Learn to Communicate Openly

By God’s grace, we can grow in our ability to be vulnerable and transparent with those we love. Author John Powell describes this process in his excellent book, Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? He lists five levels of communication.

Most people start at level five—clichés. We might call this “elevator talk”(“Have a nice day.”) in which you speak, but share nothing.

Level four involves sharing facts. You are willing to report what you know, but still you share nothing of yourself.

At level three, people reveal opinions, their ideas, judgments and viewpoints. At this level, you start to come out of your shell and reveal a little of who you are. At the same time, you’re ready to retreat in the face of disagreement or rejection.

At level two you begin to share emotions. You let the other person know just what you feel. Again, this is risky and you must be careful not to hurt one another, but it is an essential step if you’re going to move toward a deeper relationship.

Level one is transparency—being completely open with each other, sharing the real you, from the heart. This level of communication requires a large amount of trust and commitment.

We spend most of our lives communicating with others at the safest levels of communication. In marriage, however, we ought to be getting beneath the surface. When was the last time you and your spouse had a truly transparent conversation? What do you need to do to go deeper in your communication with each other?

Take some time on your next date night to review these five levels and rate yourselves and one another on how well you are doing in each of the five. Then begin to talk. Talk about how you can deepen your love for each other by becoming more intimate and transparent with each other.

‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, ‘ EPHESIANS 5:25

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s