Understanding “Misunderstanding”

After having lived in S.E. Asia for 15 years we learned very quickly that an Asian “no” is often times really a “yes”. For example, if I invite my friend to have a bite to eat, they would almost always say “no” three times, and if I was persistent, on the fourth time they would finally smile and say “yes, thank you!”.

Communications are one of the most prevalent areas of relational breakdown.

Misunderstandings of what was really being said or done has always been a tool of division that the enemy (satan) frequently uses. Married couples, although having become very intimate, spending loads of time together, sharing dreams, hopes, fears, and laughter almost always struggle with being misunderstood by each other.

Why is this?

How can we begin to recognize when we misunderstand or when we are being misunderstood? How can we take a new approach to this “tool of division”? This tactic of the enemy is an old one.

One simple approach is to begin to open our hearts. Open our hearts to learn a new language – the language of dialogue.

Our past experiences play a major role in our abilities to interpret concepts, life, love, and emotions. Hence the term “we’re not on the same page”. If I were taught to rotate the tires on my car “front to rear and visa versa”, and you were taught by a mechanic, to rotate them “clockwise”, in order to work together in a healthy way we must learn the art of dialogue! A task as uncomplicated as “rotating the tires” often times can lead into a shouting match or even to the point where one has no voice at all – both parties being misunderstood.

To some people, instead of dialogue they are “stuck” in monologue. Monologue is one voice that says “my way is the only way!”, or “I don’t care what you think!”. This type of communication can be base, immature, and can produce much negative fruit in any relationship. On the other hand, a communication that says “are you saying …?” or “can you restate that so I am sure I’m hearing your heart?” is one that is taking the more mature stance. This type of communication promotes honor, dignity, harmony, unity, clarity, and humility in which all of these depicts Christ, and strengthens relationships.

May this nugget of truth encourage you both today, and in all of your future communications!

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4 Comment

  1. darlene williams says: Reply

    . . .What if the ‘other’ is understood, but that that is understood, is the negative that the (he ) is projecting, and (he )is much to stubborn/unsober/and organized in his misunderstandings to present the positivity that makes for marital growth. Does the wife after being saved, all of a sudden take his misunderstanding that she really doesn’t understand more than Gods Word for both of them. . .and if so what does she do with it, other than pray!

    1. Hi Darlene… thanks for the comment… wow… that was a little like an algebra equation for me :O but…. if I’m hearing you right, a marriage has had communications problems, one gets light (saved), and the other is in denial (etc.) about life and relationship? Your comment asks does the wife all of a sudden receive his misunderstanding that she doesn’t understand “more than” Gods Word for both of them…. ??? My answer is never does anything supersede God’s Word. The Bible teaches that the unsaved husband will be won over by the believing wife… by example… she would be the example in communications… saying… gently, and lovingly, “am I hearing you say…?” and/or “are you understanding exactly what I mean…?” making way for clear, dialogue, never monologue. Monologue is like a teacher that doesn’t take questions… or comments… healthy marriages cannot work that way… has to be dialogue.. hope this answered your inquiry… Blessings and thanks for your comment… Bob Parr

  2. darlene williams says: Reply

    Thank You, and God Bless!

  3. […] bodies heal when given the chance… relationships also heal, when given a chance. Click here “Understanding “Misunderstanding” an excellent article by my husband […]

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