Marriage Matters

Communication!  Wow!  Right now that is more of a challenge than it has ever been in our marriage.  Why?  Because of my hearing.  Now, I am guilty at times of the “selective hearing syndrome” that we men seem to contract in older years.  In all seriousness, my hearing is hampered in my left ear especially, and with my wife’s soft voice, . . . oh, brother!

One of most needed areas of constant attention in a marriage is communication.  How interesting that I make a living talking, yet the lack of communication has been such a struggle for me in our marriage.  I can talk the “hind legs off of a mule” but struggle to interact consistently with my precious wife.  So, in a transparent fashion, I hope to help us in a crucial area of marriage.

Why do we as men need to take time, to make the effort to listen, to talk, and to thoroughly communicate with our wife?

 1.  Our wives need the security of our listening ear.

They want to know that what matters to them matters to us.  They want to know that they are more important than Joe at work, Butch in his orange and white, and Gruden and Tirico on Monday night!   For many wives, if they are moms at home with little ones, all they have had all day is communication on a three and/or five year olds level.  They need adult interaction when the hubs gets home without his iPhone, iPad and other distractions.

  • Ephesians 5:23 – God intends for the man to be the head, the leader in the home. Wives find security in our loving, servant leadership.  One of the greatest ways you can serve your wife in a Christlike fashion is to talk and listen to her.  Doesn’t Christ always listen to us?

 2.  Our wives want to know what we are thinking because they love us and intimacy is very dear to them.

  • 1 Peter 3:7 – We will begin to understand our wives when we open up to them because they will feel free to share their heart since you have been open, honest and transparent with them.

 3.  Our wives need to hear communication that glorifies God.

  • 1 Corinthians 10:31 – or whatsoever you do includes our communication with our spouse.
  • Ephesians 4:25 – Our wife is our neighbor and we are members one of another if we are born again believers.
  • Ephesians 4:29 – Good, grace-filled communication that edifies the hearer glorifies God.

Please do me a favor.  Don’t make excuses or think my comments are one-sided.  I realize it takes two to make a marriage, but the point of it all is, God expects us to lead and live with our wives as loving, serving leaders.  Begin by simply taking 10-15 minutes-a-day to look at each other, no distractions, and listen to each other; talk to each other.  By the way, remember when you were dating?  Both of you would hang onto every word . . . even when you didn’t have anything to say on the phone, you just loved to hear each other breathe!!!  🙂

Get honest on your knees before God.  Ask Him to give you strength, ears to hear, words to say, a humble spirit and a passion to glorify God.

I reckon I’d better make that appointment with the ear doctor! 🙂

Men and Women Text Differently – Tim Hawkins brings some humor to it all.  Enjoy this short video. K?

Father’s Words

Dad-Army

As a young boy being raised in the Cunningham home, there was one thing among many that was certain. When my earthly dad said something, he meant it. His words were powerful. They carried weight.

My Heavenly Father created words. They carry much more weight. As a matter of fact, God created all things out of nothing (ex nihilo) by His spoken word (Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24). Who has the power to speak a word and create something out of nothing? Only Elohim, Creator God! And that is not all. God continually is speaking. As A.W. Tozer said in The Pursuit of God, “He is by His nature continuously articulate. He fills the world with His speaking Voice.” (Psalm 19:1-6)

The question to me and to you is, “Are we listening?” Through all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, there is so much noise, confusion, traffic, busyness, distractions, running-here-and-there, that it is so easy to miss hearing the voice of God. Tozer goes on to say, The Word of God is quick and powerful. In the beginning He spoke to nothing, and it became something. Chaos heard it and became order, darkness heard it and became light. “And God said-and it was so.” Do you need order in the midst of your chaos today? What is God saying to you through His Word? Are you listening?

Just as my dad spoke with authority, My Heavenly Father speaks with transcendent authority. His words always mean something and carry absolute weight. He is always speaking. Be sure to listen today for He is talking directly to you. (Proverbs 2:1-5; John 10:27-28; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 3:20, 22)

On the Back Porch

One of the blessings of living in the country is the quiet. I realize that I risk sounding like an old man, but I have always liked quiet.  And now you are laughing if you know me because I am a talker, a preacher, and have a strong voice.  I want my music turned up in my car so I can sing along, and I love the sound of 35 or more cars chasing each other around the track at Bristol Motor Speedway on a hot August night. Nevertheless, I really like quiet.  The reason I hike and run is to enjoy the quiet.  Most of the places my wife and I “get away” are places of quiet. That’s one of the reasons I love my back porch, which is where I am seated right now. Many times when my wife and I are eating out here, I will look at her and say, “Listen.”  A sound can barely be heard.

This world is full of noise.  People generally are uncomfortable with quiet.  They can’t sit still for more than 10 minutes.  The TV has to be on, the children screaming at the top of their lungs, and the dogs carrying on like it’s a full-moon.  So, when you consider being quiet, it makes most folks uncomfortable.

Caleb’s legacy is mostly one of being a genuine man of faith (Numbers 13-14).   There is a time mentioned in chapter thirteen that causes me to want to stand up and salute Caleb.  The ten spies have returned with their evil report of the land and created a disquieted heart in the people of Israel.  We read in Numbers 13:30, Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”  Way to go, Caleb!  You did the best thing for those folks.  They needed to just be still and listen.

Does someone need to quiet you?  Have you been still enough today to hear the voice of God speaking?  Have you been tethered to your cell phone doing most of the talking? Has someone come to you with gossip, and you’ve had enough courage and desire for quiet in your own soul to say, “Shhh.  I don’t want to hear it.”  Much of what disquiets our heart is what we hear from the lips of others and from our own sinful heart.  This morning or sometime today, will you find your “back porch” and be still.  Enjoy the quiet and meditate on these four scripture passages:

Psalm 107:30 – Then they are glad because they are quiet; So He guides them to their desired haven.

Psalm 131:2 – Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Proverbs 17:1 – Better is a dry morsel with quietness, Than a house full of feasting with strife.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 – Better a handful with quietness Than both hands full, together with toil and grasping for the wind.