7. Lying For communication to be effective, you must be truthful. When you discuss issues with your mate, do you twist the facts to suit yourself? Do you change the story when your spouse catches you with an inconsistency in your facts? When you are convicted of some failure, do you just change the subject to get the spotlight off you? If you do any of these things, you are not dealing honestly with your partner. Eventually, your spouse will realize your lack of honesty, which will result in a complete communication breakdown. Ultimately, your mate will question nearly everything you say, even when you are telling the truth. This lack of trust will cause you to become defensive. Real fellowship and communion in your relationship will cease.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know when you are being lied to or when someone is not being completely honest. Remember that a believer also has the Holy Spirit to help him discern truth. He is called the “Spirit of Truth” for a very good reason (John 14:17). The Spirit resides within every believer to give the added ability to discern the truth (John 16:13).
Therefore, if you want your spouse to believe you when you speak, and you want the Holy Spirit to bear witness to your words, then, start telling the truth. Paul exhorted us: “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another” (Eph. 4:25.) Remember, you and your spouse are truly members one of another. You are one flesh. However, think for a moment what would happen if your own physical members lied to you when they were injured? How long would you survive if you severely cut yourself and you felt no pain? The same is true in reference to your marriage. How can your marriage survive if you lie to each other about the issues between you?
It may be difficult at first to change a pattern of lying, especially if it has been your habit. But, you must start somewhere. If you have lied to your spouse recently, why not go back and tell the truth today. This would be an excellent way to prove the sincerity of your repentance and a good first step toward restoring your marriage relationship. After that, look up as many Scriptures as possible on the subject of lying. Write these Bible verses down on a piece of paper and read them daily so that God’s encouragement and conviction may constantly occupy your thoughts and heart. Paul said that the Word was profitable to teach, convict, and correct us that we might be disciplined to righteousness (2 Tim. 3:15-17). Finally, ask God to put a guard before your lips so that before you speak a lie, God’s Spirit within will convict and keep you from sin (Ps. 141:3).
8. Harsh words What is your first response when your spouse snaps at you with harsh words? Don’t you want to snap right back? Solomon explained that “Harsh words stirs up strife” (Prov. 15:1). Haven’t you proved this to be true? When you speak harsh words you are just beginning another fruitless conversation. This is because the wrath of man will never work the righteousness of God (James 1:20).
Instead, Solomon explained how we should persuade one another. “By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone” (Prov. 25:15). Notice, that a gentle word with patience is the better way to communicate your views on any subject. In other words, don’t force but rather go easy. Speak softly with honest and balanced words. This will enable you to communicate effectively and give you the best opportunity to persuade your spouse.
Therefore, if you aren’t accomplishing much in your conversations, reconsider how you communicate. Do you harshly condemn or gently persuade? Does your tongue influence your mate with love or insist with pressure and intimidation? The quality of your conversations will answer these questions. David said in Psalm 39:1, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle.” This decision to restrain your tongue is what enables the servant of the Lord to be gentle in all things (2 Tim. 2:24).
Click here if you missed What Causes Communication Breakdown?- Part ll.
If you would like more information on the marriage ministry of Pastor Steve Carr or his book Married and How To Stay That Way, visit www.covenantkeepers.org
Excerpt republished with permission .from Covenant Keepers by Pastor Steve Carr, Copyright 2013.