A few years back I found these questions by Merrit Anderson and applied them for fruitful communication in the home:
Here are a few potential grace-directing questions that you can ask yourself and your spouse when the temptation to stay sin-focused wants to linger around for too long:
What does the good news of the gospel have to say about your sin or trial? About the result and effects of Christ’s sacrifice for your sin? (Rom 5:6-8; 8:1)
What does the gospel seek to remind you about God’s plans for you? (Rom 8:28-29; Phil 1:6)
What does the gospel seek to tell us about practical help for right now so that change is possible? (Rom 6:22; Heb 4:15-16)
Questions like these are helpful in at least two ways:
First, these questions are good for encouraging your spouse to see and live in the mercy and grace of the gospel.
Second, these questions can provide clear indicators of where you can care for your spouse, if he or she is struggling to live in the good of the gospel.
The challenge for us is to not stay sin-focused. The reality is that we will sin against one another. We won’t be perfect. We will always be progressing to do better. By allowing the grace of the Gospel to flavor our lives with the nourishing streams of forgiveness, we will fight bitter spirits and wicked tempers and, in the end, foster community in the home that is centered in Christ: who He is and what He’s done for us. I hope you are encouraged to live in this way.