How to Fix Family Communication Breakdown

Communication is the glue that makes families stronger.

Watch This:  A classic skit from Abbott and Costello: 

Ask This: Why is this so funny? (They don’t really understand each other…)

Say This: Did you know that every time you talk to someone there are actually four conversations taking place at the same time?  Any time I talk to someone there is: 1. What I say, 2. What they hear, 3. What they say, 4. What I hear.  (Man, that is exhausting.)  Sometimes the simplest statements can be misinterpreted or misunderstood, and can   often lead to disagreements and hurt feelings.  Listen to this Bible verse that gives us some great advice on how we should communicate with one another.

Read This: James 1:19

Say This: Notice that this verse suggests that we listen first, and speak second.  How much better would our family’s communication be if we really tried to listen to one another before we spoke. We are  often so concerned with “being heard,” and “making our point,” that we fail to truly hear and understand what the other person is saying.  Let’s commit to be a family that doesn’t just talk, but instead seeks to truly listen and understand one another.

Ask This:

  1. When are some times that our family has done a poor job of communicating?  What were some reasons for this?
  2. When was a time that you felt like you were ignored, or misunderstood?  How did this make you feel?
  3. What are some ways we can do a better job of communicating?  What is one way you can help this happen?


Pray This: “Dear God, thank you for our family, and all the ways you have blessed us.  We are grateful for the gift of communication, but we also see how easily it can be for us to misunderstand one another.  Help us to take the advice of James 1:19, and be ‘quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.’  Thank you for loving us, and forgiving our sins through your Son.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen”.

Try This: Divide your family up into pairs.  Give Person 1 a paper bag with an object in it, and Person 2 a pencil and paper.  Have Person 1 verbally describe the object to Person 2 who must draw it solely from the description of Person 1.  Use this exercise to discuss the importance of clear communication, and how easy it is to misunderstand one another.

Want more? See the full list: Table Talks

Need a plan for leading your family? Take a look at the Dad Plan.


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