Conversation is an essential part of life, but to engage in it artfully is a skill that requires learning. With our words we can build and destroy, encourage and discourage, invite or reject. No form of relationship can be built or maintained without mutually satisfying conversation, whether it is a business-, friendship- or marriage -relationship. The potential in people that failed through the lack of social skills cannot be calculated!
In the technologically advanced world that we now live we find more and more people of all walks of life with very little or no social skills. Although modern communication happens more and more through electronic devices, it would be foolish to write the ability to engage in skillful conversation off as redundant. It is far too easy to hide behind a screen of some kind when it comes to connecting with a fellow human being. Conversation is so much more than sharing of information; it also exposes your mind and heart.
While we were not equipped to read each others’ minds, we were equipped with the ability to express ourselves in words, sentences and paragraphs verbally. There is no point in even beginning to try to explain the misunderstandings, offenses, hurts and bitterness that destroy relationships because of a lack of proper conversation in a relationship.
Although not everybody has the natural gift of eloquence, the ability to talk well can be cultivated and is within reach of everyone. There is absolutely no excuse for poor communication skills, especially not where it is of vital importance to a relationship. Practice makes perfect – the more you work on it the better it gets. We also learn from others by watching them and listening to them. The better the conversation, the more satisfying the relationship will be.
Relationships find their value in the level of edification that is experienced, and this is where skilful conversation makes its contribution. Dropping a good word now and then is not enough; a spontaneous exchange of thoughts on various aspects that touch on different topics and depths is required to establish and maintain a solid relationship. There is a back and forth flow to it. The depth of mutual understanding forms the foundation of trust in a relationship between two people, especially in marriage and family.
Any relationship that is not continuously edified with purposeful conversation will starve to death. We build one another up by showing interest through meaningful conversation. Failure to do so destroys a person’s self image and eventually his/her willingness to participate in the relationship.
To edify and encourage is an art. Everybody can discourage, break down and destroy as it is a simple work of the flesh, but it takes the skill of the mature to build, edify and encourage. Do you want to see a person’s personality blossom and thrive? Make an investment of stimulating conversation. On the other hand conversation that is lined with criticism – whether of the one you are talking to or someone else – always breaks down. Negative opinions and criticism corrupt, but grace beautifies. Pride criticizes, but humility appreciates.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)