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love communicates the biblical cocounseling podcast

142: Love Communicates


What You'll Discover in this Episode:

142: Love Communicates

An important part of Biblical Counseling is the topic of conflict resolution.  This includes learning about interpersonal communication. As we grow in the Lord, as we are walking with Jesus, we are always learning to be better communicators. You can accelerate that growth by studying and practicing what God teaches about communication. What we are going to learn today is that love communicates.

Words are powerful. The Bible is sufficient and has answers. Conflict is coming and you want to be ready for the next conflict that comes your way (at school, at work, at church, at home)!

We have God’s word as our resource, as our super sufficient authority on the subject. We can learn and practice better communication skills for future conflict. You can become a better "conflict resolver".

Prepare your heart for the conflict that you’re going to face.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

We will focus in this session on speaking, but people also communicate to others through facial expressions, demeanor and actions. Our words can be patient and longsuffering, and kind -  not words of envy, not boasting before others, not proud arrogant words, not rude words, not selfish words, not language that comes from being provoked, not promoting evil thoughts, etc. Words sourced from a relationship with God.

We want the love of God to grip our heart, our mind, and thereby our words.

Agape Love.

This love is God’s love. It flows from the Holy Spirit through the believer. The biblical counselor must continually draw upon the love of God in order to minister to others. This produces change in life. It’s transformative.

God’s Love Changes A Life.

When we are a channel of God’s love, He can flow through us because we are walking in a relationship with Him. We are going to be effective communicators. It is agape love that gives the counselee resources for transformation. When we are walking with Jesus, we are more inclined to speak loving, merciful, gracious words. When a person receives God’s love, change and transformation happens in their life. This is what the biblical counselor has to offer to people.

Communicating Out of Love

Words are powerful.

Even the meekest of Christians have God’s powerful words. So often Christians can tend to think two falsehoods 1) either their words don’t/can’t make a difference, or 2) that their idle words in day-to-day life with friends and family aren’t important. As Christians, we have the great opportunity to speak God’s Words.           

Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 1:21, Psalm 33:9, Hebrews 4:12, Matthew 12:35-37, Acts 4:13

Asking Questions.

Asking questions helps bring about communication. The godly person asks questions for the right reasons.

  • Questions aren’t just to fill up space and overcome uncomfortable silences.
  • Questions should not be to selfishly find out information.
  • Questions should be out of real concern and love for someone.

Helping people should be out of a real concern and love for somebody. You can’t minister to somebody unless you care about them. When you care about somebody, you’ll wisely use questions to draw out their heart, because it is love. Sometimes all it takes is to stick around a few extra minutes instead of taking someone’s “fine” for an answer when you ask them how they’re doing. 

Love communicates and we are growing in it. When we are lovingly involved in people’s life and we genuinely and authentically care, we are going to help people. We are going to help them know Jesus.

Share your thoughts about this episode. Join the discussion in the community section below.

  • Lorna Usery says:

    Thanks Jeff, for the prayers of Col. 1:9-11 and I’m sure more. Will start practicing that pray for you as well. Implementing 1Cor 13:4-8 is a great model to follow when communicating with anyone. We have a family member who answers your question or jumps to conclusions before you finish your sentence or thought. It is very irritating and embarrassing for everyone. Listening to the end is very important. I must admit I get intimidated with people who want to argue to prove their point and get louder as they go and won’t let you get a word in edgewise. I’m the one who clams up and just can’t wait for them to finish. They are not teachable. That is when I am going to have to really rely on the Holy Spirit’s leading.

  • Ken Rutz says:

    This podcast is again a sobering reminder that without being tied to the Vine I can do NOTHING! Jn 15:5. Learning to actively listen to both the counselee AND the Holy Spirit, while waiting upon God for His counsel and wisdom, is NEVER a pre-canned walk in the park. God’s Word, in His timing, with the conviction and power of His Spirit will comfort or cut to the quick any man or woman Col. 3:16; Acts 2:37, 5:33. I know, and have experienced, that when I take the time to genuinely love a person by listening and gently handling their vulnerability, and the “pearls” they have entrusted to my care, then I have “earned” their confidence in speaking God’s truth Gal. 6:1,2. However, one cannot put the cart before the horse…..seldom does this work in the reverse, and is especially difficult within the counseling context.

  • Rick says:

    This ministers to me in so many ways. We are to be examples of God’s transformation and being a communication vessel for God. We must be humble, yield, believe and trust in God’s work in our lives. Trust s critical. Because if we don’t trust God , then we are trusting ourselves or someone/something else. We are to listen without judging and jumping to conclusions. We also need to be aware of our facial expressions and demeanor.

  • Timothy Graham says:

    It is made clear in this episode and throughout scripture that love is selfless. What better way to be selfless that to communicate clearly? First and foremost, by active listening. Then followed up by responding with the goal of edifying and building one another up. Whether that is in a marriage, or a day-to-day conversation with a friend/coworker. That goal should remain the same. Such a great encouragement and reminder.

  • Charles Jerabek says:

    The Beatles said, “All we need is love.” But Jesus said it first. It seems like if we just learned to love well most of our and Beatles worlds problems would go away.

    I have a friend that is a good listener. I noticed that I speak more to him that anyone else. Part of the reason, is that when I talk, he does not interject much. He waits for me to finish, and then waits a little longer, and that second wait usually makes me talk more, give more details and think deeper about what ever we are talking about.

    • ken rutz says:

      sounds like a True friend! Prov.18:13;20:5. Another critical area after he has done the first part well (Actively listening well!) is to impart GOD’S wise counsel Col.3:16; 2Tim4:2 with the love and power of God’s Spirit.

  • Ann-Louise Graham says:

    I love the idea that Biblical counselling is one-to-one Biblical exposition! Because yes the word of God transforms – secular therapy has no power to do so. I want to be a “paramedic” in the spirit of Galatians 6:1

    • Christine Search says:

      I so agree, Ann-Louise! Watching the Word do His work is so exciting!
      The stand out for me is Acts 4:13, which is a life verse for both Doug and me, because it is so incredibly comforting that our credential is that it be evident that we have been with Jesus!! It shows!
      Also, one of the comments below mentioned people not caring how much we know, but knowing how much we care. Someone actually
      said that to Doug on the mission field, and it’s also been a guiding principle for me as a nurse. More than just a physical carer, though, I want to be a spiritual paramedic as well, like you A-L!

  • Sarah DeGroot says:

    I was also encouraged by Pastor Jeff’s Podcast. God gives us His word to transform us in His counsel through love. Love cannot be manufactured, by faith alone we are transformed. As Pastor Jeff shared his message, what spoke out to me is love listens. Going back to Proverbs 18:13, we are continually reminded to “listen” and not be to quick to jump to conclusions. By listening, accepting, and being available it speaks an authentic Christ like love to one another.

    • Timothy Graham says:

      Absolutely agree Sarah! We are called to listen much more often than we are called to speak. As it states in James 1:19 “…be swift to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger;” This should be our priority in general, but also as counselors as God provides His wisdom to speak into others lives as we listen to them.

  • Vanessa Salazar says:

    There are so many wonderful verses about love. Recently, I read Romans 12:9-10 which states “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” One piece in this episode that stuck out to me was about how listening is loving and some people have never be given the space to really talk and be listened to. Love requires persistence and isn’t a one time thing. I serve in the high school group at my church and what I’ve learned from my experiences and the testimony of other leaders is the importance of being there and listening, week after week. To really love and to love with genuine affection is to love at every moment.

    • Sarah DeGroot says:

      Vanessa, it makes such a difference to a person when we authentically devote our time and to listen. I find being persistent displays to the person that we truly care to share the hope of Christ.

  • Dean DeGroot says:

    What gets to me more than conflict is indifference. I do prefer it when I can speak to someone about God, have them completely disagree with me, and from there we can dialogue. My preference is to be called an idiot with a conversation over someone running in the other direction to avoid the situation entirely. Not for the sake of discourse, but from a position of love.

    • Ann-Louise Graham says:

      Great encouragement Dean. I’m going to try that ..a fool for Christ. And I agree indifference means it’s incredibly difficult to “provoke others to jealously.”

  • Angela Shaffer says:

    There is so much meat to chew on from this podcast. What really hit me was the “love will draw out what is inside.” At my time of rebellion I had a small group of women in my church that I knew I could talk to. They weren’t there to judge me, but they would give me God’s truths. I knew anytime they said something to me, that it was out of their love for me. These were women that I normally would not have chosen to be friends with, but our common denominator was Jesus Christ and gave us our love for one another. If people feel like we are judging them and looking down our nose at them, the truth does not come out, and we lose that chance to truly give them the hope of the Lord.

    • Ilene Hayes says:

      Angie, I can relate with your circumstances. Jesus is the common denominator that allows and equips us to love one another. As we draw close to Him, He enables us to love as He desires, and encourage others in Him. By the way, I’ve always been blessed by you and your friendship!

    • Sarah DeGroot says:

      Angela, I fully agree with you. When loving someone with a Christ like love, we need to authentically do it and not be judgmental. It is so easy to overlook the heart based on the appearance.

  • Donald Knapp says:

    For me my biggest take away from this podcast was the idea that love communicates through listening. I know it but I don’t always put it into practice, either professionally or personally. I can not tell you how many times I have heard, “God gave us two ears and one mouth.” I know in my own close personal relationship with my wife nothing communicates more love to my wife as when I stop and listen. Pastor Jeff, thanks for that reminder.

    • Angela Shaffer says:

      I think so many of us struggle with this at times. People don’t need fancy or magical words from us. Many times they just need a caring person to take the time to listen and really hear them.

    • Ilene Hayes says:

      Right Donald, that reminds me of Proverbs 1:5. I also appreciate the reminder from Pastor Jeff that love communicates through listening and the wisdom you’ve shared regarding “nothing communicating love to your wife as when you stop and listen.” I’ve heard it said that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care, and one way we show we care (and love) is by listening.

    • Dean DeGroot says:

      Agreed, it is impossible to give an answer (if even necessary) if we do not first listen, too often I am thinking of my reply while ignoring the words that are being spoken to me. Which is really not communicating, it is campaigning.

    • Ann-Louise Graham says:

      praise God for your honesty.

  • Chad Anderson says:

    When I was involved in the youth group at our church, conflict would occasionally come up between students. One of the group’s motto verses we had was Proverbs 16:24.
    “Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
    Thanks Pastor Jeff!!

  • Serena Chavez says:

    Love communicates. The topic already captivated me, and the whole Podcast was filled with Gods Word and love, learning how to speak Life into our own lives first by reading The word, believing in it, resting in it and knowing that It is HIS love that will strengthen us. Gods’ greatest commandment is to love. Thank you Professor Jeff for also sharing that you pray for us, that means so much to have someone encouraging you along the way, just as we will be doing in the near future for others, it is nice to hear that someone is there to listen and help you. When you described the picture of how we are to be paramedics. the explanation on that was spot on. Just as Christ arrives on scene in our lives, we too need to take triage of the situation, looking to carefully care for their hearts, and souls, providing each individual with aid, help, healing and comfort. I am also praying for you Professor Jeff and every BCA student.

    • Chad Anderson says:

      I too really thought the paramedic illustration was great. Especially the part of how both are on the scene but have different roles.

  • Velma Knapp says:

    This was a good Podcast regarding love. We all have our own opinions about what love is. But the thing we need to remember, is that what the Bible says is the true definition of love. If we are asking questions out of love with the Holy Spirit guiding us, we will be ok. We can’t do this out of the flesh. Only what comes from God can help us to communicate one on one, as equal. Through the Holy Spirit and the Word we can give hope, as Christ has given us hope. Knowing the scriptures is the only way to help others.

    • Serena Chavez says:

      I fully agree with you, about knowing the scripture so that we can apply it to each situation or circumstance not only in our lives, but soon in others lives as we begin to counsel. We give hope, because HE is the message of Hope, and HE is Love.

    • Donald Knapp says:

      I agree with you Velma our counseling needs to start with prayer for the Holy Spirit to give us God’s word in each situation we may find ourselves. We can’t communicate in love when we don’t let the Holy Spirit into the conversation.

  • Ilene Hayes says:

    I loved this podcast! The biggest takeaway for me this week was Pastor Jeff encouraging us to use “christianease”, mentioning how we have a Heavenly language, God’s word, that we should speak with others. The greatest tools we have come from His Word, through Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit, so it only makes sense that we would speak those when ministering to someone. The challenge for me is to make sure I am in His Word, memorizing it, so I can adequately and correctly share it with others.
    -Colossians 3:14-17

    • Serena Chavez says:

      I too, loved this podcast. Sometimes it is easy to forget how powerful words are, they are life and death. I am grateful that there are so many Scriptures to learn from and dig deep about loving others, having understanding and being strengthened to do so. Earning the right to speak into others lives, is a Blessing and watching those whom were once hurt, and needed healing is an honor to bring them to The Lord or help them get closer to the Lord, through HIS Agape Love.

      • Chad Anderson says:

        “Powerful words”. I’m reminded of an analogy of our words and a tube of toothpaste. Once the tooth paste is out it’s next to impossible to put back in. Like words once they’re out it’s hard to take back.

        • Donald Knapp says:

          I agree Chad words are powerful and are pretty hard to take back especially in our society today, when they are immortalized on social media. Two thousand years ago they also understood the power of words, James 3:1-12. However, I agree with Serena there are many wonderful verses in Scripture that remind us how to love with our words.

        • Dean DeGroot says:

          It is interesting how many words and statements are just thrown around today. People are awfully courageous in front of a keyboard, yet it still remains, words cannot really be retracted, despite denial or the delete button.

    • Angela Shaffer says:

      My biggest challenge as well is memorizing God’s word, and sharing that word, even when it seems uncomfortable. I too like that Pastor Jeff encourages us to use “christianease.” Our speech should be different, because we are different.

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