Here are a podcast plus notes on Communication in Relationships (18 minutes). The speaker is Cristian Paduraru, of Romania.

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How can you improve communication in your relationships? You will hear in this guest podcast ideas about what you will communicate about your relationships.

Have you ever wondered what to say when praying? How to keep a relation in writing when you are limited in time or space? Or how you can get to know someone you just met? I hope this letter will inspire and help you in learning how to communicate completely the good and the bad in all the relationships in your life.

Why do I feel this subject is so critical, so crucial? Because communication has the power of changing states of mind. What is the more important than our relationships? And what is most essential in relationships? Communication. What is the most important in communication?

Truth. What is true communication? It is complete, transparent, practical, meaningful, and full of grace. Oh, and it keeps your verbal and body language in sync!

Do you realize that the quality of your relationships comes from the quality of your communication in them?So, focus daily on sharing with those around you while calling them to do the same also. The goal is to grow in being in touch with how you're doing in relationships.

When may be the best time for extended fellowship? You can have a daily time to share in the family and a weekly time with your friends. It is so much fun to organize this kind of group in your neighborhood also because this way you will get to know your neighbors, they will get to know you and this sharing process will heal you emotionally, teach you more about prayer, and much more. What are your main questions about prayer and relationships? What have you been grateful
for? What struggles have you had and need help with?

Which are the main relationships in a disciple’s life? God, family, friends, and the world. I would love to share from my past week, as an example. So what have I been grateful for? In my relationship with God I have been grateful that He gave me His word in writing and as I examine the Scriptures daily, I continue to discover Him and this changes my life. I usually
examine His words when I wake up in the morning and before I get to sleep in the evening, while during the day I try to live out what I have learned. Also I appreciate that He listens to my prayers either when I talk with Him alone or with others. I can see then how He's involved in all the situations and relationships I prayed about.

With my wife, I appreciate that she is always so open with me. This helps me to learn how to love her practically in ways that she will feel, and to learn how to be open with her, so I can share freely with her and get trustworthy spiritual input on daily issues, just like a brother-sister discipleship.

With my children I acknowledge how they grow up every day and as they walk and talk, I can read them one chapter from the Scripture before they get to sleep (once in the afternoon and then before bedtime), then pray about what was easy and hard over the day for each of us. So I was grateful for the devotional times with my three children both at home, where we discover the stories from the Scripture and in the open air, where we praise God for His creation. In my relationships with my friends, I am thankful for the deep talks or letters in which we disciple one another in serving our gifts and grow stronger in our weaknesses. My friends are those who obey what God commands, so in our communication there is mainly a spiritual focus. Most of my friends are in different parts of the world, but we can speak to each other because of existing technology. However sometimes I feel the most spiritual way of communication is in writing because God did it this way!

I recognized this week that my neighbours are peaceful, peace-loving, people. So I am grateful when my relationships with people in this world can be peaceful and develop in this way. What is my main motivation to love them enough and meet their needs (both materially/emotionally and spiritually/intellectually)? When I see them I think where I would be if no one
would take the mission to heart and reach out to me? I would be in my sins wandering in the darkness of this world. I was blind and now I see the light. I am grateful and think about the people I meet that God loves them so much to put me there and help them to see the light through God's word. So I am grateful for the hope of resurrection and privilege to share the gospel with my neighbor.

What have I been struggling with in the past week? With God I've been struggling to let those outside my family know about my relationship with Him. I am constantly thinking about Him, so forgetting Him is out of the question. It's just that
I need to initiate a spiritual dimension in my conversations. I am sorry for avoiding to share about how grateful I am about Him and how I am walking with Him in various situations of the day. I will need to prepare to walk with Him in those relationships too from now on!

Please help me, Lord.

In my relationship with my wife it was hard that we can't have more time together intellectually to write inspiring materials together. I need to make an effort to organize our family schedule. It would help to have more people appreciate our decision to serve by using our teaching gifts, both in Romanian and English. I struggle the most in my relationship with my children, because they are still very dependent and they need my involvement in their life at every level. It has been an issue that they need so much of my energy and time. I need to let them take part in more activities together appropriate to their age. It might be helpful if God would give us someone mature who can interactively play with them also, as well as us.

With my friends the lack of love in some relationships diminishes trust in others. It was stressful to deal with conflict especially because one of them said we are not at peace or friends anymore while at the same time not being interested in resolving these difficulties. It would be great to request more help from others to witness and support my attempts at reconciliation.

In my relationship with my neighbors I did not organize a Bible study group this week. It will be helpful to ask other disciples to pray for talks to start more often in my area because that may be the best help in this spiritual battle. Also to keep me accountable in reaching out and meeting the needs of others in my area.

Some weeks the good and the bad may be in balance whereas most weeks this changes. Focusing on these four relationships: spiritually with God, intellectually with my family (spouse, children), practical with friends (disciples, church), social with others (neighbors, world) helps me to be in touch with every possible relationship in this life. So, how was your past week in these relationships? What have you been grateful for? What struggles have you had in these relationships? Take a few moments and think about it. Then put it in writing or share it with your family and friends. Enjoy this process and it will become a habit.

Communication is a two-way process, necessitating mutual understanding. In this process genuine interest and concern in communication is often more important than the message itself, even when the message itself is essential. When others feel understood, influence begins. So when should you listen? Ask your neighbor about his week, what he has been grateful for and what he has struggled with, either before or after you share with them your weekly update. Remember we have two ears and one mouth!

Erika is praying about this whole issue now: I thank you, Father in heaven, for all the communication you did with me through the Scripture. You are God Almighty, and I appreciate the relationship you want with each of us. Wow! How awesome you are God! How great is your Son! When I look at your relationship with Jesus I am amazed. I am amazed how much you love each other, how much you team up and sacrifice for those who are hopeless without You.

Thank you for giving us an example of compassion. It is heartbreaking to see how much Your Son cared, how he cried for those who suffered a loss, and for those whose heart was unrepentant. Thank you for showing us an example of unconditional love, in denying himself to the point that his sweat became blood. Even when He died, He died saving the person next to Him. Even now He's preparing a place for us. Then Your trust in the Holy spirit to guide us is amazing also. You let your light shine in this world through us. Thank you for helping me in everything I ask for. Thank you for always giving me the right thing at the right time.

I am so grateful that you blessed me with a husband-wife relationship which is mind-blowing. It is amazing how close we can be, living in the spirit, belonging to you. This is the primary relationship in which we learn to love, to love each other, to love our children together, to love our friends together, to love our neighbors together, a relationship that is within You. It is a relationship in which we team up for your glory, for your name to be spread on this earth. I am grateful for him being in my life and that I have the chance to be his wife, to love him, to know him better and better, to be a shoulder on which he cries when he needs to, to be that women who he loves unconditionally, who he loves so much.

I am grateful for our children, these growing human beings. Oh, I do not have even words to describe their hearts, their love. I can’t say how much I appreciate the growth that You made possible for us through them. I appreciate crossing paths with one of my friends and so gaining the chance to open the Bible with her. Just seeing how much she wants to know you and love you in your way warms my heart. I appreciate that I was able to talk and pray with 2 of my sisters in Christ this week. Thank you!

I struggled this week in fighting the unseen world, I realized again how weak I am without You and how strong I am with You. Please help us, strengthen us when we are distressed. I bring all these things before you in Your Son's Name. Amen.

Daily chart model:
What am I grateful for?
with God
with family
with friends
with neighbors
What do I struggle with?
with God
with family
with friends
with neighbors

Email cp @ and erika @ when you like to interact with us in writing, or live over Skype paduraru4ever.