Communication is about more than the words we speak. Much more.
According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, when we measure the credibility of another person’s words, we assign 55 percent of the weight to her body language, 38 percent to her tone, and just seven percent to the actual words.
That’s not to say that words don’t matter. In fact, Solomon said, “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook” (Proverbs 15:4).
But communication is about more than words. Here are a few takeaways:
Listen to your body when your spouse speaks.
Use a gentle tone.
Communication is both an art and a learned skill. And as a skill, it is something you can always improve.
Recovery Step: Take special care with how you speak to your spouse, not just what you actually say.
Mark and Beth Denison, married for 36 years, launched There’s Still Hope as a national movement to call men and women into lives of sexual integrity. Their ministry offers 90-day recovery plans for addicts and one-on-one and group coaching for addicts and their spouses. TSH also produces resources for pastors and churches to confront the porn epidemic that is destroying so many lives.
Dr. Denison was a senior pastor for over 30 years, NBA chaplain, and board chairman at Houston Baptist University three times. With a Master’s Degree in Addiction Recovery, Mark is a certified PSAP and active member of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
Mark has written four books on recovery: Porn in the Pew, 365 Days to Sexual Integrity, A 90-Day Recovery Guide, and 40 Days to Porn-Free Living. His latest book, Jesus on the 12 Steps, will be released later this year.