This video segment is one of six presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, finances, decision making, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. You can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.
- Our regular, day-to-day communication is what determines how we “normally” communicate.
- Good day-to-day communication is both preventative and a buffer for conflict.
- Enjoying and cultivating common conversation is the life blood of a lifelong relationship.
- Building a conversationally full marriage can be a key step towards a conversationally full prayer life.
Memorize: Ephesians 4:29-30 (ESV), “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “No corrupting talk” – God created words to serve the purpose of building up our spouse.
- “Fits the occasion” – Ask yourself, “How would God want me to engage or affirm my spouse in this moment?”
- “Gives grace” –Christian lives are a “journey of grace.” Your words should move your spouse forward on this journey.
- “Do not grieve” – When our words compete against God’s purposes in/for our spouse, God is grieved.
- “For the day of redemption” – In heaven you will see the spouse God has been allowing your words to help shape.
“Because they were not talking these things through with one another, they began to develop individual thoughts about them (p. 103)… So the character and quality of the friendship between a husband and wife always functions as an accurate measure of the health of their marriage (p. 145-146).” Paul Tripp in What Did You Expect?
“I can’t make fun of you in someone else’s home and respect you in our home (p. 97; Kathy)… Early in our marriage my wife and I agreed not to belittle one another in public even in jest. Our agreement came after noticing how often in group settings our friends used ridicule (often disguised as teasing) to get an edge over one another. Remarks about appearance, reminders of a past embarrassment, or drawing attention to a dumb comment are standard ways that couples use the shield of social conversation to jab at each other’s faults and foibles. My wife and I actually enjoy teasing one another, but we do not kid in a way that is demeaning for the sake of a laugh from others (p.137).” Bryan Chappell in Each for the Other
“Because of sin and shame we often hide our thoughts and feelings from ourselves and our spouses (p. 93)… Honesty isn’t just communication free of lies (p. 95).” Winston Smith in Marriage Matters
“If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable (p. 143)… Communication is thus the blood of marriage that carries vital oxygen into the heart of our romance (p. 158)… Marriage provides the small experimental laboratory whereby we can learn to engage in spiritual fellowship. Everything that happens broadly in social contexts has a mirror in marriage—disagreements, wounding words, conflict of interests, and competing dreams (p. 162).” Gary Thomas in Sacred Marriage
“The paradox is that friendship cannot be merely about itself. It must be about something else, something that both friends are committed to and passionate about besides one another (p. 113).” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage