Family Communication God's Way
- 2002 12 Sep
Late night talks, notes on the fridge, dinner conversations, and in a million other ways, the heartbeat of the family is expressed in our communication with each other. Pull out your Bible and discover some practical principles of communication from Ephesians 4 that will enhance your family's interaction.
Principle 1: Make your home a haven of peace.
Read Ephesians 4:1-3
Conflict is a normal part of any home. What will set your family apart is how your respond to each other when circumstances collide. According to Ephesians 4:1-3, what are five practical instructions regarding the attitudes we need to adopt to promote a spirit of unity in our homes? Think of a family member who would be strengthened by your words and actions. Think of how to express your care to them today.
Principle 2: Speak the truth in love.
Read Ephesians 4:14-16, 25
To speak the truth means to be honest even when that involves taking a risk. To speak in love is to communicate the truth in kind and gentle terms. Often it has less to do with what you say than with how you say it.
Consider how you confront. In what ways can you lovingly express to others how their actions affect your life? Examine your motives and attitudes as you plan to communicate the way you speak the truth. Remember, you can be a catalyst for growth in their lives.
Principle 3: Communicate intentionally.
Read Ephesians 4:17, 21-24
Think about the communication patterns you learned in your parents' home. Evaluate those positive and negative patterns. As you determine the communication pattern you'd like to characterize your home, what model in Ephesians 4:17, 21-24 establishes how you should communicate?
Principle 4: Be angry, and yet do not sin.
Read Ephesians 4:26
Anger is a God-given emotion. Sometimes it's even the most appropriate emotion you can have in a family conflict. But righteous anger concentrates on the wrong being done. Its goal is to right the wrong constructively, not to punish the person.
What is the difference between feelings of anger and angry expressions? What governs how you express your anger? How should anger be expressed in light of your commitment to build up one another?
Principle 5: Build each other up with wholesome language.
Read Ephesians 4:29
Once your words are said, they can never be really taken back. What a frightening thought! Consider both the right words and the right timing, especially when speaking words of correction. Learn to be intentional about building up others. Model encouragement and affirmation to your children.
Here's a general rule for healthy communication: express three positive encouragements for every word of criticism.
Principle 6: Choose kindness and forgiveness.
Read Ephesians 4:31-32
Your home—your most intimate place on earth—needs to be a greenhouse of beauty and growth for you and your family. But this will only happen when you follow the instructions. When you're tempted to treat each other harshly, consider God's model of forgiveness and choose instead to be tender toward each other.
Ask yourself these questions: Do bitterness, wrath, clamor, and slander describe your home? Or do you choose to reflect the forgiveness God has given you and be tender-hearted to your family? Why not make Ephesians 4:31-32 your family's motto? Meditate on it, memorize it, and model it in front of your kids!