Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear - Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Growing up, I love to look at cartoons. From the Flintstones to the Jetsons to Space Ghost(am I dating myself?), I was a big fan of cartoons. One of my enduring favorites was Peanuts, more commonly known as Charlie Brown. The Peanuts cartoon franchise was so successful that it had Christmas and Thanksgiving specials and I looked forward to watching them. There were a number of enjoyable characters and episodes in the Peanuts cartoon and I could recall a portion of them from memory. One of the most memorable scenes involve when Charlie Brown was in class having a conversation with the teacher. You could always understand Charlie Brown, but you could never understand the teacher. The only sounds that came out of her mouth was wah wah wah wah.
For some of us, we replay this scene on a daily basis with our wives or significant others. We feel that we are communicating effectively, but to our female counterparts, our words sound just like Charlie Brown's teacher. What can we do as men to bridge the communication gap and communicate more effectively to our wives by speaking a language that they understand? In his book, "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate," Gary Chapman writes about the importance in learning to speak your partner's love language. He goes on to say that focusing intently on speaking the love languages will rekindle relationships where people may have lost the passion.
How do we learn to speak the language that our partner can understand and begin to establish effective lines of communication? We begin by putting into practice what Paul wrote in his book to the church at Ephesus; let no corrupt talk come out of your mouth and focus on those words that edify and build up each other. By doing this on a consistent basis, you are ministering the Gospel and the grace of God to the recipient. Let me warn you, this is not an easy task and is one that I struggle with everyday. To ensure that you increase the chances of communicating effectively with your partner, you have to focus on preventing unwholesome talk from coming out of our mouths and remember the damage that it does to others. This requires constant prayer and consistent discipline in spending time in the Word. This has become a successful formula for me in developing communication skills with my wife. I urge all that who are reading this to start today make a commitment to communication more effectively with our partners. In doing so, you will reap the benefits that arise from living in an environment where both husband and wife experience fulfilling communication.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.