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God planned for couples to live with and love each other. He didn't intend for them to merely put up with each other.
And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone. I will make him someone to talk to. That's the "Pastor George" version of Genesis 2:18.

God created us to talk to each other. There is a desire within every person to share his or her greatest dreams, deepest desires, innermost thoughts and heartfelt needs. When a wife says to her husband, "Talk to me!" she is pleading for intimacy. She wants him to share from his heart. And she also wants him to listen.

Every relationship needs open communication. It's a primary way we can walk in the love commandment—but it takes effort. Unfortunately, it's an effort many couples don't make. A recent report showed that 86 percent of the divorced couples surveyed believed their marriages failed due to a lack of communication.

Successful families don't just happen. They are the result of investments of time, effort, study and practice. Effective communication is one of the essential skills every family needs. It involves not only knowing how to talk to each other, but also knowing how to walk in love. The foundation scripture for our lives is:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matt. 22:37-40)
Your neighbor includes the person closest to you. Loving your neighbor begins at home by loving those you are in contact with every day.

God's Communication Plan
God planned for couples to live with and love each other. He didn't intend for them to merely put up with each other. Colossians 3:18-21 gives us specific instructions about how families are to function in love. It says:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is wellpleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
Let's examine what we are saying, and the way we are saying it. Are we harsh and critical? Or are we speaking words of encouragement, life and love?

God cares about how we talk to each other. First Peter 3:8-10 says:
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.
Verse 9 in The Amplified Bible says, "Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing…." Arguing and yelling are not acceptable forms of communication—neither is silence. I believe this kind of communication is what Ephesians 4:29 calls "corrupt communication."

God's plan is for us to talk to each other and communicate in love.

Good Words Make Good Families
Colossians 4:6 says, "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." We have a responsibility to draw out the best in each other. One of the major ways that happens is through quality, loving communication.

Proverbs 15:23 tells us, "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!" When we speak thoughtful, well-timed words to each other, we produce and reap joy!

The Bible also talks about the effect of bad words and attitudes. Proverbs 21:9 in The Amplified Bible says, "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop…than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman [or man!]." Negative attitudes and behavior will crush the spirit of a marriage or a relationship. Positive words will nurture our marriages and families. Proverbs 25:11 says, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."

Families thrive in an environment where healthy communication is practiced.

You Can't Communicate by Osmosis
We must work at communication. It doesn't happen by osmosis, which is defined as "a gradual, unconscious process of assimilation or absorption." That is not how we understand what another person is feeling or thinking. No, we have to talk to each other.

Husbands and wives, I know this can be difficult at first if you are not in the habit of doing it. But to have a healthy relationship, you must make time to sit down and have eye-to-eye contact. Forget past failed experiences where communication is concerned. Determine to pull down the walls between you by being willing to talk and patiently listen.

Here are three tips on how to become a better listener:
  • Pay attention
  • Don't interrupt
  • Respond in love
An interesting statistic reveals that women speak approximately 25,000 words a day, while men only speak 10,000-12,000 words. It's easier for women to talk. Men often have trouble listening as well as expressing themselves. Given these facts, it's easy to see why couples must work at communication.

Effective communication occurs because of a deliberate, conscious decision to respectfully talk to each other. You must not argue or yell. Harsh, critical words cause a person to shut down on the inside.

A husband and wife can experience days of heaven on earth when they choose to communicate in love. It's worth the effort it takes to develop this skill!

This confession can help you get started. Say: I make a deliberate, conscious decision that we are going to have quality, loving communication in our home.

Quality, loving communication is a heartfelt dialogue. It's two people sharing their thoughts, desires, feelings, experiences, observations, dreams and ideas with each other in a safe, non-threatening, non-hostile, friendly environment.

Communication is an exchange—not a monologue.

Each person feels as though what they have to say is valid, important and respected when this kind of communication takes place.

So talk, listen and respond in love!

Kenneth Copeland Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

George Pearsons
Web site: Eagle Mountain International Church
From the first time they met in 1975 to today, Pastors George & Terri Pearsons have been building a partnership based on a foundation of faith. They became the pastors of EMIC in 1993 and have been going strong ever since. Together, they are a one-two punch to the devil.

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