Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Five Principles for Effective Communication

I can never learn enough about communication in marriage. Obviously, the enemy tries to guard communication in marriage with a spirit of confusion. But...God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33). Peace paves the way for greater understanding and intimacy.

The five principles of effective communication were found on, which has a treasure trove of articles.

1)    The Principle of First Response- The course of a conflict is not determined by the person who initiates, but by the person who responds.

·         When one spouse starts a conversation that is fueled with strife, the other spouse’s natural tendency is to respond defensively in strife. Although you may feel justified in doing so, it is important to remember that the power rests with the responder.

·         Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

·         By following the principle of first response, you can take a poorly spoken comment and redirect it.

2)    The Principle of Physical Touch- It is difficult to respond offensively when you are tenderly touching your spouse.

·         It is difficult to apply this principle AFTER the argument has begun. However, it is a perfect time when you know you are about to sit down and engage in a conversation that may cause tension

·         You know what topics are hot buttons. These topics need to be discussed, but in the right setting.

3)    The Principle of Proper Timing-The success of a conversation can be maximized if the timing of the conversation is carefully chosen.

·         Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth. And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

·         Discuss times that are good for serious talks and be conscientious of times that are not appropriate

4)    The Principle of Mirroring- Understanding can be enhanced if we measure it often through conversation.

·        Repeat back what you believe your spouse’s intent was.

·        Let your spouse clarify what was meant

·        Proverbs 22:17 says, “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge.”

5)    The Principle of Prayer- Success in communication is more likely when we invite the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us.

·         A recent study has shown that in marriages where couples pray out loud with each other, the divorce rate is less than 1 percent


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