– by Marietjie Ruth Spangenberg
Open, honest communication should be part of every healthy relationship – but communicating is not always easy for most relationships. If your partner does something that makes you angry, you need to tell them about it. But you don’t have to do so right away. Hold your emotions, your anger, and your frustration for 48 hours. At first, this tip may feel unnatural or awkward, but this rule will allow you to communicate clearly, be an active listener, and you will for sure be less angry.
If you still need to address the issue after the 48 hour “pause” period, here are some Biblical principles to apply:
- Speak with kindness and gentleness. “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24.
- Express your thoughts and concerns in an appropriate way. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold so is a wise repower upon an obedient ear.” – Proverbs 25:11-12.
- Think things through before you speak. “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips.” – Proverbs 16:23.
- Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. “Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them…” – Matthew 7:12.
- Be willing to change… Be part of the solution. “When Jesus saw him lying and knew that he had been a long time in that case, he saith unto him, ‘Wilt thou be made whole?” – John 5:6.
- Be responsible for your own words, actions, and reactions. Don’t justify them by blaming them on your spouse. “But let every man prove his own work and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” – Galatians 6:4-5.
- Focus on the positive instead of the negative. “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8.
- Do not keep bringing up old arguments or wrongs. “Remember ye not the former things; neither consider the things of old.” – Isaiah 43:18.
- Speak the truth in love. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” – Ephesians 4:15.
- Control your anger. “A fool uttereth all his mind, but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.” – Proverbs 29:11.
- Do good to your spouse without expecting good in return. He/she will usually respond with good, but do not become angry if not. “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again…” – Luke 6:35.
- Ask God to control your lips. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, keep the door of my lips.” – Psalm 141:3.
- Always be ready to forgive. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32.
- Keep conflicts between yourself and your spouse as much as possible. Don’t get others involved unless it is absolutely necessary. “If you argue your case with a neighbour, do not betray another man’s confidence…” – Proverbs 25:9.
- Take time to listen to your spouse with a desire to understand. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” – James 1:19-20.
- Lastly never stop praying for each other, “then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” – Luke 18:1.
Marietjie Ruth Spangenberg is the founder of Ruth Foundation and Ruth Women Annual Conference. Ministry Projects and Counsellor at Radio Tygerberg 104FM. Email: email@example.com
JOY! Magazine (May 2017)