As part of our message series “Growing Home”, this week we considered how communication contributes to a healthy family. This is the series of probing questions and supporting Scripture we talked about.
+ Have I accepted my responsibility for the connection between the way I communicate and the marriage and/or family life I have?
James 3:2-5, 7-8a For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.I f we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things…. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Such taming requires the power of the Spirit: Gal. 5:23 – The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control.
+ Am I aware that my words have a profound impact—for good or bad—on my spouse, children or parents?
Prov. 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
+ Am I listening well to my spouse, children or parents–or do I hear halfway and jump to conclusions?
Proverbs 18:13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
James 1:19 (MSG) Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak… Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue.
+ Do I tend to talk a lot, blocking anyone else’s input, so that my viewpoint is always dominant?
Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
+ Is what I am saying true—or am I willing to exaggerate or deflate to win the point or protect myself?
Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
Matthew 5:37 –Let what you see be simply “Yes” or “No”; anything more than this comes from evil.
+ Are my words gracious and life-giving – or harsh and cutting?
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body
+ In conflict, do my words move us towards resolution or escalation?
Proverbs 12:18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
+ Is my communication consistent with the gospel and of someone who claims Jesus as Lord?
James 3:9-12– With [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Matt.12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks
+ Can I sign the name of Jesus to the conversation we just finished?
Colossians 3:17 –And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Think of an unedited transcript of your conversations with your spouse, children or parents over the past week. At the bottom of the last page is a line: “Everything contained herein displays the beauty of My Father. It matches Me. It corresponds to My gospel. It is worthy of the calling that emerges from My death and resurrection. It is true to My purposes in the world.” Could Jesus sign below that?