Today, I want us to focus on Biblical communication. It is important that you become better and better at communicating to your spouse, family, friends, strangers, and enemies as a follower of Jesus. Let me explain why.

Good communication is required for healthy relationships

First, good communication is required for healthy relationships. Good, healthy, and Biblical communication is the lifeblood of a strong marriage… when spouses stop talking, their marriages slowly begin to die. Communication is extremely important in any relationship. You need communication between you and your spouse, you and your children, you and your parents, you and others in your life. Communication to a relationship is like oxygen is to life. Without it, it dies.

Good communication is required everyday

Second, good communication is required every day. All day and every day, you are communicating with others. Communication skills are extremely important. Communication is something you use every day of your life, so let’s get good at it.

Good communication is required in three areas

Third, good communication is required in three areas. Throughout your life you are going to communicate many things. There are three major areas you need to develop communication skills in.

  • Mental communication: You are going to communicate what you think. This deals with logic and reason. Being able to communicate your thoughts on a subject is important.
  • Emotional communication: You need to learn how to talk about how you feel and communicate your emotions to others. You need to learn how to talk about your fears, worries, joys, anxieties, depression, grief and anger.
  • Behavioral communication: This is explaining what you did, what you are doing, or what must be done. This deals with action and behavior.

The better able you are to communicate the stronger your relationships will be.

Good communication is a Biblical responsibility

Fourth, good communication is a Biblical responsibility. As a follower of Jesus… as a disciple and learner of Jesus you want to be the best communicator you can be. Think about it, you want to communicate the gospel of Jesus to others, you want to communicate God’s wisdom and God’s truth to others about various subjects. You want to communicate and talk about God’s truth, God’s wisdom, God’s purpose, and God’s agenda. Developing your skills as a communicator is part of your spiritual growth and discipleship. God has given you an entire life to communicate all kinds of wonderful things, why not be good at it.

Let’s get better as God’s people at communicating with others. If God wants us to build healthy relationships with others, then we need to build good communication skills. Let me give you four Biblical lessons on communication. This is a crash course and only an introduction, but it will get you started in the right direction.

Lesson 1: You cannot fake it, if it’s not in there

Lesson number one: you cannot fake it, if it’s not in there. God’s Word connects your heart and your mouth (1 Sam. 1:13; Job 33:3; Ps. 12:2; 17:10; 19:14; Prov. 15:2, 28; 16:23; 26:23-24; Matt. 15:8). Those two go together. What’s in your heart will come out of your mouth. What’s not in your heart will not come out of your mouth.

Let’s take a look at God’s Word.

  • Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge pleasant, but the mouth of fools spouts foolishness” (NASB).
  • Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things” (NASB).

Your words that come out of your mouth are described with the words spout and pour. The image that comes to mind is pitcher. Let’s say you have a pitcher full of apple juice. That pitcher also has a spout and when you pour the apple juice out it will come through the spout. Whatever is in the pitcher will be poured out through the spout. If milk is in the pitcher, milk will pour out. If apple juice is in the pitcher, apple juice will pour out. If gasoline is in the pitcher, gasoline will pour out. Whatever is in the pitcher is going to come out when tilted.

Your heart is the pitcher, and your mouth is the spout. When life tilts you what’s in there will come out. If pleasant things are in your heart, then you will speak pleasant things. If evil things are in your heart, you will speak evil things. It’s just as Jesus said in Matthew 12, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart” (vs. 34-35, NLT).

If you don’t like what’s coming out of your mouth, then you need to have a heart change.

  • Ezekiel 36:26-27, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations” (NLT).
  • Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me” (NLT).

The only way you get a “new heart” or a “clean heart” is with Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life. His Spirit must move into your life and bring some new things into your heart so that when you are tilted God’s good things comes out.

Lesson 2: Your words are not enough

Lesson #2: Your words are not enough. When it comes to communication there are three large slices that make up the communication pie. Communication involves three things, and they are all important: your words, your tone of voice, and body language or non-verbal communication. God’s Word has something to say about all of those. If you are going to learn how to communicate properly that honors God, you, and the one you are talking to, you must learn how to do so in all three areas. Let’s briefly look at each one.

Choose your words carefully

First, choose your words carefully. The Bible has a lot to say about the power and influence of what you say.

  • Proverbs 12:18, “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing” (NLT). There is something about speaking wisdom that is medicine to a person’s soul. Your words can help heal, recover, rebuild and repair a person’s mind and emotions.
  • Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue can bring death or life….” (NLT). Your words can either be poison to someone’s soul or life-giving fruit to them. You can build them up or tear them down, you can inspire them or discourage them. Learn how to be an encourager. Learn how to be people’s cheerleaders. Bring life into the relationship with what you say.
  • Proverbs 16:23, “Intelligent people think before they speak; what they say is then more persuasive” (GNT). When you are wanting to persuade your spouse, your children, or anyone for that matter regarding an important issue, think it through before you say something. Think it through their perspective, what motivates them, and what will help them understand your reasoning. Think before you speak and what you say will be more persuasive. If you want to persuade your spouse and convince your spouse about something, think it through carefully. Choose your words wisely.

See also Proverbs 12:25; 15:2; 18:13; Ephesians 4:29.

Use the appropriate tone of voice

What you say is only part of your communication, you also need to pay attention to how you say it. Use the appropriate tone of voice. Your tone of voice has power. Look at what God’s Word says about this.

  • Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (NLT). When your tone is “gentle” you can deflect and prevent a discussion from escalating into a full-blown argument.
  • Proverbs 16:21, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is” (GNT). Many of you are already saying the right words, but the reason you can’t get anyone to really listen is because you say them in the wrong way. Instead of sounding “pleasant” you sound harsh, sharp, impatient, and upset.

You can intentionally change the tone of your voice. When I was in high school, I was part of the drama department for three years. My drama coach would give us acting exercises in the class. One of the exercises involved tone. She would have me stand in front of the class and give me a line to say, such as “I’m leaving and I won’t be back.” Then she would have us say with little to no tone, as a matter of fact. Then she would have us say it in anger, in sadness, or with happiness.

Now, take these various tones and add them to statements like the following: “Could you put that down and listen to me?” “Can you stop doing that?” “Can you help me.” “Have you done it yet?” “I love you.” “I’m sorry.” “Will you forgive me.” This should convince you that you can control your tone and attitude behind your voice. 

  • Proverbs 25:15, “Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones” (NLT). What does “soft speech can break bones” mean? In the context it is referring to resistance. Soft speech can break down the most bonelike resistance. Soft words can even breakthrough to the most stubborn and hard people. There is power in what you say and how you say it.

See also Proverbs 16:24; Colossians 4:6

Use the appropriate forms of nonverbal communication

What you say is important. How you say it is important, but also your nonverbal communication is also important. Nonverbal communication involves your body language, facial expressions, hand jesters and the like. God’s Word also has something to say about this.

  • Proverbs 15:13, “A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit” (NLT). How you are doing on the inside will be eventually revealed on the outside. Your facial expressions let others know if you are tired, energized, angry, afraid, sad, or happy.
  • Ecclesiastes 8:1, “How wonderful to be wise, to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness” (NLT).

See also Ecclesiastes 7:3; Nehemiah 2:2.

Lesson 3: You must learn how to control your anger

Lesson #3: You must learn how to control your anger. Your spouse and the people in your life are going to make you angry. They will annoy you, irritate you, bother you, frustrate you, and make you mad. It’s okay to get angry, but don’t let your anger control you. Don’t let it drive what you say or influence what you believe about the people in your life. Anger is a powerful emotion and it causes people to say things and do things they deeply regret later.

  • Proverbs 14:29 says, “People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness” (NLT). The context of this statement is wisdom. People who understand what is right, true, and excellent are able to control their anger. God tells us in Philippians that one of the practices to remaining aware, calm, and present is training your mind to think about things that are “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable” (Philip. 4:8-9).
  • Psalm 4:4 says, “Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent” (NLT). Sin occurs when we believe that we are more important than anyone else, including God. In a word, sin is selfishness. Look at Psalm 4 again with that in mind, “Don’t be selfish by letting anger control you.” When anger controls you, you become number one. Your comfort, your happiness, your will, your wants, and your agenda take priority. You will say hurtful things and do hurtful things in order to get what you want. Anger makes you yell at the other person or anger can make you ignore the other person with a silent treatment. Anger will make you deceive the other person with lies and half-truths. Anger will cause you to threaten the other person or even abuse them to get what you want. Anger puts you at the top and everyone else at the bottom.

What does God’s Word say to do about this anger? God’s Word says, “Think about it overnight and remain silent.” Think about your anger, think about how it’s trying to make you sin and be selfish, think about what you need to do about it, and if your anger has already caused you to act selfishly repent of if it and think about how to ask for forgiveness from those who you sinned against in your anger.

If you are going to be a good communicator with your spouse and others in your life, then you will need to learn to control your anger.

See also Psalm 7:11; Mark 3:5; Gal. 5:20; Ephesians 4:26-27, 31; Col. 3:8; Prov. 15:1; 27:4; 29:8; 30:33

Lesson 4: Stay away from unbiblical forms of communication

Lesson #4: Stay away from unbiblical forms of communication. When I say unbiblical forms of communication, I am referring to forms of communication that don’t honor God, honor the person you are talking to, and don’t honor you. There are several of them, but I want us to focus one of them today.  

Inattentiveness

Let’s start with inattentiveness. This is a failure to listen. This occurs when you are not giving the attention your spouse needs. You are being selfish. If you are preoccupied by something or someone else (phone, sports, TV, etc.) when you should be listening to your spouse, you are dishonoring your spouse (Proverbs 18:2).

Proverbs 18:13 says, “Listen before you answer. If you don’t you’re being stupid and insulting” (GNT). Before you answer or respond to someone you are going to need to listen. One of the complaints I hear more and more is the complaint that one spouse talks to me while they are on the phone looking at reels, playing a game, checking Facebook or something else. When your spouse wants to talk, make sure your body language says that they are important and what they are saying is important enough to you to give them your undivided attention.

Interruption

Whether it is in the middle of a sentence or a paragraph, when you interrupt your spouse before he or she finishes their thought, you violate several scriptural principles (James 1:19; Proverbs 18:13).

Judging motives

This occurs when you judge your spouse’s motives. You may rightfully judge your spouse’s words or actions (and perhaps their attitudes), but you may not judge their motives (1 Cor. 4:5; 13:7).

Not communicating willingly

This occurs when you are passive in your communication with your spouse. Withdrawing from or avoiding a conversation (without good reason) is usually an unloving decision (Prov. 18:1).

Sweeping generalizations

This occurs when you use words like never, always, everything, only, worst and ever. Be specific and clear in your communication (Eph. 4:25).

Blame-shifting

This occurs when you ignore your responsibilities for your actions and place the responsibility on your spouse’s shoulders in order to avoid consequences (Gen. 3:12; Matt. 7:5). Your blame your spouse for what you did or said wrong.

Apologizing (rather than asking for forgiveness)

An apology is expressing regret for something that one has said or done wrong. Asking for forgiveness is expresses the regret, but also admits you were selfish toward your spouse, a promise to try not to do it again, and involves a choice by your spouse to forgive you or not.

Exhumation

This occurs when you dig up or bring up something that has been forgiven (Prov. 19:11; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 Cor. 13:5).

Scolding

This refers to frequently judging your spouse or pointing out their faults with an angry tone (Mark 14:3-5; Col. 4:6).

Using put-downs

This refers to criticizing your spouse in order to make them fell bad about themselves in order for you to appear superior (Eph. 4:29; James 4:11).

Biting sarcasm

This refers to the use of irony to mock or convey contempt toward your spouse.

Harshness

This refers to cruel, severe, or sharp statements in order to hurt or demoralize your spouse (1 Sam. 25:3).