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Speak Up or Keep Quiet?

Good communication requires sensitivity, humility, courage, and patience. While the following example was taken from our marriage, the principles apply to any close relationship. One thing my husband, Tom, and I had to learn to do was to (loving and respectfully) speak up when the other person did...

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Is It “Mean Spirited”?

I had once been praying that Tom and another person would keep their commitment to get together. One morning, Tom told me that he was getting together with that person. What I should have said is something like, "Great! Have a good time." What I did say was, "Ok. I was wondering if you were going...

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When to Keep It Light

Men grow close by doing activities together. Over time, these common experiences and mutual interests result in a sense of bonding. There is little negativity and few complaints. Conversation is light hearted. I have had to learn how to enter into this aspect of a man's world. I tend to be a...

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Pray About Your Counsel

It is important not to give unsolicited advice to adults. It is also important to be careful about the counsel we give even when someone does ask for our opinion.   I was reading about Charles Wesley's hymn, "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." (101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck) This particular...

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Does It Benefit Them?

Years ago, I had Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) posted above my kitchen sink: "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." (The italics are mine.)   I continue to learn that...

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Make It a Question

There are times when the way I say something sounds like a command to my husband's ears, even when I don't intend it that way. I'm learning that it often works best if I can change it from a statement to a question. Here are a few examples: Instead of "We should..." say, "Do you think we...

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A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

God continues to fine-tune me in the areas of humility and faith, as I see more instances in my life where those come into play. I'm going to share a failure on my part, and what I learned from it. A situation was brought to my attention about a conflict between two people, and Tom and I were...

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Timing Is Essential

Part of being sensitive to another person's feelings is knowing when to speak, what to say, and when to keep quiet. This requires prayerful discernment.   In 1992, a woman I highly respected wanted to share some insights with me about a difficult decision my husband and I were facing. I had a...

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Avoiding Gossip

Jesus was a master at avoiding gossip (malicious talk). We can learn from his example. Once Jesus' disciples found him talking to a Samaritan woman. "Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, 'What do you want?' or 'Why are you talking...

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Blessing in Unity

Both the Bible and life experience teach us that there is blessing in unity. Therefore, my husband Tom and I continue to work on this aspect of our marriage.   We are trying to be more conscientious about discussing things before making decisions or commitments that affect both of us and...

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