In order to build a strong and healthy family communication for firmer and more intact family relationships, each family member must be aware of the types of family communication based on Family Communication Patterns Theory, not just wanting to be heard for his own position. Knowledge of what the Bible says about Family Structure is also a foundational basis to cling on and walk with for an orderly and healthy result.
Miscommunication: One Major Cause Of Family Problems
One major cause of family problems is miscommunication. Holistic goals for the family may not be properly laid down and each member may be walking to reach out for his personal targets. Unconsciously, you may already be leaving alone or hurting another member instead of walking along and uplifting each other.
Both Parents and Children Want To Be Heard
Both parents and children want to be heard.
Daddy used to expect things going well within the family while most of the time silent inside the house and busy when working outside for the family needs provision. Mommy, either working outside or not, often does the talking or nagging.
Children may not be fully matured to really understand what Dad and Mom want. There may be times they yell back or just intentionally disobey.
Some children follow their own decision for matters important to them even with parents’ disapproval. For consistent disapproval, they are already skipping asking consent.
Parents may impose sanctions just to win the case.
But what should really be the pattern of communication for a win-win situation?
Types Of Family Communication Patterns
Family Communication Patterns Theory identified 4 types of family communication patterns based on conversation orientation and conformity orientation. These are pluralistic, consensual, laissez-faire and protective. I have summarized them on the chart below:
With the type, according to Conversation, family members can open a conversation and freely discuss one’s own opinion. While with Conformity, only one member has the authority to decide who is usually one of the parents or guardians.
Our very own pattern of communication can be seen above. One thing I have learned in my life is to be true to myself. To evaluate the pros and cons of what is happening within the family. Accept my own mistake, if there is, and be flexible to adapt as needed. But for the things I believe are true, I stand firm and carefully mentor my children with love, not dictate.
The Bible On Family Structure
When every member insists their own opinion or stand, the family may always be posed in chaos or brokenness. It is very hard to win.
It is God’s grace to reveal His own design for couples in Ephesians 5:21-24.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
From the verses above, it should be that wives are not the one who have the final decision. But husbands decide in consideration of wife and treating her as his own self. Although, not literally written in this verse, man’s head is Jesus Christ. As he submits to Christ, so the wife submits to husband. I vowed myself to this hierarchy and the result is very good. Even if I have my own opinion, my husband listens, considers and approves if well explained.
Children and parent relationship has been discussed in Ephesian 6: 1-4.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Let me emphasize verses 2-3, in honoring parents, children will enjoy long life on earth? Can you relate with that? In my opinion, parents love their children. Based on their experience, other’s experience or history, certain acts have high probability of leading to unwanted situations. Parents may have advance coaching that children may not still imagine. But honoring their parents’ instruction by obedience will certainly prevent them from possible risk.
I have been searching for verse in the Bible for parents listening to children but it rather gave this verse of not exasperating or fully irritating or frustrating.
And how will the children get exasperated? One is not being able to speak out – what are his passion? Can he try his chosen career? Select his own friends and the like.
How will they understand each other?
This is where effective communication comes.
The Bible verses above speak of who is in authority and it also implies loving consideration. Listening and weighing views. Deciding, favoring the whole family. To be objective, pros and cons can be jot down. SMART ( specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goal is also a good tool for an objective and not biased goal.
In this article, I have discussed how miscommunication poses a problem to families. Chaos or broken family relationship when each member want to be heard and not considering others’ thought or feelings. Types of family patterns according to conversation and conformity orientation plus Biblical position of family structure were also presented to help us build a strong and healthy family communication and relationship.
Hope you learn from this article. In case you have questions, clarification or comments, kindly write them in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer you.