Marriage V - The Role of ONE FLESH

In Communication

based on The First Years of Forever by Dr. Edward Wheat

Memory Verse: Ephes 4:26-27 Be angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.

Daily Bible Readings
Sun     Eph 4
Mon     Prov 13
Tue     Heb 12
Wed     Psalm 127
Thur     Heb 13
Fri     Prov 7
Sat     Matt 5:1-16

This study is to acquaint you with the third essential for you and your spouse to be one flesh. The guidelines come from principles taught in God's Word, about COMMUNICATION. A marriage without it is a dismal existence at best, but communication with your spouse is an extraordinary delight of marriage. Nothing, not even sexual intimacy, will bring as much enrichment into your marital relationship

Recall briefly the first two essentials to being one flesh. (Please fill in blanks using only the King James, Authorized Version)

FAITHFULNESS The First Essential

Clearly God commanded you to be forever and completely faithful to your mate "until death" parts you. A solid up front commitment to each other via wedding vows taken before God is the only union God can bless. Faithfulness to those vows is essential. Hebrews 13:4 says " Marriage is

______________ in all, and the bed ______________: but whoremongers and adulterers God will ______________."

FORGIVENESS: The Second Essential

Matthew 6:14-15 says " For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will

also ______________ _______: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father

______________ your ______________." Faithfulness may be the first essential of a love filled marriage but even the best relationship cannot remain intact for long without FORGIVENESS: the second essential of marriage.

COMMUNICATION: The Third Essential

The third essential for your survival as one flesh with your spouse is communication. Communication is your lifeline in marriage. Perhaps you not listening let me say again Communication is your lifeline in marriage.

The lifeline of Communication will supply these marital necessities:

The knowledge and understanding of one another which you need for intimate closeness.

The interchange of information and ideas you need to work together as a husband-wife team.

The capability to work out your differences and resolve your conflicts.

The continuing "in touch" contact you must have to grow together in the same direction, and to be there to support each other during the changes and difficult times of life.

How does your communication system check out?

Five Characteristics of a Communication Lifeline in


A sense of freedom to express yourself.

A sense of being understood.

An absence of win-lose arguments.

A reduction in tension.

A sense of being safe and secure in the relationship.

Further symptoms of a


One or both repeatedly assumes negative intent on the part of the other.

There is increasing distance and silence.

Every Home needs some improvements, use this study to build your lifeline up.


5 STEPS - One at a time!

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Step 1. You will feel free to express yourself when both of you accept one another just as you are.

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Acceptance (or rejection) sends one of the most powerful messages known to humans.

How can I communicate with my husband/wife when

× he/she makes a value judgment on everything I say.

× he/she decides it's not worthy of his/her attention.

× he/she quits listening.

× he/she says "That's not important enough to discuss."




× Become sensitive to reactions when you criticize or show impatience, in communication; so sensitive that it hurts you deeply when you see your spouse hurt this way.


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×Step 2. You will feel understood when both of you learn to listen with your ears and hearts to one another.

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×We listen at about 25% efficiency! Most misunderstanding is attributable to poor listening.


×Eight ways to develop Your Listening Skills

×1) "Half is Not Enough" Give Complete attention- listen with your heart as well as your ears. The human heart holds more than speech does.


×2) "No Interruptions" Don't interrupt each other! Don't jump to conclusions about what the other is saying Hear your partner out, then respond.

×3) "Repeat, Re-pete" Prove that you have listened by repeating your partner's thoughts AND FEELINGS back to them so that they are sure you have understood them correctly.

×4) "Respond with Your Eyes" Real listening involves concentration accompanied by eye contact. Stop what you are doing and respond with your eyes. Stop and make yourself available when you sense that your partner may be wanting to talk.

×5) "Don't wait for Commercial Breaks" Give each other focused attention with the television OFF. Forgo television, put away the video, turn off the radio, move away from the computer, close the doors, get the children occupied elsewhere, and take the phone off the hook.

×6) "Silence a NEGATIVE Feedback" Remember your silence can be a negative feedback unless you accompany it with a nonverbal signal of approval, such as a smile, or squeeze of the hand, or loving eye contact.

×7) "With a Breakthrough Don't Overwhelm" Never overwhelm your partner by demanding more than he or she is ready to give. Just show appreciation and thankfulness for what has been shared with you. And, of course, never repeat what your partner has told you in confidence.

×8) "Give a LOVE Message" Remember that when you listen to your partner, you are showing love. You are giving your partner the message, "What you have to say to me is important because you are important."

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×Step 3. You will be rid of win-lose arguments in your marriage when you learn what causes them and how to replace them with real communication in resolving disagreements and conflicts.

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Disagreements are rarely life-death matters, often they are petty, but they can start viscous wars!

Lets look at 6 ways a Discussion Goes Wrong...

Then 8 ways to replace arguments with communication!

Six Ways a Discussion Goes Wrong

1) A War to Be Won When the disagreement becomes a power struggle, no one wins.

2) A Personal Rejection People often take rejection of their ideas as rejection of themselves. Bring your varying viewpoints together and discuss them, finding a solution, and gaining a deeper appreciation for one another at the same time.


3) A Change of Weapons. People change the subject and drag in other issues to use as weapons instead of limiting the discussion to the original disagreement.


4) Sweeping Generalizations. People, frustrated by their inability to make their point, resort to these, characterized by the use of these expressions "You always ..." or "You never..." fighting words.


5) Shouting or Siberia. Inappropriate and Childish ways. "I wish my husband could discuss a matter without shouting. He seems to think that talking loud and fast is the only way to communicate." OR "My only option is to agree with my wife on every point. Otherwise, she sends me to Siberia for weeks at a time."


6) Yea But! People often pull out this prize communication stopper. It simply escalates the argument. Refuse to use those two words in combination again. Learn to make your point differently, beginning with a favorable response, such as "That's an interesting way of looking at it, I hadn't thought of it that way." OR "I see what you mean." then present your point as a question.

Eight ways to replace Arguments with Communication.

1) Response, Not Reaction. Don't interrupt. Listen carefully before you respond. Keep the discussion Squarely on the issue at hand. No side issues. Limit discussion to the present!

2) Disagreement, Not Disapproval. Acknowledge that you understand what your partner is saying, even though you disagree. Show respect.

3) The Gift of Empathy. Make it a point to share your feelings, but not criticize. Encourage the sharing of feelings and respond lovingly. Give sympathy, give empathy.

4) Carefully Clarify. What you are both saying, so there is no misunderstanding. Take turns at this.

5) Truthing in Love. Speak the truth in love. Gently, with your speech and behavior, Honesty and Love.

6) Say "I Need You." Be willing to show your vulnerable, needy side to your partner. Learn the value of being honest, even about your own weaknesses. Real communication means revealing yourself even at the risk of rejection. When both are willing to do this, you are well on your way to building loving intimacy in your relationship.

7) Surprise, and Disarm. Stop being defensive, when the issue is a personal one. Agree that there is wrong on your side, since there always is (even if you don't wish to admit it). "I was wrong", can stop a fight, and demonstrate to your partner how to admit wrong too.

8) Apply the B-e-s-t BLESS with your words. EDIFY your partner by what you say, and by your interest. SHARE openly and honestly. And TOUCH affectionately while you talk.


communicate the BEST to your mate.

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STEP 4. You can reduce tension by recognizing and correcting the communication practices that cause frustration and by learning to fight the Biblical way - a way that deals constructively with anger, resentment, and hurt feelings.

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Five Deadly Sins in Communication which can blight any relationship. (Also Sins against Love)

SHUTTING DOWN: Not Listening


STABBING: Using the other's words against him/her.

SCOLDING: Putting guilt / blame on the other.

SHALLOW LIMITS: Surface Talk Only.

Another Look at silence: Silence is often used . . . in a power struggle . . . The withholder often feels powerful for he/she can manipulate both the feelings and behavior of the other. This is a favorite ploy in the "something-is-wrong-but-i-will-never-tell game. Sometimes a fierce competition takes place and the competition is in the for m of who can be the coldest and most uncommunicative, breaking the silence becomes a sign of weakness . . . Silence can be passive-aggressive behavior, which is indirect, covert, and camouflaged hostility. The hostility is never dealt with openly and , therefore, often feeds on itself and becomes greater. Because the silence prevents hostility from being overtly recognized and dealt with, alienation may result, which is more destructive than fighting. 1

Alienation leads to more alienation. The more distance you've placed, the more likely you are to miss or distort messages transmitted between you. Considering the delicate and complex nature of the hundreds of messages sent an received in a day's time between husband and wife, with words comprising only seven percent of what is communicated, (the rest coming through tone of voice, body language, and even more subtle factors), is it any wonder that misunderstood messages can seriously damage an already shaky relationship?

Here are some other frustrating communication practices:

1. Pretending you are communicating, when you're merely attacking your spouse.

2. Not knowing how to express your feelings without putting each other down.

3. Stating your views as though they are the absolute truth.

4. Not hearing the message from your partner because you're too busy figuring out what to say next.

5. Faking attention, but not really listening.

6. Trying to communicate when you each have two different goals for the conversation.

7. Husbands and wives communicate differently, and this can lead to misunderstandings and mutual exasperation.

8. Cultural differences and personality differences take their toll on patience necessary for communication.

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STEP 5: You will feel safe and secure in your relationship if you get to know one another through good communication and remain closely in touch for a lifetime.

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Think about this rather melancholy statement spoken by the Duke of Wellington at the end of his life in 1852:

"It is a strange thing that two people can live together for half a lifetime and only understand one another at the very end."

You can build a lifeline system of loving, unhindered communication that will make it possible for you to become:

×Intimate lovers

×Best friend who always enjoy being together

×A team that can accomplish anything because you work together rather than fighting for control.

×Two people who understand one another as unique individuals, not as extensions of yourselves, and accept each other just as you are.

×A couple who stay in touch during the changes of a lifetime, who "grow up together" and "grow old together" and remain "at home" with each other no matter what else changes.

×Compassionate partners who can help one another adjust to the difficult times of life and endure them together.


Security takes a bit of guarding. In your case you will know more than anyone else about the sensitive points in your relationship, which need special watchfulness. Here are Dr. Wheats suggestions:

×Be alert to Unusual Tension

×Never Betray Your Best Friend

×Beware of the Heat of the Moment

×Never Look at Your Mate Without Compassion

×Remember the power of words

×Watch out for the 'third-partner' in you marriage. Your TV!

How To Have A Good Biblical FIGHT!

In Strike the Original Match, Charles Swindoll says that Ephesians 4:25-32 "offers seven rules for having a good fight. These rules will allow you to carry on normal, natural, disagreeable times without breaking with Scripture." Here are Chuck Swindoll's Rules on How to Keep it Clean from Ephesians 4:25-32

1 Keep it honest (v. 25). Be committed to honesty and mutual respect.

2. Keep it under control (v. 26). Make sure your weapons are not deadly.

3. Keep it timed right (vs. 26-27. Agree together that the time is right to talk.

4. Keep it positive (v. 28). Be ready with a positive solution right after taking a swing,

5. Keep it tactful (v- 29). Watch your words and guard your tongue.

6. Keep it private (v. 31). Don't swing at your mate in public. When you swing in public, your malice is showing.

7. Keep it cleaned up (v 32). When it's all over, help clean up the mess.

We encourage you to study these 'rules' and make them part of your new life together. They are practical; they are wise: they work! They van guide you through your conflicts in a controlled, constructive way that hurts neither of you and actually causes you to love each other more, after "the fight" is over.

TV A Major Cause of Problems Leading to Divorce

"the TV itself, that noisy box in the corner of the living room, has become an equal-and essential - partner in many marriages (the Third Partner) Even when it's turned off, there's a blank screen waiting to rejoin the conversation or to monopolize one's spouse's attentions."

For 15 years Dr. Wheat urged newly weds to begin their marriage without a television set in the house. Young people sometimes thought that was asking too much. Now, couples are realizing what a thief television can be, robbing them of prime time together, A bride reported "We decided not to get a TV, and it has been wonderful. There's nothing else to do but spend time paying attention to each other!" Decide how mush TV is necessary in your home, a decision of NONE will be richly rewarding If you will not get rid of it be sure and limit it to a minimal effect (i.e. less than 1 hour per day with at least 2 days OFF per week)

Never stop studying and improving your communication; else your pool of living water becomes stagnant. Guard your lifeline. May God Bless your marriage.

Pastor Ed Rice

Good Samaritan Baptist Church

Let me pause here and say that it is impossible for you to follow God's plan in your marriage without God living inside of you, without being born-again, with a new nature as described in John chapter 3. In Romans 8:8-9 it says "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Do you have the Spirit of God dwelling with you? Call on the Lord Jesus Christ right now, give him your life and soul and he will save you, he will indwell you.

Marriage V The Role Of One Flesh in Fidelity

Memory Verse: 2Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Daily Bible Readings
Sun     2Cor 10:1-7
Mon     Prov 7
Tue      1Cor 6:9-20
Wed     Psalm 51
Thur     1Cor 7
Fri     Prov 28
Sat     Matt 5:1-16

Keep thee only unto her

so long as you both shall live.

Hope Biblical Counseling Center does a lot of marriage counseling and has written in an article “Why I have messed up my marriage, and How to fix it,” four major reason for marriage failures.

hbc 1. The couple does not have a real intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with the Saviour. They may be a church member and even attend church on a regular basis, but their relationship with God is mechanical at best. Do not underestimate the need here!

hbc 2. Because of the lack of a real relationship with God they are emotion led, feelings dominated people.

hbc 3. They are living for their lusts. Forty-eight times the Bible tells us not to live for our lusts.

hbc 4. Trust has been broken in the marriage. One of the hardest things to do is rebuild trust in a marriage when it has been broken. Trust can be lost in several ways. Lying, stealing, immorality, poor decision making etc. Many times trust has been broken on both sides of the fence. However, men and women react to it differently. Every relationship is based on trust, including our relationship with God.

Given these four problem areas of normal life, it is worth our effort in examining each in more depth.

#1. An intimate, Personal, Passionate Relationship

Dear Son,

Marriage problems are relationship problems, and all relationship problems relate to our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ our Creator. That is not an over simplification it is a profound realization. “Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, and these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” There is one essential to a relationship. Without it there can be no relationship; none will start, none will bloom, none will grow, yeah, none will exist. When the essential is sickly the relationship begins to fail. When the essential is broken the relationship dies. The focus for keeping a relationship right needs to be on our lines of communication. There are two lines used in our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ; we talk to him, and he talks to us. We call the first prayer, the second reading His Word. Please talk this over with Him, and read what he says to you in your Bible, in all five chapters of First John.

I am praying for you.

Love always;


Dear son,

The very best relationship cannot continue when the lines of communication are cut off. It is headed for trouble when those lines are strained or broken. Any married couple knows the importance of keeping communications in good working order, and have, at one time, tasted the joy of having a right relationship. A relationship with the Lord is the most important one in life. Others will not do well if this one is not right. Lines of communication to our Lord are prayer and Scripture. In this new year spending more time in both can enhance an intimate, personal, gratifying relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. I need that. The Apostle John, the beloved disciple, had it, and said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full” (1John 1:3-4). Jesus had told John, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15). The fellowship that can make your joy full is friendship with God. That is a relationship worth pursuing. Prayer, talking with your friend, and Scripture, hearing from a friend, are more important than anything else in this new year. All of our relationships could be improved, this one first and foremost. When this one is right, all the others fall into proper place. Read your Bible, Genesis to Revelation of Jesus Christ, this year. It will improve your life more than the greatest diet known to man.

I am praying for you.

Love Always


#2 Depth vs Shallowness; Spirit Led vs Emotions Led; Love Dominated vs Feelings Dominated

Dear Son,

There are things one can do to improve relationships this year. Lines of communication need to be improved. Showing affections and feelings needs some practice. Making effort to spend more time together is always commendable. The latter, the time together thing, would be called abiding together, and Jesus commanded it of us. “I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman.... Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine” (John 15:1,4). In the military, with frequent TDYs that took me from family weeks at a time, abiding together took on a new urgency. Ninety-five percent of marriages broke during remote tours. But abiding is bigger than living together, or even being together. Jesus stressed “Abide IN me, and I IN you.” When born-again, one is baptized into Christ (wholly immersed into), and indwelt by the Only Begotten Son of God. It is a permanent arrangement. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” It is, however, possible that a born-again one might step out on Christ, to not abide with him, to, as it were, excuse themselves from his presence while they go out on their Ranger Bass boat, or their white-tail deer hunting trip. We need to make it a practice to consciously ask His permission before we step out. “Excuse me Lord, I am going on this drunken binge and I will be back in a few days.” See how that works out for you. No... abiding in him means we keep our mind stayed on him. That is why God directed, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:because he trusteth in thee.” Don't step out on the Lord Jesus Christ, abide in him. Don't step out on your wife, abide with her. 1Pe 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

Communicating His Love;


Dear Son,

Happy Valentines Day, I love you. That seems a strange start for a letter to my son, but it is sincere on both counts. I pray for you a happiness and deep seated joy that only the LORD God can bring into your life. That can only come when you taste of his selfless love and learn to pass that on to that precious woman you vowed to. It comes when you feel the genuine significance that you hold in the eye of your Creator, and learn to place her on the pedistal of significance for your whole purpose and existence. It come when you know the heart-felt security of a Saviour who said, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and you learn to surround your sweet wife in such a warm security. Husbands have much to learn, we have a superbly equip classroom; we have an all Holy and Divine teacher. Pay attention and don't flunk second grade. It takes an effort to learn to read, but it is well worth it as all new vistas open before us.

With a Father's love;


#3 Living for Love vs Lust

Dear Son,

The two most important things in life are our relationship with God and our control of our minds. They are interrelated, God commands, “Casting down imaginations” (2Cor 10:1-7)(2B-read) Fantasy worlds and pornography are the exact opposite of that command. The parenthesis in this text deals with “the pulling down of strong-holds.” Mark God's words, the fantasy world that is built as you feed your mind with the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life is an ever growing strong-hold of hell in your life. God gives us weapons to tear it down and destroy it. The internet gives us tools to build it up and reinforce it. The strong-hold built by pornography is formidable. It will destroy your marriage and life. Your vow to “keep thee only unto her so long as you both shall live” extends to the screens that we place before our eyes.

I am praying for you.

Love always


#4 Rebuilding Trust

Pr 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:

but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Dear Son,

I love a new year, it is just a mark on the calendar, a new circle around the sun, a start of lengthening days and shortening nights, but it gives a sense of a new start on things. I pray that you will take full advantage of this one to look at your priorities, your responsibilities, and your life goals. Your new year needs to fully embrace the rebuilding of trust That is no small undertaking and it needs to be done with full consciousness, careful deliberation, and NO rationalizing away the wrong that was done. That might best be done by: #1 Find a time and talk to your wife, confessing that what you did was wrong, it was stupid of you, and that you promise never to go down that road again. #2 Get out your marriage vows (they are in the appendix of the book I sent), and say them out loud and with all seriousness after your date and dinner THIS WEEK. #3 Repeat #1 and #2 at least four times this year (quarterly!). This is not to rehearse your sin, but to effectively put it behind you.

Love your always;


PS Heed a fathers advice.

1Barbara E. James, PhD., "The 'Silent Treatment' in Marriage," Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality (February 1983): 100