Does your mouth ever get you in trouble?
I confess that I’ve been convicted about this more than ever lately, especially in regards to my closest relationships – my husband and children.
In his book The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage, Myles Munroe summarizes James’ advice in James 1:19-20 in this way. “Listen first! Don’t be in a hurry to talk, and even then be careful what you say and how you say it. Don’t have a short fuse because explosive anger will only sabotage your spiritual growth.”
As I considered this passage, I discovered 4 principles I can apply as I seek to communicate effectively with my husband.
1. Listen. Actually listen to what he’s saying – not assume that I know what he’s going to say or interject what I want to say, but actually focus on hearing his words. I also read in the book I referenced above that typically men say what they’re thinking while women say what they’re feeling. I want to know what he’s thinking, so I need to listen with my full attention and all the way through until he’s finished speaking.
2. Think before I speak. Isn’t this age-old advice?! Once I’ve finished listening, I need to weigh my response before I start talking.
3. The way I speak can often be as important as the words themselves. Am I using a pleasant tone? What facial expression do I have? Am I being sarcastic? Do I look at him while we’re talking?
4. Speaking in anger does not glorify God. James 1:20 says, “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” How much better it is if we can ask God to help us respond with a “soft answer.” [Proverbs 15:1]
I want to build my husband up with my words. Now that I’ve written this post for today, I can guarantee you that I will be tempted to fail in communicating effectively with my family today! How thankful I am that I have the Holy Spirit to help me in this area!