Communication problems are the number one cause of deterioration in any relationship — and Jesus gave us the cure for it.
This deterioration happens to all of us. It’s normal: the lack of sufficient conversation, the misinterpretations, the judgements and assumptions, and our personal desire to be heard while neglecting to give the same quality of listening to the other. These work against our relationship goals. Especially in marriage.
It’s true also in our relationship with God. And of course the cure for that is prayer. Quiet time for listening, reading what he’s told us in scripture, and reflecting on it with the help of the Holy Spirit, coupled with speaking to him honestly and humbly and from the heart — this is the secret to success for becoming more and more connected to God and aware of his love and helpfulness.
Prayer is also the undergirding of successful communication with our sweetheart. When there’s a problem to address, pause and pray. When there’s a misunderstanding, pray for clarity. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right words that will help your beloved understand you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the right questions that will help you understand your beloved. And pray for the wisdom of right timing.
“A wise man [or woman], intending to speak, first carefully considers what he is to say, and to whom he is to say it; also where and at what time. There is, therefore, such a thing as due measure in keeping silence and also in speaking.” (St. Ambrose)
This is not just good advice, it’s a description of what happens in prayer when we seek God’s help for better communication.
- In a recent disagreement with my sweetheart, what did he/she misunderstand or misjudge about me?
- In that same disagreement, what do I need to understand more fully to gain compassion for my sweetheart’s point of view?
Strengthen your relationship:
Describe to each other the kind of communication you have with God. How can you apply the same communication skills to your relationship with each other? Ask the Holy Spirit to increase in you the gift of prayer.
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© 2017 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries