By Counseling Professor, Nicolas Ellen, Ph.D.
Second, you must consider that words define, explain, and interpret your perspective of life (Luke 6:44-45). The names you give things determine how you treat those things. For example, adultery or affair, fornication or sleeping together, sodomy or alternative lifestyle, greed or excessive spending, grumbling or saying what I feel, slander or sharing, angry or feeling upset, frustrated, unkind or cranky? The name you give these things determine if you will treat them as sin or if you will treat them as something neutral. As a result you will take responsibility for these things, or you will act as if you are not responsible. For example you will find yourself saying things such as: “ It made me angry or I chose to react with anger;” “His behavior made me bitter, or I chose to be bitter as a reaction to his behavior;” “I have a drinking disease, or I have a sinful drinking pattern;” “You get on my nerves, or I choose to allow your habits to control my thoughts, words, and actions;” or “That’s just the way I am, or I choose not to change.” The use of these words exposes whether you take responsibility for your sins or excuse your sins.
Third, words reflect the system of life by which you operate (1John 4:5-6). Those who are governed by the standards of the world communicate by the world’s standards. Those who are governed by the standards of God communicate by His standards. Your words reveal just who you live for.
Fourth, your words direct and shape your relationship with others (Proverbs 12:18). If you speak rashly, you truly bring pain to people’s lives. But if you speak wisely you bring healing. As you evaluate the nature of your relationships, pay attention to the way you use your words. Through knowing and understanding these basic principles, you can develop effective communication in marriage. Yet, there are other biblical principles we need to consider in order to develop effective communication in marriage. Let’s examine some of them.
Check back next Monday to read more about effective communication, and why these issues are so important.