Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good Communication

Dear Mothers,

There has been a proverbial theme running through my life lately. God wants to refine my communication skills with my husband, children, family and friends. That pretty much sums up everyone in my life! My Bible study is called, “Conversation Peace: The Power of Transformed Speech” by Mary Kassian. I am finding treasures untold in this study!

I’m going to dive right in here. What does communication really mean? It comes from the Greek word “koinnia” which means, “to share, partake, have fellowship with, to join together.” It is used in Hebrews 13:15-16 “Through Jesus therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise-the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share (communicate) with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” According to this verse, I “share” when I give to others. It is a “sacrifice” because the focus is not on myself but on the other person. In true communication, I am more interested in understanding than being understood, in listening than being listened to, and in giving than getting. I am less interested in ME and more interested in YOU.

I am very guilty of not listening to my husband and children long enough to hear their WHOLE story. I think I know what they are going to say, stop listening and instead I am thinking of what I am going to say (if I haven’t interrupted them already). This is not showing honor or love to my family. Instead, I need to let them FINISH, PAUSE, then SAY back to them what I think they have said. That is called “decoding the message”.

For example: My son starts to argue with me because I find the toilet hasn’t been cleaned properly. Instead of freaking out at him and start my accusations (which in turn causes defensiveness and sometimes an automatic lie), I need to bring him in to the bathroom, show him the toilet and ask him if he thought that this job was well done. If he starts to give his excuses, I need to listen, let him finish his thought, and then say, “What I hear you saying is this…” So much conflict can be resolved this way. Don’t stop giving consequences, instead listen more!

I have found that arguing happens when a person in our family thinks they haven’t been heard. We are working on listening better and not assuming the other person’s motives are evil. Yes, I said WORKING, because this takes a lot of work. It is a process and it starts with me, because I can only change me. Even though I think I’m a “mind-reader”, God is assuring me that I am not. Ouch!!!

So my challenge to you ladies is to speak less, listen more, try to remain calm and pray for lots of wisdom from our Heavenly Father! He promises to give it abundantly.

From One Mom to Another,


Connie said...

I will go find a cucumber to eat while I think about all of this.

Cat said...

I'm chewing on this too, Stacie. Just yesterday I 'heard' a hard-headed woman give excuses, I gave my opinion, my thoughts, over and over, but in my head I was realizing she wasn't hearing me. I finally just listened and nodded. She stopped, looked at me and said we 'weren't on the same page. Sadly, it is not she and I, but she and her husband. It is REALLY hard to listen!!! I'm working on it, though. Thanks for this exacting reminder! I can hardly wait to begin this study myself. I have vhs AND dvd. Would you care to borrow the vhs?

Amy said...

Thanks for sharing. I am trying to help my daughter to hear and not just listen. I make her repeat what I just said. I guess I should do the same.

I thought about you today when I planted my cucumber seeds!!! LOL

Have a blessed day.

christy rose said...

If we could only remember that loving someone is being more interested in hearing than being heard. Ok that one got me!! :) This was really good Stacie! Thanks

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Very good reminders, Stace. Let us go forth this day and Listen!!!

J said...

I love your comment about not assuming the others have evil intentions...I tend toward that direction. Thanks for the encouragement!

Mich said...

Great advice. I'll have to mull over it a bit...

RaD said...

As usual you get right to the heart of things. As for our house my children know to let me speak first and then I allow then their turn to explain their case. Usually I'm just settling someone down so everyone can be attentive. We're not perfect at this but it seems to work for us. But at work, where I am dealing with other people's kids I may need to let them speak first before I do because they just don't want to hear anything until they are heard. This is valuable information. Now if only I can remember to put it to use... :)

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