1. Be A Ready Listener And Do Not Respond Until Your Spouse Has Finished Talking.
2. Check For Understanding.
If you do not fully understand what your spouse has said, repeat back to him/her what you think he/she said and ask them to clarify their statement.
3. Be Slow To Speak. Think First. Don’t Be Hasty In Your Answers. Speak In Such A Way That Your Spouse Can Understand And Accept What You Say.
Proverbs 15:23 (NIV) says “A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”
Proverbs 15:28 (NIV) says “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”
Proverbs 21:23 (NIV) says “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”
Proverbs 29:20 (NIV) says “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.”
James 1:19 (NIV) says “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
4. Speak The Truth Always But Do It In Love. Do Not Exaggerate.
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) says “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
Ephesians 4:25 (NIV) says “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
Colossians 3:9 (NIV) says “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.”
5. Do Not Use Silence To Frustrate Your Spouse. Explain Why You Are Hesitant To Talk At This Time.
Being silent is not always bad. You may want to be silent to keep from saying something that you shouldn’t and later, would regret.
6. Do Not Become Involved In Quarrels. It Is Possible To Disagree Without Quarreling.
Proverbs 17:14 (NIV) says “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
Proverbs 20:3 (NIV) says “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.”
7. Do Not Respond In Anger. Use A Soft And Kind Response.
Proverbs 14:29 (NIV) says “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.”
Proverbs 25:15 (NIV) says “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”
Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) says “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”
Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”
8. When You Are Wrong, Admit It And Ask For Forgiveness.
James 5:16 (NIV) says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
9. Avoid Nagging.
Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) says “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”
Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) says “Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Proverbs 20:5 (NIV) says “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.”
10. DO NOT BLAME OR CRITICIZE YOUR SPOUSE BUT RESTORE THEM, ENCOURAGE THEM AND EDIFY THEM.
Galatians 6:1 (NIV) says “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
11. TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR SPOUSE’S OPINION. MAKE ALLOWANCES FOR DIFFERENCES. BE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS.
Philippians 2:1-4 (NIV) says “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Ephesians 4:2 (NIV) says “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
12. Avoid Bringing Up Past Offenses, Mistakes Or Sins That Are Not Relevant To The Current Issue.
A good, clean, respectful, focused disagreement can do wonders for your marriage by helping you solve problems, understand each other, get through difficult situations, and become aware of your own individual shortcomings and blind spots. Grossly over/under-stating or distorting the issue can be toxic and very damaging to your marriage!
If You Are Faithful In Following These Communication Guidelines, You Can Expect To Have A Long, Successful And Very Rewarding Marriage.
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