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Posts Tagged ‘Communication’

We have all heard that “communication is key” but what are the keys to good communication?
What makes communication break down in the first place? I remember hearing a radio talk show many years ago, a man was describing how he and his wife had two totally different views about how you take care of a sick person. He was down with a cold, and asked her for some orange juice, she came back with what he thought to be a thimble full, and his expectation of a big tumbler full was unfulfilled. The two  were raised differently, one with small glasses of O.J.  being left alone to sweat it out, the other being pampered with lots of juice, soup and attention. Case in point, communication is not just words, and it is also important to note that whatever it is, goes through a sort of prism of our own personal experiences, thought processes, and communication styles.

What goes out of our mouth, hits the ear of the hearer, goes through the filter of their point of reference, bents, insecurities, etc. and they take it the way they do according to that. Each person has their own filter.  What the difficult task is , is to be completely vulnerable in exposing our filters to the people around us, so they understand our communication styles. This of course includes our insecurities, anxieties, fears, opinions etc.  My husband grew up in a large, loud, Spanish speaking  family.  They all spoke over one another, and nobody took it with any offense.  I, on the other hand, grew up in a family where you didn’t communicate at all, and children were to “speak when spoken to” ” seen and not heard”.  No noise at the dinner table etc, so when I first experienced my husband loud talking, I thought he was angry with me, and broke down crying.  He and my children to this day speak with passion, a bit loud, but I understand this to be their style.  They on their part, speak to me with a softer tone, and try to be mindful of my need for a  less robust conversation.

How do we find the best way to speak to each other? I tried to think of the best communicator of all time, and  of Jesus, it is said: (John 1:1)” in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was GOD….and vs 14 and the word became flesh and dwelt among us” The very word of God, came to earth and became a man so that we would know how to live in this world amongst each other in a bond of love and in humility.

In the book of John, Christ used the term ‘ Verily, Verily I say unto you’… no less than 18 times. In one book!  When a word is spoken twice, it means listen carefully.  I think we have to take notice of this first off, as he knows our  propensity to listen with only half of our attention.  We need to be sure that the person is really taking a hard listen if we have an important thing to impart to them.  Don’t expect them to be listening intently to your heart felt outpourings if you don’t get their undivided attention first. Also notice, we may need to repeat ourselves.

Jesus spoke to the disciples, and crowds  in Parables ( stories which teach lessons ).  Jesus used things very familiar to the people around Him to paint mental pictures so that they would understand the things He was trying to impart to them.  Many times, we need to find a thing that our spouse, or child, friend etc. can relate to, and use that to paint a picture of how something may be affecting us, or maybe what we may need from them.  Whether it is using children’s toys or a husbands computer program, or car engine, golf game etc. There is a way to ‘story tell’ so that making a parallel using that imagery will help them connect with you.  Reading the Parables will help understand what I mean here.

Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, from what I have read about this, Jesus being a Rabbi, would have understood that  sacrifices and blessings were made with an application of salt. Salt was used to preserve, to purify, to bless, and to flavor.  When we communicate anything to one another, let us keep in mind, that we are called the salt of the Earth, which should heal one another, and purify, when one is in the wrong, salt will draw out the poison of sin ( in 2 Kings 19 Elisha threw salt into the poison well to heal it, and turn the water sweet)  apply the words of restoration to them in love = salt, Blessing = salt we should be blessing each other by actions, and words, every day, without fail. Jesus is our example, and He gives us all we need to carry out loving one another in this way… ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

He has given us the key, He knows us- each one of us Intimately, our very  hairs are numbered, he knows our hearts,  our failings, and the things we have endured.  We can trust that He will give us the wisdom to use the keys He has given us to lovingly, communicate with one another.  As we desire to do what is in the best interest of the people we love, We can’t go wrong in seeking Him for guidance and wisdom in the process.

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‘Daughters’ is a subject that has been on my heart lately, one, because my only daughter just became a first time mother; joining us together in a bond only mothers experience.  For the other reason, I have been speaking with many mothers of teenage girls who are at their ‘wits end ‘ dealing with manipulative, disobedient daughters.  I feel so much compassion in my heart for the parents who are going through the gut wrenching experience of dealing  with rebellious teenage girls. I know, there are plenty who deal with boys too, but this post is all about daughters.

The first thing we ask ourselves is- “where did I /we go wrong?  Many of you haven’t done anything wrong perse’, but I have some things for you to think over that may help you find the root, leading the way to better communication, and helping the young lady find her way back home.

Every girl has a need for a strong, HEALTHY relationship with her father. A father is God’s expression to her about who HE is.  Her sense of security and well being comes from strong leadership in the home. How a husband treats his wife teaches her how she will respond as a wife herself, and while she is living in your home, she will test the boundaries and limits of your marriage.  Manipulation is only possible if the two of you are presenting a weak front, divided, and not on the same page with one another.  She will “play you like a cheap guitar” mom and dad, if you don’t have each others back! If she knows that you talk things over , and agree together, double check facts etc., she will not get away with the trickery and lies so easily, she will stop trying once she figures out there is no space between you. Confrontation and consequences for her actions are essential.  If she perceives that she is getting off easy for bad behavior, she will spin out of control.  What is worse, she will accuse you of being horrible, but if you do nothing at all, she will believe in her heart that you don’t care, and don’t love her.  I know that one from personal experience.  I was a rebellious teenage daughter.  My parents fought about discipline. My mother wanted dad to do it, and he felt like the big arm of the law, who had to do the dirty work, so they fought… then gave up.  We grew up completely out of control, wishing someone would care enough to say something. Consequences for bad behavior need to be appropriate for the situation, if she sneaks out, she gets grounded, with zero privileges.    But don’t overplay the same card. Grounding the girl for every infraction is counter productive.  If the problem is school related, ie. being irresponsible about homework, take something away, and add a responsibility that relates to school.  I have heard teens talk about how the punishments their parents give them don’t make any logical sense, or that they just want to personally benefit from their child’s mistake by getting work out of them. The other thing to consider, is how do you listen to her? Or, do you just talk AT her? You would be surprised how much can be solved by just sitting down and giving a place for her to share her heart, dreams, fears… she needs the security of knowing you are for her, but will stand for the right thing, and will be just, fair, and strong.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. If you are together Mom and Dad, you will succeed in giving the girl a stability she needs to gain control of the chaos we like to call the TEENS.

For the single parent:  It is no easy thing to beat this daunting task alone.  But in Ecclesiastes, it says a cord of three strands.  Meaning that God is one of the strands.  You aren’t in it alone, and certainly if you have a church family, or synagogue, you can find plenty of people to come along side to bear your burden with you.  We are never expected to go through these things by ourselves.  Reach out and call for help, prayer, and support if you don’t have a spouse.  If you are divorced, you still need to try to be on the same page when it comes to your child.  Put aside your own differences, and look out for the needs of your daughter.  It is difficult to do when you don’t get along, but if you have any ability to do it, try!

I have been so very blessed to have a daughter who has been a tower of strength, virtuous through her teens, a model daughter who cared for everyone. Her father and she have always had a strong bond.  She is confident, and accomplished, and now she has a son.  It wasn’t always easy in our relationship, we didn’t always get along.  Because of my baggage with my own parents, I was the weak one, and she was BORN with a determined, strong will…just like her father.  Lately, we have been experiencing a closeness I never thought was possible.  I feel so privileged to share her company, her life, as I have always admired her so much, this is a dream come true for me.

I will finish this post with a song by John Mayer:  Daughters

“Daughters”

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It’s the same she’s been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she’s left
Cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You’ll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A womans good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

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A nagging wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day. (Proverbs 27:15) Drip, drip, drip… it makes you go crazy!  Have you ever been around couples, where the husband is passive, and the wife just drips continually?  Throughout the Proverbs, Solomon teaches his son about women, finding a good wife, among so many other things, he says this about that nagging woman: “It is better to live on the corner of the rooftop, than in a house with a quarrelsome wife” Prov 25:24.

So why the nagging? Is it fun? Do you just think he deserves to be shot machine-gun like with choice morsels of cleverly formed jabs, so he will be sure of your disapproval?  Don’t think I am only going to address how this applies to your marriage.  If you are nagging him, you are nagging your kids too.  Track with me for a minute, there is something at the core of this,  Much of it can stem from the poor modeling, you grew up with a “Hover Mother” constantly on you for this or that.  You could just be very unhappy with life, disappointed with how things have panned out, you are taking that frustration out on those around you…maybe you don’t even realize you are doing it.  Are you being accused of nagging?  You are undoubtedly frustrated with people not listening to you, not doing what you ask them to do, but how are you communicating?

There should be good communication between you and your spouse, if there is something you are having difficulty with, you need to talk it over while you are both in a good place, not when the issue becomes heated.  If, after he/she is spoken to, knows how you feel, and doesn’t respond, it is your turn to offer help, or just take it to God.  Many times God will change us, and our attitudes, before He changes someone else s’ bad habit.

Let’s address those core issues for a second. You need to so some soul searching here.  If things are coming out pear shaped because you are disappointed with your life, feel let down, you have unresolved bitterness, these things need to be dealt with. How?  The first step is recognize that they are there, next, you need to take them to God, he can heal you of those things, you should also talk with someone you trust, and pray with them about it.  I always say that the skeleton when left in the closet, has the power to get scary, but bring him into the light, and all he is, is old, lifeless, bones. Bring old “boney” out, and deal with the core issues, you will feel so much better!

For the life of me I just do not understand couples who cut each other down.  Worse yet, is when they do it in front of a room full of people.  It is like a dagger in MY gut, when I hear couples tear each other apart, or humiliate their spouse.  The entire room turns frigid with the lack of love, discretion, and prudence.  It makes you wonder what kind of relationship a person has, that they would cast their spouse in the worst possible light, rather than present the best side of them, knowing every flaw intimately, privately.  Being the most important person in your life, you want to be sure that people see the good in your spouse, not exposing those flaws, they are yours to know, you are one flesh.  You have each others backs, you will defend them and honor them to the end. That is how it should be!

So they don’t pick up after themselves, they have bad habits, you have things you have to put up with,old boney is rattling your cage, Yeah, So? I have only one thing left to say:

1Cr 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind {and} is not jealous; love does not brag {and} is not arrogant,
1Cr 13:5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong {suffered,}
1Cr 13:6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
1Cr 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1Cr 13:8 Love never fails; but if {there are gifts of} prophecy, they will be done away; if {there are} tongues, they will cease; if {there is} knowledge, it will be done away.
1Cr 13:9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
1Cr 13:10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
1Cr 13:11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
1Cr 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
1Cr 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Let the Love of Christ do it’s perfect work in us, we only have this short time with our family, with no “do-overs” don’t waste it nagging.

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This is such an uplifting video, the way it should be between father and son.  Building a relationship starts when the child is young, and grows to manhood.  He is watching and modeling himself after you. Communication between Father and son is the most important element in the building of the future husbands ability to lead, to communicate with his future wife, and to pursue his dreams and aspirations. For some reason, in the heart of each son, there is a passionate desire to please his father, and to make him proud. If , like in the song, you are always telling the son to listen, as you rant against him, the walls will go up, and he will take a natural course of either rebellion, least resistance, or fighting to prove to you he is worthy of your love with everything he’s got. I am keeping this short today so it may have the impact I want it to have. Men, mom is not the only one who needs to break that cycle, LISTEN to your son, take him fishing, hug him and tell him you love him, no matter what. Next time I will share with you the brother I lost to “too late syndrome”.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

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