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FGHT Devotional - Good Communication

Good Communication

Good Communication is the Key to a Strong and Loving Family

An Important Lesson for Families Today from the Old Testament

The family was one of the first institutions that God established after He made man and the devil has been attempting to destroy it since its inception.  Today some sons and daughters don’t appropriately communicate with their parents and some siblings argue and scream at each other because of a “falling out”.  Often in such situations, the rift is because some family member(s) jumped to the wrong conclusion about something that was said or done.  Pride then rears its ugly head, and no one wants to “give in”. A family that was at one time close and loving is then ravaged with either bitter and angry silence, disagreement and/or fierce debate.   God loves the family, and He wants its members to have a healthy, loving and peaceful relationship.

So many scriptures and events from the Old Testament provide useful commonsense guidance for us today. Family issues and disputes didn’t just start to happen in our day, they have always been a problem. Let’s take a look at a particular situation in the Old Testament where a simple misunderstanding could have caused a major war among family members.

In Numbers 32:20 three groups of the Israelites, The Gadites, Reubenites and one-half of the tribe of Manasseh, asked Moses if their inheritance could be land that was located on the east side of the Jordan river.  They were cattlemen, and they felt that the land east of Jordan would be best for them because of their cattle.  After they firmly promised to help their brothers conquer the land on the other side of the Jordan, Moses granted them their request and blessed them.

In Joshua 22:1-4 Joshua commended the two and one-half tribes because they kept their word and helped their brothers conquer the land west of the Jordan.  Joshua blessed them and sent them back to their own inheritance on the east side of the Jordan.

When the two and one-half tribes went back to their land, they decided to build an altar to the True and Living God.  But when their brothers on the west side of the Jordan discovered that the altar was built, they made an erroneous assumption.  They assumed that the two and one-half tribes were planning to serve some god other than the True and Living God.  They were concerned that God would punish all of the Israelites for what they thought were the misdeeds of the two and one-half tribes.  And the “west-siders” were not about to allow that to happen.  Joshua 22: 11-12 says they were actually preparing to go to war against their family members, the two and one-half tribes.

It was never the intention of the two and one-half tribes to leave God.  As a matter of fact, the altar was built as a unifying factor between the East-of-Jordan Israelites and the West-of-Jordan Israelites.  The two and one-half tribes were concerned that as the East-of-Jordan children grew up, the West-of-Jordan children might question whether or not they served the same God.  There was the possibility that some of them might think that God had placed the Jordan as a natural barrier between them, thereby causing the East-of-Jordan children to cease to follow the Lord.

The two and one-half tribes were just thinking ahead.  They were making sure that their children would continue to serve God.  The pattern of the altar would assure that all who saw it would say that this (east of Jordan) altar was just like the altar before God’s tabernacle (west of the Jordan).  The altar was simply to be a witness that they were all one family, serving the same True and Living God

After communication between the family members, war was averted.  There was simply a misunderstanding about the purpose of the East-of Jordan altar.  Thank God that they had the common sense to talk it out before starting a war.

So, from that Old Testament story, we can see the importance of communication among family members. When there is a problem in the family, family members with cooler heads, wiser hearts and a love for God should be chosen to intervene in the resolution of family issues.  Disputes can be settled and family relations restored with something as simple as a little communication.  It (whatever the It may be) could be different than what everyone thinks.  The family should just pray about itand talk itout.  They should kill pride and prayerfully and humbly assemble in love.  And, if families will put God at the center of the discussion, it shall be well.

Let us pray:  Father we pray for the sanctity of the families that You created.  Help us to love and support each other and communicate as we should.  May the family unit be a bulwark against the wiles of the devil and a safety net for all of its members.  In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.