Want Great Family Relationships? These Are The 3 Keys To Healthy Communication In Every Interaction. // Episode 71

What are we talking about today?

There is nothing more frustrating than talking to someone you love… and feeling like they just aren’t hearing you. 

Communication is the key to a great relationship and a happy Christian family life. We simply cannot feel connected with our people if our communication is struggling. It might be conflict, distance, or simply never feeling like you’re quite on the same page. It’s frustrating. 

That’s why today, I’m sharing the 3 keys to healthy communication. If you start to work on these 3 areas, you’ll find tremendous blessing and encouragement in your most important relationships! 

Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 71:

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 16 // This simple change in your communication will improve your marriage, your parenting… actually, every relationship you have!
  • Episode 25 // Improve your communication skills with these 5 helpful tips to become a great listener
  • Episode 40 // Your words are powerful. But are you using them to help or hurt your loved ones? In marriage, parenting, friendships… your words matter. 

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Snag your resources here!

40 Day Devotional Communication in Marriage

If you’re working on communication, one of the best places to start is in your marriage. This 40 Day Devotional will walk you through specific Scriptures, along with guided reflection questions and communication starters, to strengthen communication in your marriage.

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful:

  • When communication is a struggle, conflict is usually a part of the problem. So grab a FREE copy of my 10-Point Conflict Resolution ChecklistWhen emotions get high, just pull out this checklist and follow the steps to stay calm and productive.

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

There are a lot of things that help our Christian family life, but there are only a few that are absolutely central. And one of those is: COMMUNICATION. 

You simply cannot enjoy your relationships without good communication. It is necessary for building intimacy, having fun, and deepening your family life. 

And there are 3 keys to healthy communication.

Key #1: Speaking

When you think about communication, you probably start here. And yes, the words that you SPEAK are really important in your communication!

In every area of communication, and certainly in your speaking, you must pay attention to your word choice, tone of voice, and body language. They are ALL sending an important message!

Whether you’re having a hard conversation, a fun chat, or an important meeting, it is helpful to follow these guidelines for your speaking:

  • Slow down and be intentional with what you’re saying. (Check out Ephesians 4:29.)
  • Watch your emotions and be willing to stop, or bite your tongue, rather than getting upset. (This is where my free 10-point Conflict Resolution Checklist may be helpful.)
  • If you’re worried about the conversation, it may help to write down your main points in advance or even practice in front of a mirror, so you can notice your body language and get clarity on your words.

Of course, as James 3:2 tells us, “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” Yes, you will stumble in your speaking. But it is an area that you can work on and grow in.

Key #2: Listening

Listening is just as important as speaking… and sometimes even more so. Don’t forget the wisdom Proverbs 18:13 “to answer before listening – that is folly and shame.” We must listen if we are to have good communication!

Again, your word choice, tone of voice, and body language are important. 

  • Don’t keep talking, and be careful of your body language. You are still communicating while you’re listening.
  • Focus on UNDERSTANDING the other person. What are they saying? What does their tone tell you about their emotions? Don’t focus on preparing your response
  • Stay calm, so that you can send the nonverbal message (with your body language and small words) that you are listening. This includes things like “mm hmm” or perhaps a comment like “help me understand that.”

Key #3: Responding

This is sometimes the easiest part to forget about when we think about communication. But if we fail to respond within or after the conversation, we are still responding – and not in a helpful or positive way!

There are two popular Bible passages that help us understand the importance of how we respond to God’s Word. James 1:22-25 tells us that we are foolish if we listen to the Word and do not do what it says. Matthew 7:24-27 describes two houses built, one on the rock of God’s Word and one on sand, and tells us that the house only stands in the storm if it is built on the rock. 

You should apply the same thinking to your Christian family interactions – and really, every interaction even outside of the home! If someone speaks, are you responding appropriately?

  • Remember that you are always responding, because ignoring someone or failing to follow through with a plan are still a response. The problem is, they are responses that will hurt our relationships. 
  • It is our biblical duty to let our yes be yes. We must follow through with action steps that we agreed to. It is also important to take action on whatever the right response might be, even if no specific response is requested. For example, if your child is crying in a conversation, it would be appropriate to respond with a hug or other encouragement. 
  • In your response, seek to genuinely help the other person. This will require humility and wisdom! Consider Luke 6:41-42 which reminds us to deal with the speck in our own eye before addressing the plank in someone else’s eye. 

A final encouragement

I have found it helpful over the years to pray Psalm 141: 3-4, especially before an important interaction.

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3-4)

And don’t forget, our 40 Day Devotional on Communication in Marriage is a great resource specifically to build up your Christian family, and the free 10-point Conflict Resolution Checklist is also a great resource for you.

Friday Faith Follow-up

Communication can be difficult with anyone – but sometimes, it’s hardest within our own family! Why is it that we argue with our husbands in ways we would never argue with anyone else? Or we get upset with our kids for things that we can easily stay calm about for other people?

I’ve experienced this in my own life, and I’ve watched it play out for so many families in the counseling room. We often struggle with communication most frequently in our family relationships.

In today’s quick bonus episode on the podcast, we’re talking about why this happens – and what we can do about it. Listen in for encouragement and practical ideas to bless your Christian family.

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.