its possible because of first-hand accounts shared over time and biblical stories that reflect the power of Gods movement in our dreams. He protected Jesus from death after birth through a dream:
When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” . Gods ways are higher, and His timing is perfect.
Dreams are simply night visions. And night or day, visions are one way God speaks to us. Job reminds us: For God does speak- now one way, now another- though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. –Job 33:14-18
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God Is Glorified Through Excellent Communication
Thought and speech are Gods gifts to creatures made in His image these are intimately asociated with Him and impossible apart from Him.
Reading and writing are so boring and a waste of time. Why do we have to learn to talk? I already know how to. As an English teacher for almost seven years, these comments are only scarce compared to the number of complaints I have received from teenagers about how reading, writing, speaking, and listening are difficult.
Battling communication is not a new problem for humans, but I believe between the war for our excellence in literacy and communication is harder today with the pull for social media, TV, and gaming, we do ourselves a disservice by not practicing the patience and critical thinking we need in a culture that calls us away from Gods Word.
So, do our communication and literacy skills have any connection to our relationship with God? Does the Lord care if we read, speak, or listen well?
What Keys To Good Communication Does The Bible Give
What we say and how we listen to others is important to God. He warns us that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and that we must give account of “every idle word” we speak .
What summary principles for good communication and interpersonal relations did James record?
James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…
Many of the communication pitfalls that wreck relationships come from violating these three keys. We tend to be slow to listen but quick to speak our minds, and in the resulting confusion and selfishness we are very quick to get our feelings hurt and to get angry.
In this lesson we will focus on the first two points James made: being swift to hear and slow to speak.
What happens if we are quick to speak instead of quick to hear?
Proverbs 18:13 He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.
It’s natural to think we know what other people want or need before they finish asking. And we generally assume that what we have to say is what the other person should really be interested in hearing. Listening skills are rarely taught and generally neglected.
“You’ve spent years learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training or education have you had that enables you to listen so that you really, deeply understand another human being from that individual’s own frame of reference?” .
Tips for improving our listening include:
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Passionate About His Dignity
Be forewarned: In this section, when we use the word passionate, we mean it. A biblical display of affection follows.
Verse 12 reads, While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance. The word spikenard doesnt quite carry the music of poetry, does it? Nor does it sound like a name we would assign to a perfume. Yet in the Bible, this is the name of a very precious fragrance. Shulamith will describe her love for Solomon by referring to three different kinds of perfume.
Spikenard is derived from a plant native to the Himalayan region of India and grown between 11,000- and 17,000-feet above sea level. In ancient times, only the very rich could afford it. For one thing, it couldnt exactly be grown in ones backyardthe conditions had to be just so. Even today, spikenard is available and costly, pungent with its warm, earthy aroma.1 A little of it goes a long way, or so Im told. You might recall the Gospel story of Mary of Bethany, who poured an alabaster container of spikenard perfume on Jesus in an act of extravagant worship. The Bible tells us that the fragrance quickly permeated the house . Back in the Old Testament, a dab of the scent on Shulamith would be certain to attract Solomons attention, even as he presided at a royal banquet table spread with rich-smelling culinary delights.
Shulamith is passionate about her mans dignity. Royalty deserves royal fragrance, and the aroma of spikenard sends that message.
Bible Verses About Talking To God And Hearing From God
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people .
You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows .
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours .
I call on you, my God, for you will answer me turn your ear to me and hear my prayer .
He will respond to the prayer of the destitute he will not despise their plea .
Then you will come and pray to me, and I will listen .
Prayer is a gift. We no longer have to go through religious motions to have an audience with the One True God. Jesus obedience to Gods will in dying on the cross forever cemented our opportunity to have a personal relationship with God through the acceptance of Him. Perhaps, you wish to know more about who He is and want to experience prayerful conversation with God through His creation, His miracles, and His Word. or pray the following:
If you prayed that prayer for the first time today, please reach out to us in the comments below or via email/social media. Contact a local pastor, church, or community of believers. If you need help getting connected, reach out to us. God Bless You.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/BrianAJackson
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Great Scriptures To Live By:
A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.
The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.
The tongue of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.
Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them.
The lips of the wise spread knowledge not so the hearts of fools.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.