Healthy respect for “the line”

America has been fired up over the news that Vice President Pence has a self-imposed rule he follows – his rule is that he does not spend time with other women alone. Somehow this has been labeled as backward and he’s being ridiculed and mocked. I don’t know if its just Hollywood and media that think this is absurd or if most Americans agree too, but this man is now the butt of jokes.

I personally know many couples who keep similar boundaries in their marriage, and my husband and I have this unspoken rule as well. I will not spend time with other men alone. My husband will not spend time with other women alone. Its not that we don’t trust each other, but rather its that we both aim to stay away from “the line”.

Here’s what I mean. If the line of inappropriate behavior is right here, then we don’t keep our toes a few inches away from it. toes-in-the-sand1

Yes, technically, this mans toes on are on the safe side of the line. Even if he was only 1 mm on this side of the line it would still be technically safe and fine and moral. But why would we risk it? Why not stay several feet away from the line? Why flirt with temptation? If I’m only 1 millimeter from “the line”, and the wind blows just right, then I’m going to fall over the line. If that happens I should not then claim “I didn’t mean to do it! I was on the right side of the the line!” If I had been 3 feet from the line, and the same wind blows, I make take one step towards the line but I would not cross it. Y’all see where I’m going here?

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about the RC cola. In it, I wrote about how I avoid drinking soda by keeping it out of our house. I know it’s not healthy for my body and so I don’t want it to be part of my life. And if it’s here in our house, I’m tempted to drink it. Yes, of course, having soda sitting in my house is not unhealthy, but drinking the soda is. And if it’s in the house, I’m much more likely to drink it than if it’s not here, right? So the soda stays at the grocery store, not in my house. Common sense.

My husband and I both know that there is nothing morally wrong with going to lunch with the opposite sex to talk about business. My guess is that Vice President Pence knows the same thing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with eating with another woman at the same table. Talking alone with another woman is not sinful. But here’s some news: affairs don’t start once you cross “the line” – they start when people tiptoe around near the line and then end up crossing it because they were so close to the line to begin with that it didn’t take much to cross it. Most people who have affairs did not set out to do it, but rather they claim that “it just happened”. For the vast majority of these people, the initial catalyst was being too close to the line.

I honestly can’t really imagine my husband or I crossing the line into inappropriate behavior. We have a healthy marriage, and we have abundant love and respect for one another. But it is because we love each other so much and we see what a blessing our good marriage is, that we keep healthy boundaries. We have a healthy respect of the line and we stay far from it. It is a safeguard we have in our marriage, not because we don’t trust each other but because we don’t see any wisdom in tiptoeing around the line. We don’t want to flirt with danger.

This is not backward. It is not ridiculous. It does not deserve to be labeled absurd. It’s about using wisdom, discretion, and staying several feet away from “the line” instead of a few inches. Please don’t put yourself close to the line, and then claim “it just happened”.

Be fruitful, happy, healthy. And stay away from “the line”.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:13-15

 

 

Communication help, pt. 5

So far in my communication for the home series, I’ve covered why we need good communication skills in the family, the importance of being intentional and setting appointments, active listening, and filtering our thoughts before we speak them.

Today for my last post in this series, I’m going to delve into the silent part of communication for the home, aka nonverbal communication. I have touched on it briefly already, but I’ll share a little more today.

The first nonverbal to keep in mind is eye contact. There’s a common saying that “eyes are the window to the soul”. There is a lot of truth in that. When we can look into another person’s eyes, we can often understand much more than simply what their mouth is saying. In the eyes, you can often see underlying sadness or joy, or perhaps you can see uneasiness or deception. Also, the lack of eye contact conveys a lack of investment in the conversation. Nothing says “I don’t want to talk to you right now” like shifting eyes or no eye contact does. If you are speaking to someone, please look at them in the eyes. If you are listening to someone, please look at them in the eyes.

Along the same lines as eye contact is matching the eye level between speaker and hearer. What this means is that if you are having a discussion, it is important for the eyes of both parties to be approximately the same level. If one person is standing and one is sitting, the one sitting is naturally going to be looking up at the one standing. This works well to convey authority or command attention for a teaching or preaching situation, as seen below – 🙂

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You see when one is standing and the other is sitting, it sets up an imbalance of power, which is the goal in some types of communication. But for a two-sided conversation or discussion to take place, you don’t want this imbalance of perceived power. It can tend to make the one sitting to feel small, insignificant, or powerless, and is not conducive to a healthy two-sided discussion. This is especially important when talking to children. Get down on their level, stoop down, bend down or sit down with them, so you can look them in the eyes face to face.

The next thing to be aware of in a discussion is what you’re doing with your arms. Crossed arms say “I’m not changing my mind.” or “I don’t want to be here right now”.  This is very subtle, and you may be rolling your eyes right about now thinking this is unimportant, but these subtle changes in your body language can make a big difference in how others perceive you. So try to keep your arms open and relaxed, which makes you appear open and relaxed.

Along the same lines is body position – are you leaning slightly towards the person you’re talking to or slightly away? To show interest and care, its best to lean slightly forward. See this little guy? He’s leaning in, making good eye contact, open arms, inviting you to engage with him. 🙂

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By leaning in, I don’t mean being so close that they can feel your breath on their face. Please don’t invade personal space! Keep a proper distance – if others tend to back away from you when you’re speaking to them, then you are too close, and they are feeling uncomfortable.

Lastly, be aware of the power of physical touch. A light touch on the hand or arm can go a long way in saying “I care”, “I’m listening”, or “please tell me more”.  Always be respectful of other’s personal space, and if they shrink back when you touch them then of course remove your hand. But using touch can powerfully show love in your family relationships for most situations.

These all may seem insignificant or even bordering on silly, but when combined with the other skills I’ve already written about, they can go a long way in making your family members feel cared for, loved, and heard.

That’s all for now friends. Be fruitful, happy, and healthy!

 

Communication help, pt. 4

Did you miss parts 1-3? See here: part 1part 2part 3.

Today we’re going to cover how to choose our words wisely. My mom has a term she likes to use called “diarrhea of the mouth”. As you can imagine, this is not a pleasing ailment to have for yourself or those around you. It refers to people who just talk and talk, not filtering their words in any form or fashion, and generally saying every word that comes to mind. People with this ailment are not very fun to be around to say the least. So how do we avoid this diarrhea of the mouth? How do we keep our words healthy? By filtering them, avoiding character attacks and doing away with blanket statments.

“In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

First, we’ll discuss filtering. Something I’ve been teaching my children lately is that our words should fall into one of the following categories, and if they do not fit into this acronym, then we keep our lips closed. I think this has been around for decades, but it’s still important to keep in mind. Here it is:BeforeYouSpeak

So, before we start speaking, we take a second to put the words through the filter in our brain to be sure they will fit into these categories. By using the filter, it can turn the “diarrhea of the mouth” into life giving words of encouragement.  For many of us, this may mean we will be doing half the speaking that we used to do. And it certainly takes practice to use the filter instead of just saying everything that comes to mind. But it is a worthwhile endeavor to choose our words more carefully.

It’s important to note that there are times that our words may hurt someone, not because we are mean-spirited as the speaker, but because the truth hurts. Sometimes we must confront the sins of others to rebuke and teach, and this is not always pleasant to the hearer. Especially in these types of potentially hurtful situations, we should use the THINK filter. Then, knowing that we have filtered our words through this acronym so that we are aiming to be helpful and kind, and that the words are necessary, then we can still say them with confidence even though the person receiving the words may be initially hurt by them. Sometimes hurtful, hard words must be said (but always done in love).

“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.” Psalm 37:30

 

Now, onto character attacks. No one likes to be called hurtful names or have our character attacked. Our words as the speaker should always be used to build up others, not tear them down. Again, you may need to confront sin in order to build up, but your motivation is in helping the person, not tearing them down. So when confronting sinful behavior, we should never use character attacks such as “you’re so lazy!”, but instead say “When you don’t put your clothes in the hamper, the floor is messy and then I have to come pick them up”. This second example is much more helpful in teaching the person to pick up their clothes. Or instead of saying “You’re such a loudmouth!”, we say “You may want to try filtering your words so that people are more receptive to what you say”. The second statement is much more helpful in teaching good communication. Focus on the behavior, and don’t attack the character of the person you are talking to.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29

Another thing to be aware of and avoid is using blanket statements such as “you never pick up your clothes!” The hearer will probably think, yes, I do sometimes – I did it last week! Avoid “You are always so rude!”, because the hearer will think , well, I wasn’t rude yesterday to the cashier at Walmart. So be careful of words like “always” and “never”. (They’re usually not true, and remember the “T” of our acronym above).

So, in our communication, remember the acronym THINK (truthful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind), and also beware of character attacks and blanket statements (always and never).

Grow your healthy, happy, and fruitful home by carefully selecting your words.

Communication help, pt. 3

Today, I’m going to focus on the role of the hearer. The one that the speaker is trying to talk to. Sometimes the breakdown in our communication is not because of the wrong time and place, or because the speaker is not being intentional, but rather the breakdown is on the part of the one who is listening.

In my first post on communication, I introduced the topic of how important effective communication is in our homes. Many of the issues that families are having, stem from poor communication. If you missed part 1, Click here.

In my second post, I focused on the role of the speaker, and I wrote about how important it is to choose the proper time and place for our discussions and being intentional about it. If you missed part 2, Click here.

Now, we’ll focus today on the one who is listening to the speaker. The term, active listening is a very common one in the field of counseling, and differs from merely hearing. You could maybe say  that hearing is what happens in your ears, but listening happens in your mind and heart. Active listening requires the hearer to fully concentrate, understand, respond and remember what is being said.

First I’ll give an example of what not to do as the hearer. I’ll use the illustration from the previous post of Betty and Fred. Remember that Betty had a really hard day and she told Fred that she needed to talk and asked him if he had a few minutes to listen. Fred says, sure, I’m listening. She starts talking, and he keeps his eyes on the computer. She finishes telling him how bad her day was, and he dryly says (still looking at the computer) “Well it sounds like you should probably do a better job of managing your time.”

Mistakes here: First, he said he had time to listen right now, but then didn’t stop with the computer work. If he didn’t have time right now, then he should ask if she can wait just a couple minutes until he’s done with his work. (remember the last post on appointments – if you missed it – please read it here). Second mistake -instead of acknowledging how she is feeling, he just offers a quick solution. This is probably going to make her think he doesn’t care about her and wasn’t even really listening. This scenario happens countless times among spouses and parents and children. Distracted hearing but not truly listening. And quick simplified responses rather than caring thoughtful ones.

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2

So what’s the right way to listen? Again, Betty comes over, says she needs to talk. Fred says, sure, now is fine. He shuts the computer, looks her in the eye, maybe even places a hand over hers to show he is interested, present, and listening. (physical touch is powerful in conveying love and attention)  She pours out her frustrations, which maybe hard for Fred to follow at times because it’s coming out a little tangled and rambling, but he concentrates on her words, and uses his mind to process those words and try to interpret her feelings. He’s not thinking of a response right now. He’s listening closely to her words. When she’s done, he says something along the lines of, “What I hear you saying is that you’ve had a lot of difficult things going on today, and you feel overwhelmed.” He is basically summarizing what she said. This shows her that he was truly listening. Now sometimes, the hearer will give an incorrect summary, and then the speaker can say “no, that’s not what I mean.” and then restate. (Speaker, remember to give grace to your hearer – don’t get angry that they didn’t understand you clearly – just restate, help them understand you).

You can do this technique “What I hear you saying is…..” with anyone – children, coworkers, friends, etc., and it will help your speaker feel validated and cared for.

This works great with children and teens as well. Imagine that Molly, a 4 year old, stomps in crying and yelling “No one ever plays with me! They are all so mean!”  The common response from mom may be a distracted or annoyed, “That’s not true. Your sister plays with you all the time.” Does Molly feel like her mom really listens or understands? Probably not. This may teach Molly that she shouldn’t bother going to her mother with her feelings. Now a better response from mom could be, “What I hear you saying is that your feelings are hurt. Can you tell me more about what happened?” Mom here used active listening, trying to truly hear and understand not only the words her daughter said, but also the underlying feeling behind them. She summarized by saying “What I hear you saying is….” and then invited Molly to share more.

Now, for the heated harder topics. This is a time when active listening is extremely important. Oftentimes in an argument, as soon as the speaker starts talking, the hearer is thinking of their own response and rebuttal.  For an argument to be productive, both parties need to truly listen and ideally use the summary technique that I’ve already illustrated. (What I hear you saying is….) By summarizing, it ensures that the hearer truly did “hear” what the speaker was saying. This is so important. Oftentimes what is “said” and what is “heard” are two totally different things. Going back to Betty and Fred, imagine that after Betty shared about her hard day, Fred got defensive and said “What I hear you saying is that I don’t help out enough around the house!” His summary is incorrect – it is not what Betty was intending him to hear. Betty then can clear it up and say, “no, that’s not what I’m saying at all.” and then she can restate her feelings.

“If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” Proverbs 18:13

Most of our communication is on a much lighter level, like “what do you think about the weather this week?” or “I can’t believe that our team won the game last night”. Obviously the summary technique is not called for in these situations, but it is still important to offer eye contact when possible, and truly listen when someone is speaking. I know I tend to “half-listen” because frankly I’m busy and I too often try to multi-task, and there are times I realize that one of my children has been telling me about something and I’ve missed most of what they said. Honesty is the best policy here – say something like, “I’m sorry I wasn’t listening. Can you please repeat that?” My dear husband is so good at doing this! (Speaker, please again, give grace to your hearers if they admit they weren’t listening and ask you to repeat!)

Key words to remember: “What I hear you saying is…..”  Just go ahead and say it over and over again until it’s stuck in your mind and ready to slip off your tongue during your next heart-felt discussion. It can change the whole outcome of your communication if put into practice.

Learning to listen is a key component to a healthy, happy family.

Be fruitful, friends.

 

Communication help, pt.2

A few days ago, I introduced the topic of effective communication in relationships, and how integral it is for a healthy, happy, fruitful home. You can read that post here.

As they say, it takes two to tango, so obviously these tips work best if both you and your spouse or teen read them and apply them also. But even if you alone learn from this, it will still benefit your relationship and help you in your communication skills.

Today, I’m going to teach you about setting a time and place or becoming more intentional with your discussions. (This post is primarily about when you’re in the role of the speaker, and next time it will focus more on listening skills.)

One thing I often hear from people is that their spouse or parent doesn’t have time to talk or they are distracted when they try to talk. They may say something like, “He never has time to listen to me” or “She doesn’t even care what I say” or “He never puts down his phone when I try to talk to him”. (I’m going to assume for this post that the family members do actually love one another, but there is a disconnect in how that love is shown through communication.)

If you are the speaker, and you feel like you’re not heard, then the disconnect may stem from you not being intentional with your discussions. It could be an issue of not clearly stating that you need to talk, or not setting a time and place for the discussion. However, if you are the hearer, and others claim that you don’t really listen, then the issue is again, not setting a time and place to talk or not being intentional in hearing. I’ll illustrate with an example.

Imagine that the children are finally in bed, after a long exhausting day of squabbles, sicknesses, burned dinner, and laundry piled up sky high. Fred is on his computer, and then Betty comes over, sits down beside him, and starts talking with tears in her eyes: “I am so overwhelmed. I just feel like I can’t get anything done. The baby is so cranky, and the toddler is throwing tantrums and peeing on the floor, and I burned the dinner, and no one helps me clean up! I just don’t think anyone even cares about how I feel. Does anyone even love me?” Betty looks over at Fred expecting, wanting, to see a sympathetic look and attentive eye contact, and instead Fred is still looking at his computer with a focused look in his eyes, typing an email. Now Betty is angry, she feels even more hurt and she yells very harshly “I just spilled out my heart to you and you don’t even care!!!” Fred looks up, confused by what just happened, because he sees Betty crying, but doesn’t even know why. He goes back in his memory bank and vaguely remembers maybe hearing something about burned dinner and pee on the floor, but why is she crying?!

What’s going to be the result of this situation? Betty will come away feeling hurt that Fred didn’t listen, and Fred will be wondering why she’s so upset.  This situation taught Betty to not even try sharing her feelings with her husband who never seems to even care, and it’s taught Fred that Betty is irrational and unreasonable at times, and he has no idea why Betty blew up at him. It’s a lose/lose situation. And something like this happens everyday in homes everywhere.

There is a better way. Now, imagine instead that after the rough day, burned dinner, laundry piled up, etc, Betty came over, sat down by her husband, put her hand on his arm (physical contact always helps gain listening ears), and said to him, with tears in her eyes, “do you have a few minutes to talk? I’m really having a hard time.”

Now, unless Fred truly does not care a bit (in which case the marriage issues are much bigger than simply ineffective communication), then he is either going to immediately turn to Betty, give her eye contact, and be fully present, hearing what she’s saying, OR he can say something like, “can you meet me in the kitchen in 5 minutes to talk? I really want to hear you, but I’ve got to send out this email for work.”

You notice in this that now Betty is being intentional about the discussion. She’s requesting an appointment to talk. He is being intentional by either attending the discussion immediately, or setting a time in the near future when he can be fully attentive. The only difference between the first scenario and the second was the simple opening line “do you have a few minutes to talk?”. This sets up the expectation that she has something to say and she needs him to listen, and so both speaker and hearer are ready to fully engage. In this example, the issue needs pretty immediate attention. Betty is distraught right now, and so she needs to be comforted, heard, and loved, right now.

Now, speaker, please give grace to your hearer, and allow a future “appointment” if the hearer is already engaged with something. Typically, we can exercise at least a few minutes of patience here. If it truly cannot wait, then say that clearly. For example, “I  need to talk right now – It cannot wait. Please put down your phone and listen.” Don’t expect your hearer to read your mind. And hearer, if the speaker is distraught, or if they say this cannot wait, then please attend to the discussion as soon as possible.

A side note, and this is a generalization, and not true all the time, but oftentimes women and/or teens just want to get things off their chest. They don’t want advice. So if that is your situation, then say something like “I just need to get this off my chest – I don’t need advice though”. Men often want to give you a solution to your problem. They tend to like to fix problems. But sometimes we as women don’t want a solution or advice- we just want to share how we feel. Sometimes teens stop sharing feelings because the parents are always telling them what they need to do. If you do not want advice, but only want to be heard, then make that clear.

Okay, lets go a little lighter now. Many times, our discussions are not needed immediately as in the situation above. Perhaps its an ongoing issue or something that you know will take a long time to discuss. In these types of situations, set up a time to talk. Ask your spouse or teen if they can meet you to talk tonight or tomorrow at 7pm about the issue of how much screen-time to allow, or which church to attend, or to work on your family budget, for example. Perhaps even make it a date and plan to go out for dinner with your spouse to talk about schooling options for the children, or take your teen to dinner to discuss college. That way both partners come into the conversation ready to talk and listen. If it’s an issue that needs to be prayed about, it allows both parties adequate time before the discussion. This works great for issues that have been bothering you or issues you need to get answers on but they don’t need to be addressed right this minute. By setting a time for the discussion, it will allow more effective communication to take place.

In addition to the time, consider your location too. If you’re going to have a talk about the birds and bees then a crowded restaurant is probably not the place. If you want to talk to your spouse about the current bombings in the Middle East, then the living room around your young children is probably not the place.

Now, for the heaviest stuff, for extremely emotionally charged topics – maybe the parents found out the teen has been drinking, or the husband  has discovered that the wife has been doing something immoral, or maybe the husband has been overspending and getting into massive debt. These are likely going to be hard, difficult discussions. Please hear me on this: If you are angry with your spouse or teen right now over something he/she said or did, then right now is not the time to talk about it. I know you may feel an almost overwhelming need to blurt it out right this second, but if you do that, then there will be a fight. A blow up. Someone may stomp out and slam the door. It is not going to resolve anything, and will likely exacerbate your problems. You’re not in a state of mind to clearly share your feelings, and your spouse/teen is not going to be ready to humbly hear what you have to say. And so the result will be harsh words, harmful tone of voice, and a feeling of hurt for both. The MUCH more effective way to handle these situations, is to calmly say, “can we please talk tomorrow night at 9?  I need to talk to you about your overspending. But not right now, because I’m too angry right now. Please pray about it and we’ll talk tomorrow.”  It gives you time to get your thoughts in order, and to pray for your heart to be pure and humble. Your hearer will be much more likely to clearly hear you if you are calm and not angry or harsh.

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3

And lastly, most of the time we are merely making quick comments, not requiring much time, thought, or preparation. Examples like “What do you want for dinner?” or “I think it’s supposed to be warm today”. These types of comments obviously do not need a particular time or place. If you notice that your hearer is not listening, try laying a hand gently on their shoulder before making your statement.

In conclusion, the concept of setting an appointment to talk may seem unnatural or contrived when we start, but it will help so many of the misunderstandings from happening in the first place. Let your conversation be at the right time, the right place, and set an appointment if needed. Be intentional with your discussions. And give grace to each other.

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

Be fruitful, friends.

 

 

Communication help for your home

America, we’ve got a major problem in our homes.  Approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. Couples who are truly happy and content in their marriage are rare and hard to find. Parents and teens have rocky relationships and struggle to talk without arguing. Children’s behavior is deplorable. Men don’t feel respected, women don’t feel loved, and children and teens don’t feel validated and heard.

When Wade (my husband) became a Pastor several years ago, people began coming to us with their personal issues wanting prayer and counsel, and we were blown away at just how prevalent major marriage and parenting problems are! We took our healthy marriage for granted in many ways, and we just really had no idea that SO MANY Christian couples are really struggling. There are couples who live together but don’t really know each other, because they never really talk about the deeper things of life. Some couples fight all the time and some have just stopped talking at all because silence is better than arguing. You may see them every Sunday at church, and they look happy, and so you assume they are happy. Or maybe you are one of the people who puts on that smile and no one knows your marriage is really rocky.

In addition to the marriage issues, there are countless teens and parents who feel like they just can’t understand each other, and neither the parent or teen feels truly loved by the other. The parents walk on eggshells to avoid a blow up, and the teens may just shut down because it’s not worth trying to talk anymore. Some parents don’t really know what’s going on with their children because the children don’t tell them anything about themselves.

I think, actually I know, that one of the most important key components that’s missing in many families is good communication skills. We think we’re fine there, because we all  know how to move our lips and speak. We learned that when we were 2 or 3 years old. But knowing how to speak and knowing how to effectively communicate are two very different things.

Communication can either make or break your relationships, and the ways of effectively communicating don’t come naturally. If we take an honest look at ourselves, we see that we’re typically a pretty selfish people, aimed at getting what we want, and this doesn’t bode well for creating a good relationship. Learning to really hear and understand what another person is saying takes practice. Learning to communicate your feelings and thoughts in a clear way takes practice too. This may be the missing piece to take your rocky family relationships and transform your home into a fruitful home, a place of peace, love, and acceptance.

I saw an online site that polled 100 mental health professionals and found that communication problems was cited as the most common factor that leads to divorce (65 percent), followed by couples’ inability to resolve conflict (43 percent). (see here)

The survey also found that men and women have different communication complaints. Seventy percent of the experts surveyed said that men cite nagging and complaining as the top communication problem in their marriage. Women’s top complaint was that their spouse doesn’t validate their opinions or feelings enough, according to 83 percent of experts.

This is not news to me. A little known fact to many of my current friends is that in my former life (aka before I had 7 children!) I was a counselor. I have a 4 year degree in Psychology, and a Master’s degree in Counseling, and post graduate courses in Christian counseling. I would say that the number one, most important skill that I took away from all that schooling is how to talk to my spouse and my children, and also how to teach others to talk to their families. I’ve taught communication principles to many other couples that we’ve mentored through the years as part of church ministry. Although I haven’t formally worked in the field of counseling for almost 11 years, I have had so much practice in my own life that I feel much more confident in teaching these principles now than I did back when I worked as a counselor.

If you’re having problems in your relationship, then chances are you haven’t communicated your needs, worries, hopes and dreams effectively, and you probably haven’t heard your partner’s or children’s needs, worries, hopes and dreams either. Good communication may not solve all your problems, but it’s definitely going to give you a good start towards improvement.

I plan to go through some of the most important relationship communication skills over the next week or so, because it’s too much to write about in any single day! If you actually take these to heart, commit them to memory, and put it into practice with your spouse and children, then it can transform your relationships. I would bet that every single person reading this blog could do better in the way they communicate with their family, myself included!

Here’s just a few of the topics I plan to cover: setting a time and place, parroting and rephrasing, focusing on your personal feelings rather than attacks or blanket statements, filtering your thoughts before speaking, and what the Bible has to say about communication because the Lord is the creator of communication. I’ll also use some real life examples throughout to give you a better picture of what I’m teaching. (names and identifying info withheld of course!)

Stay tuned, and get ready to make some great lasting changes! Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss all these tips to keep your family relationships healthy and your home fruitful!

Click here for  Communication help, pt.2