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.

This study is to acquaint you with the third essential for you and your spouse to be one flesh. The guidelines come form 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.

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

GOOD WORKING ORDER

• 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 CRITICALLY IMPAIRED LIFELINE

• 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.

HOW TO BUILD YOUR LIFELINE SYSTEM

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

BLESS - EDIFY - SHARE - TOUCH 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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RECOGNIZING THE FRUSTRATIONS

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

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

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

GUARDING YOUR LIFELINE

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:

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


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