Many of the topics posted on blogs, news, and entertainment sites are of great interest to readers; otherwise people would not bother to comment at all. Once in a while I may post my opinion, but mostly I would read what others have to say. There is one common denominator that I have noticed no matter what the topic, or the site, people tend to disagree – horribly. Instead of agreeing to disagree, many posters attack one another, and end up saying some very hurtful things.
I believe the Holy Spirit is guiding me today concerning communication – it is an art. My understanding of communication is – someone talks, someone listens, and they both try to understand where the other is coming from. Simple right? It should seem so, however, I truly believe many wars have started in our homes because we haven’t learned the dynamics of communication. There are many non-verbal forms of communication, however, I am referring to verbal communication in this post.
When people are discussing topics such as domestic violence, the conversation can and does often become very heated. Even a non-threatening topic on relationships can produce verbal attacks that are not warranted. For instance, I was reading a blog about “Why Women Financially Support Men.” Many reasons and excuses were offered, and the subject matter was very engaging until the verbal attacks started. Women were accusing men of being lazy, and men were accusing women of being non-supportive – and guilty of financially depending on men as well. The well -thought-out responses provided the most valuable insights on this topic, and diffused the more intense reactions.
When I think about domestic violence, I am convinced that a lack of affective communication is one of the problems that fuel abuse in the home. We can certainly see its adverse affects within our society, so why not the home? Why can’t a wife express an opinion without her husband attacking her personally, instead of responding to the issue at hand? And why isn’t this same courtesy extended to the husband? Many of the online posts go from intelligent dialogue, to downright cutting, biting remarks and name-calling. I often wonder why the moderators allow such hateful conversations to go on and on. Of course, there are some sites where comments are not monitored, but many are.
This post isn’t about online posts per se. I am shedding light on an old problem, the refusal to master communication – when it is so simple. You talk – I listen, and we both try to understand. Simple. Unfortunately, men and women do not understand where the other is coming from. Thus, conflict arises – people get hurt – physically abused and verbally cut to the core.
So what is part of the solution? And I say, “Part,” for many other factors cause disharmonies as well. Before effective communication can bring about positive accord, we must rid ourselves of selfishness. When the conversation is “Me” centered, the recipient will most likely tune out, and lose interest in what the speaker desires. Every human is selfish to some degree, and we learn to demand from the cradle. Mom just fell asleep, too bad! “Waaaah, wake up and change me!” When humanity becomes more “other” centered, and less “me” focused perhaps we will begin to experience true love as God meant it to be.
James 1:19 – (NAS)
“This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
Proverbs 10:19 – (NAS)
“When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise.”
Proverbs 17:27 – (NAS)
“He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
“A soothing tongue is a tree of life, But perversion in it crushes the spirit.”
“A man may show himself to be a wise man, by the good temper of his mind, and by the good government of his tongue. He is careful when he does speak, to speak to the purpose. God knows his heart, and the folly that is bound there; therefore he cannot be deceived in his judgment as men may be.”
NOTE: Scripture references include women as well-all mankind.
Final thought: Say what you mean, and mean what you say!
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