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Practical Tips on Listening and Speaking in Marriage

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(1) Listen to what is being said rather than planning the next statements you intend to make.

(2) Eliminate distractions such as loud noises, the telephone, the TV, or computer.  Also pray first that God will lead you to a proper place and proper time.

(3) Repeat what has been said. This helps your spouse know you have truly understood what she/he said and meant.

(4) Ask questions if you need something clarified, such as, “Would you like some advice or do you want me to just listen?”

(5) Stay on the issue being discussed rather than making it personal. Refuse to have a mindset of getting revenge. I Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) declares that love keeps no record of wrongs. That means a loving spouse does not bring up old arguments or issues to use in an attack. Statements such as, “There you go again!” or “You always…” only create hostility and defensiveness.

(6) Remember that love always hopes for (assumes) the best (I Cor. 13:7 AMP). Assume that your spouse is concerned about what is best for the relationship. Always show love and think right towards your spouse.

(7) Use “I” centered messages. Make statements such as, “I feel discouraged, “rather than “You make me so mad!” Center upon your own emotions and feelings, but remain on the real issue. The use of “you” during an argument may cause the listener to be defensive and feel personally attacked.

(8) Remember that love is patient (I Corinthians 13:4, Hebrews 10:35-36, James 1:4). Wait for the most appropriate time to bring up an important issue. Introducing a big issue when your spouse first comes through the door from a long day at work, or after a hectic day of running errands is simply not a good idea.

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Pastors Jesse and Brenda McNeil are Assistant Pastors at Word Alive Ministries, Inc. in Lakeland, Florida. They are committed marriage and family pastors, advisors, and teachers, offering premarital preparation, personal advisory, post marital advisory, and wedding services to any-one who desires. Pastor Jesse is also the author of the very influential book, “Powerful Principles for Choosing a Marriage Partner.” The McNeils have been married for more than 42 years and have worked together as a dynamic, unified ministry team for over 36 years. You are sure to be blessed and in-spired by their awesome ministry. Family Focus Ministry Pastors Jesse & Brenda McNeil Every person is worth understanding! Services Offered: Premarital Preparation, Post Marital Advisory, Marriage Ceremonies, Seminars & Speaking Engagements For comments or questions email us at: ffm@tampabay.rr.com or call 863-944-2283 or 863-944-0762
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