Discuss this verse as a couple. Focus your conversation on the following questions.
"Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete."
- Through which means of communication (talking, email, texting, etc.) do you feel you get your message across most effectively? Why?
- When are you most open to hearing my thoughts?
- How could we improve our communication by choosing when and where we communicate?
Second John is a letter the apostle John wrote to "the elect lady and her children" (1:1). We don't know who they were, but John wrote that he loved them with a sacrificial love (not romantic love). He apparently felt that being with people he loved was a much more joyful experience than simply communicating via a letter.
Each person has preferences about how he or she communicates. Some people find writing a love letter or text message much easier than expressing an emotion verbally. And many people find certain situations difficult for meaningful conversation — when they're hungry or tired, for example.
Personalities certainly play a role in communication styles. If one of you is a night owl and the other is a morning person, afternoons or early evenings might be the best times for serious discussions. And although trying to communicate while multitasking is usually a bad idea, talking while walking or driving is easier for many people — facing the same direction instead of looking each other in the eye may feel less confrontational. The best approach is to ask your spouse about the times, situations and modes of communication that allow him or her to be most open to healthy, honest conversation.
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