(photo source: click on it)
I imagine good communication like a stream flowing and traversing its course surely and steadily to its destination. Or like a symphony of exchanged words that, although there may be different voices, they all lead to a most pleasant melody that refreshes the soul. Whereas the absence or lack of it is like the waves that bang on a seawall, never getting through, and in the process, producing a turbulence that splatters the water everywhere.
Simply put, good and healthy communication is perfect harmony.
I know fully well how hard it is to live in an atmosphere where there is a lack of communication, or worse, where discord arises in the place of an otherwise well-planned communication. There are people, especially men (?), who find it hard to open up and speak what’s in their heart, thus, they are often misunderstood, or that, a good communication is never achieved. Still, there are others who, I believe, are just “not into it”, who aren’t apt to deep communicating (or can’t stand it or even hates it?), and when forced to do so, would end up arguing and rebutting, or saying things that hurt and promote discord.
Communicate is from the Latin word communicare, meaning, to impart, share, or make common cause with. The key root is mun-, which makes for munificent (very liberal in giving or bestowing). Related words are: build, fortify, strengthen, fellowship, affability.
To make it clearer still, we will define each one:
impart – to give, convey; to communicate the knowledge of; syn. transfer
fellowship – companionship, quality of being comradely
affability – being pleasant , characterized by ease and friendliness
Good communication, therefore, aims to impart or share knowledge to pave the way toward spiritual and mental growth and development, and to build and strengthen relationships, promote fellowship, and uphold peace.
This, therefore, has nothing to do with discord. Discord means: a lack of agreement or harmony (as between persons, things or ideas); active quarreling or conflict resulting from discord among persons or factions: STRIFE.
Also, discord means a combination of musical sounds that strikes the ear harshly: DISHARMONY. And although this one is for music, I believe it aptly defines an environment where there is an absence of good communication: in place of beautiful melody, there are harsh, unpleasant words that promote division and cause pain.
Synonyms of discord are: conflict, disaccord, disunity, division, friction, infighting, strife, schism, variance, war. We often hear people say they have a “word war” with someone, and that’s very well be: a war of words. And, sadly, in some relationships and homes, this kind of war takes the place of harmony and peace.
But our homes are not battlefields. And the family members are not WARriors, but people that are supposed to be communicating and living in love and peace.
Some would probably just keep silent just to avoid a well-meaning attempt to communicate going awry. But to deal with it this way is accepting total defeat at our desire to have a good, healthy communication in our families, especially with our spouses.
– the time when both parties aren’t engaged in any other activity and can fully concentrate on the matter, and a place where there is a rare chance to be disturbed or interrupted.
I am one who likes to communicate deeply. That is, I always desire to have an open, smooth, free-flowing kind of communication, and if arguments couldn’t be avoided, I believe that there is a way to argue respectfully and clearly, never leaving the topic at hand. It is okay to disagree, but disagree pleasantly, not agressively.
Many discussions have gone bad and ugly because of the practice of saying things that are outside of the matter being discussed, like bringing up old wounds or failures. This is “keeping a record of wrongs” and mentioning them one by one when the chance arises will not help. This is not love.
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 4: 11)
We minister to our family, first and foremost, by communicating. This is where the essence of communication is practiced. That is, imparting or sharing knowledge and words of wisdom to build and strengthen relationships. And we do it affably and munificently.
Speak to encourage and edify – that is ministering. Have a genuine desire to build a happy and harmonious Christian home.
Have a genuine desire to listen, to reach out, to really understand the other person. Encourage total honesty, to speak out from the heart. Communicating is building bridges, not erecting walls.
If the situation becomes emotional in a positive way, that’s alright. I am one who always wants to talk honestly from the heart, scraping every bit there is just to be clearly understood and end the discussion with the goal achieved or a conflict resolved.
But if the discussion becomes difficult and heated (and I know this is extremely frustrating), do not succumb to fighting and exchanging fire. That is, do not be coerced to fire back with words that sting and we later regret. For us, wives, we do our best to maintain a meek and quiet spirit which is of a great value in the sight of God.
We don’t gain favor from the Lord because of our titles, positions, career achievements, or age, but He wants that we all learn to humble ourselves as little children. He wants to strip us off of our pride, of what we think of ourselves, and make us meek and humble to receive correction, to admit our faults and be earnestly sorry for them. We must learn to be aware of our shortcomings and acknowledge that we need to work on them. This is how we really grow.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 18: 4)
There is a saying that goes this way: “Faults look big when love is small.” Indeed, I have come to realize that, where there is lack of love, all kinds of problems arise. If this is the case, we pray that the Lord will increase our love, that we will plentifully bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is love.
As with the other things in our Christian life, we need the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day communications, especially in resolving conflicts and discussing solutions to problems.
We pray for the spiritual growth of each member of the family. In love, we encourage the weak members to gain wisdom and strength from the Word of God, to learn Christ.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom… ( Col. 3: 16)