“Building Blocks to a Stronger Marriage: Communication”
Intro.1. Communication is a building block of any successful relationship: a. God communicates to us all through His Son, Heb 1:1-2; Acts 20:32. b. Children of God communicate with their Heavenly Father through prayer, Matt 6:9. c. Parents and children must talk with each other, Eph 6:4. d. Husbands and wives must communicate effectively to strengthen the tie that binds… 2. So, why do husbands and wives fail to effectively communicate? I. Reasons husbands and wives do not communicate effectively… A. They Begin taking Each Other for Granted. (Wasn’t always so) 1. Love does not assume or take for granted; it cherishes and delights in the one it loves, cf. SS 2:3; 3:1-4. 2. World says: “familiarity breeds contempt”; but God says get familiar and stay that way! Gen 2:21-23 (18) B. They want to Avoid a Confrontation. 1. Past conflict can prevent present communication, Prov 21:9, 19. 2. Can convince ourselves it “won’t do any good”; and, if we react toward each other in negative ways – we are right! (Col 4:6) 3. Break the cycle of conflict, silence and avoidance: a. With a soft answer, Prov 15:1-2. b. By stopping the arguing and reconcile, Prov 20:3; Matt 5:23-24. c. With a real commitment to listen to each other, Jas 1:19. d. By removing wrath from your heart, Prov 15:18 (29:22). e. By always thinking the best of each other, 1 Cor 13:5. C. They are Obsessed with their Own Interests, 1 Cor 13:5. 1. Sin of selfishness (no self-control, 2 Tim 3:3; Gal 5:23) Phil 2:4. 2. How/where we spend our time, money, interest equates to value, devotion, security and trust (Lk 12:15; Matt 16:26). a. Husband whose first concern is his own satisfaction is not following Christ, Eph 5:25 (1 Tim 5:8). b. Wife whose first concern is her own pleasure is not following Christ, Eph 5:22, 24 (Prov 31:27). 3. Solution: Concerted effort to be interested in what interests your spouse. Eccl 4:9-12 a. Do things together: Children, recreation, etc. b. Nurture your shared faith: Worship together, etc. D. They Feel that they are Being Manipulated. 1. Joke: “Husband is the head, but the wife is the neck that turns the head!” may be funny, but it describes a dysfunctional relationship that is not honoring God’s arrangement for marriage. Eph 5:33 2. Why does a husband feel like he is being manipulated? a. Maybe because he is; He is silenced into submission (compliance) by a domineering wife, cf. 1 Pet 3:3-6. b. Maybe because he is not leading firmly, decisively and consistently, cf. 1 Pet 3:6. (Sarah couldn’t obey if Abraham wasn’t leading!) 3. Why does a wife feel like she is being manipulated? a. Maybe because the husband only shows interest in her when he wants something for himself! 1 Pet 3:7 b. Contributes to resentment, distrust and animosity. 4. Communication is “sharing” – not controlling, cf. Rom 12:10. E. They Say They are too Busy to take the Time, Eph 5:16. 1. Communication takes a commitment of time, cf. Col 4:5-6. 2. “I have no time” can be an easy excuse for couples to close off their hearts from one another. 3. We have time to watch TV, play video game, ride the bicycle, take a walk, etc. – Time can be made to attend to your relationship by simply talking to and listening to each other. 4. Don’t be a Martha and miss your opportunity, Lk 10:38-42. F. They Don’t Want to Hurt the Other Person, Prov 27:5-6, 17; 28:23. 1. First, do you want to help your spouse? (Sometimes help hurts) 2. Second, are you willing to accept help from your spouse – even if it exposes your shortcoming, fault or sin? 3. Humble hearts are necessary in order to give correction to and to receive correction from our spouses! Rom 12:16 4. Solution: We must help each other know that we always have their best interest at heart, cf. Eph 5:26-27. 5. Goal: Strengthen each other and help each other go to heaven!
Conclusion1. A marriage without communication is like a car without fuel; it won’t go very far for very long…it will sputter and die! 2. Rom 12:9-13, 16: Communication will be the natural product of building our marriages upon sincerity and goodness (9), kind affection and honoring preference (10), diligent service (11), joyful hope, patient steadfastness and prayer (12), sympathetic giving and unity (13, 16).