Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Speaking Each Other's Language at Home

I was recently in another church for a wedding and decided to glance through their song book.  Some of the titles were, When Cain Killed Abel, God Weeps and Crossing Waters At Creation.  I'm not making those up. I had to wonder how those songs could even be close to worshipful or uplifting.  They wouldn't work for me I'm sure.

However, maybe they do inspire the people at the church.  I'll probably never know.  And if I happened to mention one of your favorites - sorry.  But I'm confident of this - the people at that church or at least who wrote that hymnal speak (or sing) with language that I don't get.

I'm pretty sure that happens in families too. We think we're communicating well or using terms and phrases others get but often we're mistaken.  We assume from their nods or apparent assent that they're totally tracking with us but it's important that we find out.

Do we use words that are simply too complicated for our young children? Do we talk to our spouse with a lot of work language, man/woman focused talk or in generalities that really don't say much?  It's possible.  Do we try to connect with our teens in their language but we really don't have the concepts correct?

How do we know if we're on track or not?  First, if we have young children ask your spouse or someone else who can observe your interactions. They'll probably be able to tell by observing and can give you suggestions.  For spouses and teens try asking them.  Tell them to be ruthlessly honest but ask, "Is that making sense?"  Or, "Do I ever use language that you don't get?  It's ok.  You won't get in trouble if you say 'yes.'"

And with your spouse you can obviously go further and deeper.  "What do you need more of from me when we communicate?  How am I doing when we talk together?"  You can learn a lot and you'll figure out some things you need to do better.  Don't fear the responses.  You won't die.  And you'll learn to connect with your family members in ways that will pay terrific dividends later.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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