Monday, January 12, 2015

Bilingual Communication - Martin Wiles

We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go. James 3:3-4 NLT

When in a marriage or serious relationship, learning your partner’s language is critical.

As in the earlier years of her history, the United States is seeing a large influx of immigrants—presently Hispanic. Public opinion remains divided over immigration, but one thing is certain: we must learn each other’s language if we’re going to co-exist. Their children must learn the official language of America in order to attend school. Adults must learn at least a little English to be able to exist in our culture. Many businesses and service providers have made accommodations to make the transition easier. Spanish is printed on food substances, public signs, and is an option at most places where business transactions are made. America is making a valiant attempt to be bilingual. 

James reminds us that while the tongue is a small part of our anatomy, it is capable of doing much good or major damage. Relationship language comes in verbal and nonverbal. While verbal is complicated enough—what I say and mean might not be what my partner hears or understands, nonverbal is even trickier. Darting eyes, crossed arms, nods, and staring can send messages without me saying a word. Learning what my partner is articulating that isn’t spoken is vital.  

Understanding the different ways men and women communicate is also helpful. Women often like to talk about things while men want to get to immediate solutions. This tidbit of information is valuable for husband/wife conversations. 

Learning your partner’s communication style prevents marital drift. I may get more comfortable with my wife as time goes by, but I will never take her for granted. While there are commonalities among communication patterns, each individual is unique. Learning to understand my partner takes time, effort, and focused attention but is worth it in the end. 

Are you and your significant other understanding each other’s language?

Prayer: God of wisdom and power, as we attempt to understand Your message to us, so help us understand the messages those we love send.


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