This video segment is one of six presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, finances, decision making, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.
- Be a servant-listener: seek to understand before being understood.
- The vast majority of communication problems would be resolved with better listening.
- Good listening is simply living incarnationally.
- Listening is a skill that is most necessary when it is most difficult.
- The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.
Memorize: James 1:19-21(ESV), “Know this, my beloved brothers, let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Know this” – Humorously, James assumes we would be prone to skip over his instructions on listening.
- “Quick to hear” – We will be quick at one and slow at the other; we choose – listening or speaking.
- “Slow to speak… anger” – Being quick to speak has emotional consequences; we need to see the cause and effect.
- “Produce… put away” – The choice to listen well is a choice to pursue godly character and relational unity.
- “Receive… implanted word” – Salvation began with listening. Marriage also moves from death to life by listening.
“If you want to develop an intimate marriage relationship, you would be wise to speak less and listen more. The person who speaks less is more willing to set his own self-centeredness aside and build oneness in marriage. He is better able to understand another viewpoint. And he is willing to see, the best for his mate (p. 154).” Dennis Rainey (editor) in Preparing for Marriage
“Of all the principles involved in effective communication, none is more important than good listening (p. 68).” Wayne Mack in Strengthening Your Marriage
“Rarely will we agree on all the topics of marriage. Rarely will we agree on the exact proper use of money, or the exact proper amount of sexual intimacy, or the exact proper way to handle the children. God did not design everyone to agree exactly on all these matters. Rather, God redeems and enables husbands and wives to reflect Christ and the Church amidst their disagreements, and to grow in love for one another under every circumstance. This love tends to be expressed through gracious speech, humble listening, eagerness to serve, and longing for Christ to be magnified in our marriages (p. 164).” John Henderson in Catching Foxes
“The idols that you worship erect a filter that screens out information that doesn’t match up with expectations. Idols also amplify other messages that you’re sensitive to. Approach every topic with humility—a willingness to learn something new and correct faulty understandings. Communicate a humility that allows room for more information or a different perspective (p. 109).” Winston Smith in Marriage Matters
“There’s no point moving on to the next idea or responding to what you heard if your spouse doesn’t believe you understand what’s been said (p. 133)… How does your spouse typically feel misunderstood by you? If you don’t know, then ask (p. 135).” Winston Smith in Marriage Matters