Three Roadblocks to Effective Communication

Silent.Treatment.2This couple had a fight.  And they were not talking.  It was a classic case of the “silent treatment.”  It had gone on for about a week.  Neither was giving in.

One evening, the husband realized he needed his wife to wake him up early for a business trip to Chicago.  Since he didn’t want to be the first to give in, he wrote her a note, “Please wake me up at 5:00 AM.”

The next morning, he woke up and it was 9:00 AM.  He had missed his flight.  And was furious.

As he was about to confront his wife about the apparent slight, he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. It was her handwriting and simply read.  “It’s 5:00 AM.  Wake up!”

This week I’m in a meeting Baytown, Texas, presenting a series on HOME IMPROVEMENT.  We are considering different challenges that we face in marriage and parenting and seeking practical solutions.

As I was reflecting this morning on the final three lessons, I struck how that in every lesson it come back to one issue that is a vital part of a healthy home life—Communication.

Countless surveys have shown that the number one problem in marriages is communication. Oh, it may seem like it is conflicts about money, in-laws, parenting, or sex.  But really it is a communication issue that is at the root of the problem.

Monday we wrote about the importance of effective communication in successful families.  And nine keys that will help you marriage and family.

Today, I want to follow-up that post by considering three things that can not only hinder effective communication but can destroy the love in your home.

Uncontrolled Anger.

Prior to Paul’s treatise on the husband-wife and parent-child relationship in Ephesians 5 and 6, he speaks of putting off the old man and putting on the new man. He instructs that “in your anger do not sin” (4:26). Then he lists some specific sins to eliminate from our lives–“bitterness, anger, wrath, and slander” (4:32). It is no accident that these warnings are given before the admonitions to those in the family.

Uncontrolled anger has destroyed many homes. Some parents communicate displeasure in their children’s actions with an angry attitude. Vindictively lashing out at our kids will not produce godly actions. Vicious verbal attacks against a spouse will inflict an emotional wound that requires much time and effort to heal. Truly, “a soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” (Prov. 15:1). Since we reap what we sow, don’t be surprised when your anger results in returned anger.

Critical Eyes and Ears.

 Some families have developed a culture of criticism. They are constantly looking and listening for negatives in other family members. Imperfections are magnified and amplified for all to see and hear. Psychologist Carl Roger writes that “the major barrier to mutual interpersonal communication is our very natural tendency to judge, evaluate, approve (or disapprove) of the statement of the other person or group.”

Children will not confide in critical, fault-finding parents. Wives will withdraw emotionally from husbands who are constantly disrespecting them and judging their motives. Jesus commanded “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt 7:1).


 We’ve all heard the expression “the truth hurts.” And it often does. But guess what hurts worse? A lie. Paul exhorted, “Therefore, each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Eph 4:25). Dishonesty destroys. It breaks trust, arouses suspicion, creates resentment, gives birth to hostility, damages loving relationships and impedes effective communication.

Effective communication is the foundation of a good relationship with your husband. Wife. Children. Or parents. Avoid the communication killers. They will kill your relationships.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Communication, Family

7 responses to “Three Roadblocks to Effective Communication


    Ken, still cannot open any of your posts; it shuts my computer down. Harry

  2. Bill Hood

    Saw the tribute to Roy and Mattie.. How fortunate you are to have had them!
    I am using some cut and paste items from this and yesterday’s Post in an effort to introduce some biblical guidelines to better persoanl relationships. I have approached a young couple next door (sound familiar?) with a promise that I can share some things with them that will enhance their relationship together. May be more of a challenge since I have already met some passive resistance, but I will not lay down in surrender!
    Thank you for the good work you do.
    While you are in Baytown, go see the Fallen Warrior Art Gallery. It will touch your heart.

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