Before You Hit Send
Every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders. It makes no difference if we are talking to our spouse, to a stranger over a meat counter, chatting on a cell phone with our mother, or sending an e-mail to a coworker; we can and do miscommunicate and people can and do get the wrong idea. When we don't pause long enough to think before speaking or writing, it commonly yields a misunderstanding and leads to a clash. We end up being the person who said, “You know that sphere of the brain that stops you from saying something that you shouldn't? Well, I don’t have one of those.”
What You Will Learn
- Discover the power of thoughtful communication with "Before You Hit Send"
- Explore the consequences of impulsive communication in the age of social media
- Learn how to prevent misunderstandings and clashes by asking four key questions before speaking or writing
- Gain insights into the importance of truth, kindness, necessity, and clarity in your communication
- Embark on a journey of self-reflection and personal growth to understand your communication tendencies
- Unlock the tools and strategies to communicate wisely and foster understanding in your relationships
- Start thinking before you speak and avoid communication disasters with "Before You Hit Send"
Mastering Thoughtful Communication
Every day we have the potential of both verbal and written blunders. It makes no difference if we are talking to a stranger over a meat counter, chatting on a cell phone with our mother, or sending an e-mail to a coworker; we can and do miscommunicate and people can and do get the wrong idea. When we don't pause long enough to think before speaking or writing, it commonly yields a misunderstanding and leads to a clash. We end up being the person who said, “You know that sphere of the brain that stops you from saying something that you shouldn't? Well, I don’t have one of those.”
Unlocking Effective Communication
This book is about preventing that misunderstanding and allowing for understanding. Said another way, preempting people from getting the wrong idea and enabling them to get the right idea! We all need work in this area in far more ways than just glancing through a checklist.
From external examples to internal turmoil, Before You Hit Send is about the four things we must think through before communicating. In all things we wish to say or write, we would be wise to ask ourselves,
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it clear?
When we ask and answer these four questions honestly, we will be thinking wisely before we speak. But to explore this fully, we need to find out a whole lot more about ourselves and uncover why we consciously and subconsciously get into these communication disasters to begin with. You may be surprised what you discover about yourself. Shall we begin?
Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs
Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is an internationally known public speaker on the topic of male-female relationships. Based on over three decades of pastoring, counseling and study of biblical and scientific research, Dr. Eggerichs and his wife Sarah developed the Love and Respect Conference which they present to live audiences around the country.About Love & Respect
Let the Lord change you, but don’t try to change each other.
Will we decide how we see God based on our circumstances, or will we see our circumstances in light of how we view God?
Whether visiting a prison, feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty a drink or speaking a word of love or respect, everything is to be done to and for Christ.
If we subscribe to the belief that because we are equal we are the same, then we’re going to expect our spouse to respond the way we do.
Your wife feels you are open with her when you discuss financial concerns, possible job changes or ideas for your future.
We easily see what is done to us before we see what we are doing to our mate.
Clarifying is what you do before you step on your mate’s air hose and deflate his or her spirit. For example, you are having a typical conversation, but you can tell there is a misunderstanding. One of you isn’t being clear or isn’t hearing correctly. Then and there you clarify the misunderstanding before your spouse’s spirit deflates. You lovingly or respectfully clarify matters so that your spouse will not feel unloved or disrespected. The reason you take pains to clarify a seemingly small matter is to prevent the situation from becoming a love and respect issue that needs decoding. Clarifying is what you do to stay off the Crazy Cycle and keep positive, energetic feelings flowing between the two of you, to keep yourselves on the Energizing Cycle.
Share what God is saying to your heart, not what you think He needs to say to your mate.
A wife has one driving need--to feel loved. When that need is met she is happy. A husband has one driving need--to feel respected. When that need is met he is happy. When either of these needs isn’t met, things get crazy. Love and Respect reveals why spouses react negatively to each other, and how they can deal with such conflict quickly, easily and biblically.
It is hard to be negative while being thankful.
If you are seeking positive change in your marriage, you will need to make a positive change in your attitude and actions.
If you want your husband to express appreciation for your attempts to be respectful, you must speak thankfully when he tries to be loving.
So I encourage every husband and wife to commit to the Jesus Way of Talking. Instead of allowing the stress of the situation to control you, you can say to yourself, “Because I love the Lord and I know that He rewards every good word, I am going to be truthful even if my spouse is not. I will also be uplifting, forgiving, thankful and scriptural in my speech because my ultimate goal is to please the Lord. Whatever my spouse’s weaknesses or bad habits might be, I will not let them cause me to sin with my lips.”
The parent-child relationship is as easy, and as difficult, as love and respect.
Unconditional respect, like unconditional love, is all about how one sounds (tone of voice and word choice) and appears (facial expressions and physical actions).
Never give up. If you want to have a strong marriage, you need to accept temporary setbacks as part of the game.
When a husband feels disrespected, it is especially hard to love his wife. When a wife feels unloved, it is especially hard to respect her husband.
Assuming goodwill can be revolutionary in relationships.
You have to become proactive, rather than just trying to stop the reactive.
You may believe that the careless, unloving or disrespectful words you speak are because your spouse is causing you to speak this way, but Jesus says that it is coming out of your heart.
Words of love from a husband are like good medicine that brings life to the marriage.
Assume goodwill about the person you are in conflict with.
There is a plan to parent God’s way, even when our children may seek to go their own way at time. The secret is to follow this plan regardless. When you do, I believe you succeed in His eyes.
It’s true that women have intuition and that men should listen to them. It’s also true that women have blind spots and need the insight of their husbands.
Unconditional love or respect is never wasted. Hang onto this promise: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Galatians 6:9).
Just because you may feel unloved or disrespected does not mean your spouse is sending that message.
“With eyes of faith, envision Jesus standing just beyond the shoulder of your spouse and listening to every word you speak in every conversation, pleasant or tense. When you speak lovingly or respectfully to your spouse, you are speaking to Christ. Your spouse just happens to be there too.” This truth has sanctified the lips of many. Instead of giving their spouse a verbal whipping or choking on the idea of saying anything positive, now some spouses are motivated to speak words of unconditional love or respect.
Your spouse can have a need that you don’t have and that’s okay.
His love blesses regardless of her respect; her respect blesses regardless of his love.
He will feel appreciated when you recognize his problem-solving approach as his male brand of empathy.
Every marriage includes trouble some of the time. Do not let the 20% leaven all the rest.
Research and experience prove that men and women see and hear differently. Recognizing these differences and adjusting to them is absolutely necessary for reaching mutual understanding and better communication.
As a wife, if you can start to understand how important your husband’s work is to him, you will take a giant step toward communicating respect and honor, two things that he values even more than your love.
Do you give yourself grace and your spouse judgment?
When you’re truly Christ-centered, instead of child-centered, you will be a more effective parent in the long run.
Christian maturity involves a lot of things, but surely it includes knowing how to process your anger.
She’ll feel at peace with you when you let her vent your frustrations and hurts and don’t get angry and close her off.
Responding to offensive words or actions with your own offensive words and actions is damaging and unproductive.
Stay the course regardless of the child’s respect and obedience. This is the Family Rewarded Cycle: a parents love unto Christ regardless of the child.
A major step toward a happy marriage is accepting differences and working them out with love and respect.
Each of you must focus on what God is calling you to do toward your spouse. Do not focus on what you think God is calling your spouse to do toward you.
Do you bow to the influence of Hollywood or God’s Holy Word?
When you play the blame game your marriage never wins.
Focus on the positive in the midst of the negative, and the Energizing Cycle will keep right on humming.
There is power and freedom that comes in understanding that no one can cause you to react in a certain way. It is your choice.
We can communicate the truth in the best of manners, but the person may be so insecure he or she can only react and attack like a wounded bear.
With a better understanding of God’s promises, you will be on your way to a renewed mind and a changed life.
Women give a report to build rapport. Men bond through shoulder-to-shoulder activities without talking.
You can be right in the argument, but wrong in your approach.
Your spouse deserves the truth from you. Do your best to tell it with love and respect.
Being a person who communicates what is true frequently demands tact, and at times it can feel like sidestepping land mines. It takes work to be both truthful and tactful.
When confronting your spouse, attack the behavior, not the person.
A parent needs to feel respected, especially during conflicts...A child need to feel loved, especially during disputes.
We have to step back as Christ followers and ask, “Do I have false expectations that my relationship should be romantic 99% of the time?”
Could you be facing a crisis in faith more than a crisis in your marriage?
You must “ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves.”
Do you seek to understand or only to be understood?
Words of wisdom for all husbands and wives are these: We easily see what is done to us before we see what we are doing to our mate.
We have different vulnerabilities. We can pass judgment on one another all day long or we can say God made us different and that’s ok.
Always try to look at your spouse the way Jesus does.
We must bring our identity in Christ to our parenting—we must not derive our identity from our children.
We are equal but we are not the same.
Marriage is a tool and a test to deepen and demonstrate your love and your reverence for Jesus Christ.
Since it is easy to focus on the negative, focus on your mate’s good qualities and express thanks with positive words of Love or Respect.
Though the end can be worthy (to be loved and respected), when each uses unholy means (unloving and disrespectful words and actions), it will not achieve those ends. We must treat others as we expect them to treat us. To deny this makes us arrogant or fools, or both.
Your spouse has a need only you can fill.
When a wife asks, “Do you love me?” She is not trying to put her husband on the spot. She is simply looking for reassurance.
Our research shows that couples who pray together are more apt to reap all kinds of benefits, including better and more frequent communication, going on “dates” more frequently and having sex more frequently.
“You can be right, but wrong at the top of your voice.”
Love and Respect is a faith venture, not a formula.
We are either going to give in the darkness or we are going to give into the darkness.
Always remember that Pink and Blue have different wiring, different preferences. Assume your spouse has goodwill toward you, no matter what. Both of you can be right, while being different.
Self-interest should never come ahead of your spouse’s interests.
Often both spouses have goodwill but are not deciphering each other’s code. She criticizes out of love, but he “hears” only disrespect. He distances himself to prevent feelings from escalating, which is the honorable thing to do, but she “sees” only his failure to be loving!
To get offended is easy, but to forgive is within your power as you walk in His steps.
When there is confusion, I try to refrain from attacking another for not listening carefully (which may not be the case). Instead, I take a run at communicating again, but more clearly.
Respect for the husband is just as important as love for the wife.
He will feel appreciated when you disagree with him only in private and honor his authority in front of the kids.
When you look to God and His Word as your ultimate source of significance and security, you don’t demand that your spouse take that role in your life. And as you draw strength from the Lord individually, He draws you closer together as a couple.
“Living happily ever after” means knowing how to deal with the imperfect parts of life.
Truth will carry its own weight if delivered respectfully and lovingly.
To not forgive is to shoot yourself in the foot and put extra gas in the Crazy Cycle.
It is crucial for a husband and wife to see that neither one is wrong, but both of them are very different--in body function, outlook and perspective.
Your husband knows you appreciate his desire to protect and provide when you praise his commitment to provide for you. You empathize when he reveals his male mindset about position, status, or rank at work.
God designed the woman to love. He’s not going to command her to agape her husband when He created her to do that in the first place. God is not into redundancy.
Unconditional respect is as powerful to him as unconditional love is to her.
Words of Love or Respect must uplift your spouse, edifying- never manipulating him or her.
A man has a natural, inborn desire to go out and “conquer” the challenges of his world – to work and achieve.
You’re the only person in the world who can meet your spouse’s deepest need for love and respect. After all, you alone are married to your spouse.
When Jesus said “turn the other cheek,” He wasn’t saying to be passive wimps. He was teaching that physically people can control you but if you turn and give the other cheek, suddenly you’re in control and you’re making the choices.
[Women], your self-love cannot be derived from your husband’s love. It can affect it, but it does not determine it.
If a husband loves his wife as he should, she will feel honored and respected. If a wife respects her husband as she should, he will feel loved and appreciated. It’s a win-win.
Marriage is a tool and a test to allow God’s will to be revealed in our lives.
God is good and wants what is best for us.
Thank the Lord for the goodwill each of you has toward the other. Ask Him for strength to give each other the benefit of the doubt during moments when someone’s goodwill seems to be lacking. “He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” (Proverbs 11:27)
Your hunger for God can create an appetite in your children.
God is not trying to trick you or mess with you. Trust that He wants to reveal Himself to you just as much as He wants to reveal Himself to the world.
The difference between successful couples and unsuccessful couples is that successful ones keep getting up and dealing with the issues.
We might say that every negative action in the family has an equal and opposite negative reaction.
When a husband chooses to do or say something loving, and that includes saying, ‘I’m sorry for coming across in an unloving way,’ he energizes his wife. When a wife decides to express herself respectfully, and that includes apologizing for her disrespectful attitude, she energizes her husband.