I'm reading "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas and I was struck deeply with his thoughts on communication.
He says, "Communication forces us to enter into another's world. To communicate with my wife, I have to get beyond my own frame of reference and understand how the same word can mean TWO DIFFERENT THINGS to each of us. This is an ego-emptying exercise that harbors enormous spiritual benefit."
"Words spoken with malice can cut deeply. Words can destroy, pummel, and build walls. Dan Allender and Tremper Longman remind us of that truth and encourage us to choose our words carefully:
I am to sow words like seeds to bring a harvest of fruit that blesses God...We must choose our words as if we were choosing an instrument of life or death. If we know the power of words, then we will neither refuse to speak because of fear nor speak often and sow seeds of destruction. We are to speak words of encouragement to draw forth the heart of God in those we love; we are to speak words of rebuke to disrupt the natural bent of our hearts to pride and self-righteousness."
Wow! I think that is profound. I want to practice this. I know how words have pierced and wounded my soul to the very core. I do not want to do the same thing to others. I want that harvest of fruit that blesses God.
I need to watch the tone of my voice. The tone says even more then the words do. I can get into a mode of communication that conveys to my husband and children that I am frustrated and that they can't do anything right. I am convicted today and I am making a commitment to you and to God to try harder. Please pray for me...