Author: Creflo Dollar
Marriage and family relationships don’t have to be as challenging as the world would have you believe. When you let the love of God influence your interactions with other people, you can actually simplify your relationships. This is not to say that you won’t have challenges, but when you apply the principles of the Scriptures, you’ll be more equipped to handle them. One of the keys to managing challenges within your home is effective communication. It is by far one of the most important tools for fostering growth and building fruitful family relationships.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines communication as “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals.” While communication is not just an exchange of words, the primary way we communicate with others is through language. That’s why it is so important that you master effective communication by knowing what to say, how to say it and when to say it. Often you will see husbands and wives in conflict because of careless words that were spoken, or statements that were made at the wrong time.
When choosing your words, remember that timing is everything. Proverbs 25:11 (AMP) says, “A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” The Word makes it clear that being an effective communicator means being able to discern when your spouse or family member is in a position to receive what you have to say. For example, it does no good to lecture or complain when the person you’re speaking to is already agitated or in a bad mood. You will be more successful if you pray and ask God to show you when to have the discussion or share whatever is on your mind. He will let you know the best time, place and manner in which to proceed.
Sharing your thoughts and opinions is important, but effective communication involves more than that. You can communicate your love for others by being a good listener too. Everyone wants to talk and get their point across, but how willing are you to listen? Listening involves being attentive and understanding. A good listener should also be an active listener, or one who quickly acts on what someone else shares. Active listening demonstrates that you honor others enough to not only consider what they express to you, but also that you plan to do something about it.
There is an art to effective communication. Your goal in communicating with other people should be to impart information with honest, straightforward words. Ephesians 4:15 says, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow into him in all things….” Truthful words are the most powerful words you can use. Whether you are giving praise or constructive criticism, telling the truth in a loving and non-threatening way makes all the difference. Lying should never be an option. Even when you are concerned about hurting the feelings of others, it is still better to tell the truth than to shade or exaggerate your feelings in any way.
Learning to lovingly communicate takes time and practice. But you can be sure that you will have plenty of opportunities to work on it. Begin right where you are on your job and in your home. We have all been challenged in this area at times, but learning to speak words of love and encouragement is critical to maintaining an atmosphere of peace in your home. Good communication is the key to experiencing abundance in your personal relationships. So start speaking the truth in love today!
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