Communicating with your family
Families should be sources of love and comfort, but the reality is that they can also be sources of tension and misunderstanding. One of the important things we can do to address this is to try and improve how we communicate.
Here are four questions we should ask ourselves: 1) How well do I communicate with the people I love? We might have unknowingly started using a communication style that doesn't work well. For example, we might retaliate, use intimidating language, or ridicule others. But if we communicate from a place of love, we'll encourage and build up our family members.
2) What are my communication killers? We should consider what external things prevent us having meaningful conversations with our family. Things like spending lots of time on social media and watching TV are just a couple examples. That doesn't mean we can't enjoy these things, but we should check if we're using them to excess.
3) Do I encourage everyone to be honest? And taking this a step further, when people do say what they're really thinking, do we then criticise, retaliate, or turn moody? Differences of opinion can be healthy. The Bible says, 'Iron sharpens iron' (Proverbs 27:17 NKJV). When they're handled respectfully, different opinions can make things better for everyone.
4) Do I think creatively? It might seem strange to suggest an ice-breaker, but doing something like arranging a board game night, a fun quiz night, or a family book club could help to get everyone talking and spending time together.
Links to Bible verses: Holy Bible