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Communication has the same value for love that blood has for the life of an individual. Have you ever contemplated this? In his book “Love in Marriage,” Ed Wheat provides a radical statement: “Betrayal kills thousands of marriages and silence, tens of thousands.”

Any relationship is impossible without communication. You and your future spouse should know about this and this should also determine your relationship with God.

1. How would you identify the word “communication?” What definition does this word hold for you? Write your definition here. After you have finished this test, don’t forget to look at your partner’s test also.

2. Now, what does the term “listen” mean to you?

If there is any baggage necessary for a young couple for the beginning of their life together, then this baggage needs to become “communication with each other, which they should support at any price.”

Married life may be compared to a large, multi-room residence, which the newlyweds enter on the day of marriage. They hope to use these rooms and rejoice together if the house is comfortable, and then they can accomplish much in their life together. However, in many marriages, the doors to some rooms remain locked—these rooms represent different areas of the relationship which the couple cannot enter and live in together. Attempts at opening these doors lead to failures and disappointment. The spouses cannot find a suitable key. Therefore, they are required to limit themselves with only several rooms, which can be easily unlocked, leaving different rooms with their promising possibilities locked and unused.

However, a special key exists, which opens all doors. It is not easily found, or rather, spouses must forge it together, which is a reasonably difficult task. This great art is effective spousal communication.

Let us examine another aspect of communication. While communicating, we exchange specific information. Each one of our messages consists of three components: words, tone of voice, and nonverbal information. We can convey much additional information while saying the same exact word, statement, or question by changing our tone of voice and using nonverbal components. Nonverbal means of communication include our facial expression, pose, gestures, and movement. A situation that may be brought as an example of nonverbal communication which should be avoided is holding a book out in front of you while speaking with the other person.

Components of Communication

There are three more additional components of communication. One researcher arranged these components according to their importance, in the following order. Information included in each of the components is specified in percentages:

  • Content – 7%
  • Tone – 38%
  • Nonverbal methods – 55%

Messages are often unclear when the three components are in opposition to each other.

3. Record which nonverbal methods you use while communicating with your other half.

4. Record which nonverbal methods your future spouse uses in communicating with you.

5. Record the meaning his or her nonverbal communication methods have for you.

6. How do you think your nonverbal communication methods affect your partner? Give an example:

Our nonverbal methods of communication and tone of voice are necessary elements of communication. If you don’t ever give your tone of voice a second thought, then make an audio recording of several of your conversations. Then listen to them and note the tone of your voice.

How will you behave yourself in the following situations?

1. It is Sunday. Your spouse asks you to go to the store, but you don’t want to. You say:

2. You want to watch your favorite television program, but your spouse constantly interrupts you and asks questions. The program is nearing its halfway point, and you don’t want to miss it. You say:

3. You are telling your spouse the most interesting events of the day. In the midst of the conversation, he or she yawns and says: “I’m going to go drink a cup of tea.” You answer:

4. Your wife is serving you breakfast. The eggs are overcooked, which you don’t like. The bread is covered with fresh butter, which you do like. You say:

5. Your wife asks you to wash the dishes after lunch because she is tired. You are also tired and would like to rest. Usually you wash the dishes together. You say:

6. You have just argued with one of your children and came to the conclusion that you are wrong. Apologizing in front of family members is not easy. You say:

The Word of God on Communication

Review the passages listed below and write down the basic idea of each one of them. You will notice that the verses are distributed into groups according to a main theme. Can you distinguish the main theme of each group? Briefly record it after the provided passages.

Proverbs, 11:9, Proverbs, 12:18, Proverbs, 15:4, Proverbs, 18:8, Proverbs, 18:21, Proverbs, 25:11, James, 3:8–10, 1 Peter, 3:10:

Proverbs, 4:20-23, Proverbs, 6:12-18, Proverbs, 15:28, Proverbs, 16:23:

Proverbs, 15:31, Proverbs, 18:13, Proverbs, 19:20, Proverbs, 21:28:

Proverbs, 14:29, Proverbs, 16:32, Proverbs, 21:23, Proverbs, 26:4, Proverbs, 29:20:

Proverbs, 15:23, Proverbs, 25:11:

Proverbs, 10:19, Proverbs, 11:12-13, Proverbs, 17:27-28, Proverbs, 18:2, Proverbs, 21:23:

Proverbs, 17:9, Proverbs, 21:9:

Proverbs, 15:1, Proverbs, 16:1, Proverbs, 25:15:

Proverbs, 12:16, Proverbs, 19:11:

Proverbs, 12:22, Proverbs, 16:13, Proverbs, 19:5, Proverbs, 28:23, Proverbs, 29:5, Ephes. 4:25:

Four Levels of Communication

First Level: Cliché

When one person speaks with another, they nearly always begin exchanging clichés. This ritual serves as an acknowledgement of each other’s presence, or sometimes only to show that you are open for receiving more significant information. A typical beginning to a conversation consists of the following phrases:

“Hi, how are you?”

”Hello! I’m happy to see you!”

“It is wonderful for us to meet!” etc.

Second Level: Facts

After beginning with an exchange of clichés, people gradually transition to an exchange of facts. If relations are still in the early stage, then these facts usually touch on the main milestones of your life; companions whose relationship has already formed usually discuss their development.

“I work as a carpenter.”

“I go windsurfing every Sunday.”

“My aunt came to visit and I am showing her the city.”

“The company decided to send me on a two-week training course.”

Third Level: Opinions

“I would prefer to live in a small city, where I would be acquainted with everyone.”

“If you have earnestly decided to earn, invest your money in gold.”

“I am of the opinion that people should date longer before building a serious relationship.”

An expressed opinion allows a person to probe deeper into the world of his or her companion than a simple exchange of facts or a cliché would. For those who earnestly desire to get to know you, it is considerably more important to know your disposition toward politics, financial issues, and love and friendship, rather than knowing you were born in Kiev and work as a librarian. If you are expressing your opinion openly, then you are giving your companion grounds for conversation development. On the other hand, if you are expressing your opinion as an ultimatum, then this does not occur. People view the same problems differently, and the study of these differences brings food for the mind as well as joy.

Fourth Level: Feelings

Feelings differ from facts and opinions in that they don’t describe what happened and don’t convey your attitude to what happened, but are your emotional response to that which is happening. It is precisely because of this reason that the expression of feelings is considered to be the highest degree of trust to a companion. Speaking about your feelings admits your companion into your inner world. Compare the following examples.

Fact: New believers often face indifference or condemnation from older believers in church.

Opinion: I believe that more attention should be given to new believers in church than to those who have been believers for a long time.

Feeling: Whenever I visited that church, I constantly felt useless to everyone.

1. Name some reasons why a person communicates only on the first and second levels.

2. When do you feel that you can communicate on the fourth level?

3. On which level do you usually communicate with people?

4. On which level does your fiancé usually communicate with you?

5. On which level do you usually speak with God? Do you communicate to Him facts of your life, express your opinions, and express your feelings? Attempt to analyze one of your last prayers and write down your thoughts.

6. Describe incidents in which you were confident that God hears you and you actually conversed with Him.

7. Is it OK for spouses to keep secrets from each other? Explain your viewpoint.

8. American thinker Dennis Prager thinks that the more transparent spouses are with each other, the happier they are. Do you agree with this opinion? If yes, then why? If not, then why?

I understand you!

(This assignment is to be completed in the presence of the counselor).

Tell your fiancé about a significant event in your life (no more than 5 minutes). Let him/her listen to you closely and then paraphrase your words as accurately as possible. Carefully listen to him/her and correct in cases of inaccuracy. Be polite and benevolent. Switch roles.

Counselor's final notes

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