A Bible proverb states: “The heart of the wise one causes his mouth to show insight, and to his lips it adds persuasiveness.” (Proverbs 16:23) The Hebrew word here translated ‘causes to show insight’ basically means to be prudent, to weigh matters carefully in the mind. Therefore, the focal point of effective communication is the heart, not the mouth. A good communicator must be more than a talker; he must be an empathetic listener. (James 1:19) He must discern the feelings and issues that lie beneath a mate’s surface behavior.—Proverbs 20:5.
How? Sometimes this can be accomplished by observing the circumstances surrounding a conflict. Is your spouse under heavy emotional or physical strain? Is an illness contributing to your mate’s disposition? “What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!” says the Bible. (Proverbs 15:23, Today’s English Version) So considering the circumstances will help you to respond accordingly.—Proverbs 25:11.
Often, though, the cause of a conflict is rooted in matters outside of present circumstances.