Today's Marital Moment will focus on this important thought: "The Listener Must Give Freedom To The Speaker". One simply cannot experience freedom where there is an hostile environment. That type of climate is deadly to meaningful communication. The husband or wife that harbors ill will in their heart, exhibits an attitude of anger, or explodes into screaming and arguing will never allow the freedom necessary for thoughtful communication. Therefore, the listener must allow, and give, the speaker the freedom to express verbally their thoughts, con- cerns, and hopes. It is in this freedom that communication is given the opportunity to flourish and grow. Without freedom, communication seldom gets beneath the surface and into the life changing and situation correcting level. The listener must make a determined effort to control his thoughts while listening. He must refuse to become angry at the things that are said. He must never allow his body language to convey that he is bored, disgusted, or disappointed at the things that are being communicated. Simply stated, the listener must listen and respond in a totally acceptable manner so that freedom to speak, or refrain from speaking, is provided to the speaker. Only in this environment can the speaker plum the depths of his or her heart. Freedom is more easily achieved when the couple follows some simple rules: (1) You should chose carefully the place of communication. It needs to be a location free from interruptions and the restraints of time. Meaning-ful communication cannot be rushed at a hurried pace and it cannot tolerate constant interference. (2) You should always stay on the same topic. Deal with only one problem at a time. Other subjects can be discussed at a later date.(3) You must refuse to bring up the past. If you have already dealt with yes- terday than let it remain in the past. However, if the past is unresolved then you must at some time deal with the previous things of your life. (4) The listener must provide an atmosphere of love and acceptance. The Bible states in I John 4:18 that, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment." (5) The listener must respond in a respectful manner. Kindness and consideration goes a long way toward helping the speaker feel free enough to ex-press their view of the situation. Freedom is a precious and priceless commodity. Therefore, just as you want freedom for yourself, freely provide it for your spouse. Remember, "The Listener Must Give Freedom to The Speaker".
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