Faith Conversation: Listen First, Speak Second

married couple having disagreement

As a couple, discuss the book of James. Read each chapter together or individually, then focus your conversation on the passage and discussion questions below. 

"Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" (James 1:19).

  • When you were growing up, how did people in your family act when they were angry?
  • What are the positive and negative ways we respond to each other when we're angry?
  • What can I do to make sure you feel heard when we're having a disagreement?

A married couple cannot agree all the time, but how they respond to disagreements can either strengthen or strain their marriage. It may take practice, but learning to listen first and speak second, especially in emotionally charged discussions, is important. Waiting until your anger has subsided to discuss hurt feelings with your spouse can also help.

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This article first appeared in the March/April 2014 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2014 by Focus on the Family.

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