John Hagee - Communication In Marriage
How many of you have ever clearly, plainly been misunderstood? Wife, how many of you have spoken to your husband as clearly as you can speak either in English or Spanish, and he got it all wrong, all wrong? Let me see your hand. Ladies, how many of you have told your husbands something as clearly as you can speak and it just came out all right. It was absolutely perfect? Let me see your hand. Two. Have you noticed that young lovers rarely have a communication problem? Somehow that develops after they get married. If it's not for the lack of communication: it's wrong communication. Out yelling your wife is not communication. And all the wives said... amen.
We have developed communication systems that enable us to talk to people who are walking on the moon: and yet, we can't communicate to the people who are sitting across the dinner table. That needs to be corrected. Let me begin by saying, I encourage you not to bring your cell phones to the dinner table, to the breakfast table, to the lunch table. Leave the wretched thing somewhere else so you can have a decent conversation. Problems and differences in marriage are not dangerous. But not being able to talk about those problems and differences are dangerous. Read with me Genesis 2:18. Ready? "And the Lord God said, 'it is not good that a man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him.'"
Now you say, why did you choose this? Because the man, the woman, who cannot communicate, whether they live with one, or four, or a dozen, is alone. Unless you learn how to communicate, you are by yourself on an island by yourself, and you are destine to lead a lonely and miserable life. I want you to hear what is out of the word of God that can make your life richer by having been in this place today.
Father, in Jesus' name, let us hear the word, and let us leave and practice the word. And all of God's children said, amen.
You may be seated. What is communication? "Communication" is an exchange of feelings. It's a communication of information. It takes two people to communicate, one sending and one receiving. Say that with me, one sending and one receiving. On this platform, several years ago, colonel oliver north that you've seen on fox news, who is a retired marine, had a walkie talkie in this hand and this hand. And he said, "You press the button and speak, and this man keeps his hand off the button and receives. And then it's his time to speak. He presses the button and you shut up and let him speak". Now there is a simple lesson in illustration that would improve most of the marriages in this room in communication. How many of you are guilty, husbands and wives, of talking at the same time to each other? One hundred percent. Stop it, thus saith the Lord.
The most important single ingredient in a long-term marriage is the ability to communicate. Communication is to love what blood is to the body. When it stops flowing, you die. When communication stops flowing, your relationship starts dying. Communication should be very clear, very clear. Two lawyers walked into the office on a Monday morning. And they were talking about what they had done over the weekend. And one lawyer said to the other, he said, "I got a dog for my kids over the weekend". The other attorney said, "Nice trade". You get it. Intimidation through temper tantrums is not communication. I've heard people say, "Well, it's over in two minutes". So is a tornado, but it takes years to repair the damage that's been done. Sometimes the best thing you can say in the heat of the moment is nothing. Guilt trips created with crocodile tears is not communication. Trying to control your husband with tears is not communication: that's manipulation. Don't do that.
Communication is giving your partner the freedom to disagree with you completely without you flying into a rage without World War III starting. If you are a person that has to have affirmation and total agreement to be at peace, you're going to have a very rocky road. You can disagree without being disagreeable. Write that down. If you demand that your wife or husband agree with you in all things, you are denying them emotional and intellectual life. There's a medical fact that your deep feelings must be expressed or they will explode. Trying to hold your deep feelings suppressed is like holding a beach ball under water. You may manage it for a few minutes, but eventually it's going to pop out and explode. You may try to absorb all of that verbal abuse. But sooner or later, it is going to come out, and vesuvius is going to be a weak sister compared to what's going to happen there.
Men say to wives, "I don't want to talk about it anymore". Well guess what, Charlie, they're going to talk about it. "This communication is over". That's a good line for the God Father, but in your house, it's not going to work. It's not going to work. Have you ever heard the statement of people, who were emotionally in trouble, saying, "We grew apart, we're getting a divorce because we grew apart"? They quit communicating. They lost touch with each other. They didn't stop talking, because you can talk without communicating. That's just chatter. But you really start telling someone how you feel, what you are, what you think, what you believe in, what you want, now you're communicating. And if that other person won't receive there, there is a verbal divorce that happens before you see the lawyer.
Here are communication killers. The first communication killer is fear. People are afraid of being rejected and ridiculed, some people are. Sir, do you realize that your wife, when you say things like this, you are destroying your relationship? You say things like, "You don't look as good as you used to". Who does? Who does? No one does. Lady, do you belittle your husband by saying, "You never get home from work on time"? Hey, thank God he's got a job. Thank God he's willing to work. You've got a good husband if he's working. Do you say things like, "I don't love you like I used to"? Those words are the engraved invitation to the divorce court. Stop it! That's emotional murder. And you're murdering your marriage with words like that.
The first commandment of communication is this: if I expose my emotional nakedness to you as a person, do not make me feel ashamed! Do not embarrass me. Do not reject me! If you do, we'll keep talking, but I have shut off communicating with you. Talking is not communicating. It's not until you can bear the essence of your soul that you are really communicating. The second communication killer is lack of honesty. Our society places great emphasis upon being authentic. But the truth is many of us are like actors on a stage. We put on masks to cover the real face and start playing a role. Why? We play a role because we think that this is what the person I'm trying to impress will accept. And if I can play this role well enough, they'll accept me. But there's a problem. If you start playing a role of being someone else to please that person, and that person changes, now you've lost contact with you.
Listen to this very closely. God made you a divine original. There's not another person on this earth like you. Don't die a cheap copy. There's the Messiah mask, God's little super stars, self-anointed, of course: the Saviors of the universe, general managers of planet earth and all local galaxies. He or she spread themselves so thin doing so many good things and so many good causes: they have absolutely nothing left for their wives or children at home. Be real. You let God be supernatural. You be natural. Take care of your family first. In time, kissing wears out, but cooking never does. It's time for you to be you. It's time for you to stop allowing the foolish opinions of other people to control your present and determine your future. God gave you a brain: use it! Enjoy your journey! Enjoy your life! Enjoy who you are! Give the Lord praise in the house!
There are people who wear a religious mask. They go to church. They learn all the buzz words. And they live in disillusionment. That's the best word. Oh, I heard you're having family trouble. Oh yes: praise God. I know my husband's filed for a divorce. My boy went to jail. And my wife and my daughter has filed charges against me for income tax evasion, but all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and are called according to his purposes. Wake up. Say, "Hey, we have problems. We want you to pray with us about them". There's one thing Christians don't dare do is confesses their problems one to another, lest it be all over the church by dark. A note to the singles, who are here. People wear masks on a date. They always have their best foot forward. Everybody can look good for three hours on Saturday night. But the real person is home in a cage waiting for you to say, "I do". And when you do, he comes out. You better peel that mask off of him or her before you get down that aisle, because brother, it's going to be shocking enough on the other side of "I do". Can I get a witness to that?
Tears, this weapon is most effectively used by women, but I have seen men who've masterfully used it. You're telling your husband, the person that you're trying to communicate with, "Don't tell me what I don't want to hear or I'll cry," which means "Stop right there". The first spat after marriage, she turns on the water works. And this teaches the new husband that don't go beyond this line or I'm going to cry. The result: the communication stops.
If that's the case in your marriage, press beyond the tears until you get the door open to start talking. There are seven steps in learning how to communicate. You should write these down because you surely won't remember them all. One, Ephesians 4:15, "Speak the truth in love". Say that with me. "Speak the truth in love". Nothing improves your wife's hearing like the sound of praise. The more truth you speak, the more praise you should give. A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down.
Step two, learn to listen. The first duty of love is to listen. Say that with me. The first duty of love is to listen. Remember communication is sending and receiving. Listening demands concentration, thinking about what your wife or husband is saying, attempting to get involved in her mind and her emotions. If what you're doing while she's talking is loading your gun, waiting for her to breathe so you can counteract everything she said, you are contributing to the hostility of the moment. Believe me: your logic and wit and wisdom are not going to impress her. Listen to her until she runs out of gas.
Step three, plan a good time for communication with your partner. For instance, I wake up in the morning at 6 o'clock central standard time. Diana, on the other hand, she likes to sleep in. We don't talk a lot in the mornings. I wait for her to really engage. Now when she engages, she is a rocket. But in those early morning hours, let her find her pace, and then away we go.
Step four, don't raise your voice. Kindly, calmly state your objection in love and only love, and let the Holy Spirit of God produce a positive result. If she doesn't talk for three days, so she doesn't talk for three days. At least she's thinking about what you said. But if you come through the door, "I want you to hear what I've got to say", you're dead. Man, I mean you are dead.
Step five, allow for reaction time. Remember that you've had the advantage of thinking about what you're going to say. Wives, how many of you have thought "This is the thing I want my husband to do. This is how I'm going to present the first thought. And if he says this, then I'm going to do this, and say this. And his reaction is probably this, so then I'm going to counter attack with this". And the next thing you know, you've got a barb-wire fence created and you've got the gate closed. He walks in it and whack, you've got him. How many of you've ever done that? Next Sunday, I'm preaching on lying. How many of you've ever done that? Yeah, done that. God bless every one of you. But here's the point: you prepared your speech. You've mentally rehearsed it. You've thought about his reactions. You caught your partner really by surprise. And he's over there rubber necking because he's thinking this is really going nowhere.
And then all of a sudden, whack, the gate comes down. He says, "Oh, my God, I've been had". And he starts trying to back his way out of it, and he realizes he is in a pen. And now it starts. And he comes home the next day, and says, "You know I thought about what we said yesterday. I don't agree with any of it". We're starting all over. You should let him start all over, because he's just figured out what it was you said yesterday. Wives, how many times have you done that? God love you. Honesty is spreading across the auditorium. Slowly, but it's getting there.
Step six, pray together and four each other. Do you pray with your wife each night or each morning? You should. Do you know how hard it is to pray with somebody that you're arguing with? Ooh, it's really hard. It's really hard. But it's a discipline that will make your life go smoother.
Step seven, share the details. Men hate details! Just give me the big picture. Women love details. How? When? Where? Who? How many? For what reason? Who brought this up? What was your reaction about it? I don't care! It has been estimated that in 24-hour days, this is true. It has been estimated that in a 24-hour day, the average woman speaks 25.000 words and the average man speaks 10.000 words. The man or the woman both invest about 9.000 words at work. And when they come home in the evening, the man is out of words. She, however, is just warming up! Fifteen thousand words she's going to use. And I know she's going use this as a weapon next week. Here are my 15.000 words, and you're going hear every blessed one of them.
The three marriage myths that will destroy your marriage. One: if the other person really loves me, he or she will always know what I need to be happy. That is so stupid. That's just so dumb. Your husband is not a mind reader. There are times he's not an emotional reader. There are times he's just so wrung out, all he wants to do is sit down and drink tea. Miss Jones noticed that the husband next door was always bringing home flowers, candies, and kisses for his wife. And she said to her husband, "Why don't you do that"? And her husband said to her, "Look: I don't even know that woman". What's the point? The point is this, sweetheart: you're going to have to tell rambo in pure language what you want or you're not going to get it. Ladies, help me out here.
Myth number two: the best indicator of a good marriage is a good sex life. That's wrong. Physical sex and emotional intimacy are two different things. You can have intimacy without sex, and you can have sex without intimacy. That's called "Rape". And there are people who believe that if they do that, everything's okay in their marriage. You've got bricks for brains, partner, if you think that's true. Closing, there are two golden expressions that you must master for good communication. One is "I'm sorry". I have a PhD in "I'm sorry". Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Believe it or not, you make mistakes. When you're wrong, say, "I'm sorry".
And lastly, the phrase "I love you," when it's sincere, is very powerful. A very successful businessman came to my office in tears a few years ago. He'd been married to his wife for 15 years, and she'd just left him. And he said, "I don't know why". He said, "I gave her a new house, a new car, beautiful clothes. She ran off with a man who has a house half the size of ours". I said, "Maybe it wasn't things that made her happy". I said, "Sometimes new houses, new cars, new clothes, bigger and better Jewelry are excuses for relationships that never happened that were dreamed about". And I say that to you, because things are not as important as people. Your relationship to the people in your family is your number one priority while you're on this earth. I promise you that.
Jesus said these words three times to his disciples in the last 24 hours he was on this earth, "Love one another". "Love one another". "Love one another". And then saint Paul said, love one another as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. Christ loved the church when we didn't deserve to be loved. He loved you when you didn't deserve to be loved. I had a lady in a marriage counseling situation on one occasion, she told me all the things her husband had done. And I said, "Look". She said, "He doesn't deserve my love". I said, "Well give it to him on credit. God knows you do everything else on credit". And sometimes you have to do that, because it's not going to be better until you make it better. And you make it better by open, honest, righteous, prayerful, loving communication. There's nothing like it on the face of the earth. If you don't use it, you are alone. And it is not good for a man or a woman to be alone. Can we stand together.
While your heads are bowed in the presence of the Lord and the organist is playing, how many of you in this room say, pastor, I'm not happy with the quality of our marriage. We have poor communication. I'm guilty of ridiculing my wife. Our marriage is a war zone of verbal barbs and criticism. I explode when my husband or wife gets to close to the real me. And I try to control my husband with tears. Pastor, I pout for days when my partner disagrees with me. I want a happy marriage full of love and communication. And I'm willing to work on my faults and failures in this relationship so that it becomes as the days of heaven on earth. If any of those seven statements applies to you, would you slip your hand up right now, as we pray together? Lift your hand up high. God knows it and your wife knows it, so let's pray together. Pray this prayer with me.
Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to become the Lord of my marriage. I want our marriage to be a better marriage, a marriage filled with the love of God at all times. I want to be able to honestly communicate with my partner in life, so that our lives can know the love and joy that Jesus Christ intended for us to have. In Jesus' name, I will do my part to make this happen, in Jesus' name. And all of God's children said, praise the Lord. Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house of God! Amen.