Improve your communication

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MOTIVATION: Ashley Thaba

MY husband and I were invited to be guests on a radio show recently to discuss the importance of communication in marriage. As we hashed out the topic, it was apparent that the ability to communicate effectively literally affects every single part of your life, whether you are married or single! For today’s column I thought we would discuss deeper on what the Bible says about this topic. Does God’s word offer guidance on how to communicate more effectively? I believe it does. I want to give you some scriptures you can really think about and pray over. Perhaps write them down and ask God to remind them of you over the coming week in order to improve your communication skills.

Effective communication is honest. 2 Corinthians 1:17-20 makes it clear that if the Spirit of Christ lives in us then our word should be trustworthy just as God’s word is trustworthy. A huge cause of communication problems comes as a result of saying things you don’t mean! Ask God to reveal to you this week when you are not speaking truth. Whether that is something as small as “I will call you back” when you know you just want to get off the phone. Or “I am on the way” when you know you haven’t even bathed yet. Or “I promise I will do it” to your spouse about that issue she keeps nagging you about and you just want her off your back. A good communicator is an honest communicator. You will find much more peace around you when your word carries some weight and respect because people can trust you.

Effective communication involves listening. James 1:19 says, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” Proverbs 17:28

These are just a few verses that show an intelligent person understands that it is very important to listen to others. No one knows everything! When we are so quick to speak we end up looking foolish and starting unnecessary fights. One of the things my husband and I will be talking about in this week’s episode of Talking with the Thabas about communication is that sometimes things that have made us so mad actually are quickly diffused when we give the other person time to explain themselves before starting to yell and get angry.

Effective communication focuses on the positive. Proverbs 16:24 says “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Philippians 4:8 says “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

When we think and speak positive and pleasant words, we are a blessing to those around us. When our words are full of complaints and negative gossip, we don’t lift others up but rather tear them down. It is not easy to speak positively but when you are conscience about training your mind to think positively, then out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
Begin training your mind to think about that which is praiseworthy and you will find it much easier to speak about issues which are praiseworthy. However, if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts, your words are going to be full of those same negative thoughts and you will end up communicating bitterness and negativity to those around you.

Those are three practical tips on communication we get from the Bible. Ask God this week to convict you when your speech isn’t honourable. Ask God to help lead you to use your words to bless those around you and edify others. Ask God for wisdom to know when to talk and when to listen.

My husband and I even have a TV show called Talking with the Thabas, where we are trying to be as honest as possible as people are asking us real questions so we can really dive into the practical issues that affect each one of us every day when trying to improve our communication skills to live in more peace and harmony in our marriages. You can find out more about that on our Facebook page, Talking with the Thabas. Learning how to communicate effectively will have a positive impact on literally every single part of your life. My prayer is you will put some effort into improving those skills so your marriage, your parenting, your work environment, etc will all be more productive and peaceful!

Ashley Thaba is a popular life-coach, team-building facilitator and motivational speaker. She is also the author of Conquering the Giants and Dive In. You can view some of her works on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba.