“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
Building a good relationship at home is like building a wall: It’s done brick by brick. And the mortar that holds it together is unconditional, un-condemning, unselfish love. The only way you’ll know how good a job you’ve done is when it’s tested by the storms of life. One of the most important keys to succeeding at home is — communication.
- Become creative. Spend time together as a family. Call your mate during the day and try to meet sometimes for lunch. Drive your kids to school or extracurricular activities so you can talk to them. Communication can happen anywhere, but it won’t happen unless you make it a priority.
- Identify communication killers. The Internet, mobile phones and TV are the chief culprits. The average couple spends less than one hour a week in meaningful communication; they spend five times more each day watching television. This is a “screen test” you’ll have to pass if you want to succeed at home.
- Encourage every member to speak their mind. And when they do, don’t criticize or retaliate. Differences of opinion are healthy. Handled right, they can make things better.
- Be conscious of how you interact with your family. You may have unwittingly adopted a style that stifles communication. Stop and consider; do you:
a) retaliate — that has a degrading effect;
b) dominate — that has an intimidating effect;
c) isolate — that has a frustrating effect;
d) cooperate — that has an encouraging effect.
If you’re in the habit of using any communication style other than a cooperative one, start working immediately to change it. You’ll have to, if you want to build a good relationship with your family.
Heavenly Father, not only do I need to work on harmony at home but also at work — and in whatever circumstance You place me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.