Marriage and Family Life Reading Plan

Devotional

Add Empathy to Your Communication

The dictionary traditionally defines understanding as “the faculty of the human mind by which it . . . comprehends the ideas which others express and intend to communicate.” Yet in the Bible, understanding is not just a transfer of information, but empathy for the other person.

Consider Exodus 36:1, which tells how two craftsmen named Bezalel and Aholiab were given divine wisdom and understanding, “to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary,” so that they could “do according to all that the LORD has commanded.”

This is a scriptural example of what the Bible refers to as “understanding.” These men, and the other artisans working under their supervision, were given the divine ability not only to know how to work their magic with gold and silver and leather and beautiful fabrics and thread, but also how to communicate with one another in a way that would move their assignment forward.

We have found that this kind of understanding—the kind that goes beyond mere facts to empathize with the other—is essential in building our relationship and family. When I know that she tries to understand some situation from my perspective (and vice versa), it’s amazing how problems dissipate. As we make Jesus Christ the Builder of our homes (Psalm 127:1), we can begin to see our relationships reflect God’s character.