Monday, 18 April 2011

Change Your Words - Change Your World


A friend of mine sent me the following link to a YouTube video which I found to be quite insightful. Your first reaction may be “What does this have to do with marriage?” Watch it and then let’s talk.



Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

By reflecting on the YouTube video when contextualized by the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians it became apparent to me that there was a message for married couples, if not for parents.

Does unwholesome talk ever come out of my mouth? Do birds fly?

Is what I say to my wife always helpful, do my words build her up according to her needs? Do zebras fly?

Is my wife benefited by what I say? Sometimes she is. Okay, I’m partially one for three.

Here is where it gets tricky. Could I use different words that would be more uplifting and helpful while at the same time not being manipulative? And could I say these words in a way that they would be heard and have a beneficial result?

For example:
(a) “Haven’t you ironed my shirts yet?”

(b) “Honey, I can’t believe you manage to iron my shirts so often when you’re so busy. I really appreciate it. I feel like I present a very professional image to my clients when my shirts are ironed.”

Okay, this may be a bad example for many reasons. I suspect those who still iron shirts are in the minority – permanent press has been around for a few years as have dry cleaners. The point is that by seeking to build someone up, by saying something that will benefit the other person they will be more likely to hear what you have to say. And after all, isn’t that one of the primary purposes of communication?




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