Summary: How poor communication makes families desperate and the principles of good communication from the Bible.
Looking down Wisteria Lane, we find perfect homes in a quiet suburb. But the whole show is about finding out things are not always what they seem.
- Susan, the divorcee and single mom who will go to extraordinary lengths for love, or
- Lynette, the ex-career woman who traded the boardroom for boredom,
- Or Gabrielle, the ex-model with everything she’s ever wanted – a rich husband, a big house – but always searching for more
- Or Bree, a sort of Martha Stewart on steroids, whose family is unraveling around her.
The lives they lead are much different than a surface glance might reveal.
Why is Desperate Housewives the hit show of the year? Is it because we can all relate? Our perfect suburban homes often belie the much less than perfect relationships going on inside. For the next four weeks, we’re just going to take the lid off all that and reveal the hidden desperation that we feel in marriage and relationships.
Today we ask, how is bad communication making us desperate?
To answer that, we have to define good communication. In a talk given recently by Mark Beeson, I was reminded of business guru Pat Lencioni who gave some tips about good communicating in organizations. The advice works desperate households as well as businesses.
His 3 keys to communication are…
- simple messages
- multiple mediums
I’ll elaborate on these ideas and then apply them with some biblical insight for our homes.
- First, repetition means we need to say what we mean, often. You don’t just say something once. If it’s a critical idea, say it over and over. When I’m telling you why our church exists, I have to do that over and over again: AC3 exists to be a safe place, where seekers of all kinds can investigate Christianity and become fully devoted, spiritually mature followers of Jesus Christ. Just when I think you’re tired of hearing that, is probably about the time you’re thinking, “hey, I think I’m getting it!” Not because you’re slow, but because passion and vision leak!
o The other day I was putting my boys to bed. And I usually leave them with an, “I love you, good night” – sometimes I don’t say that which I figured is no big deal. Until one night, one of my son’s said, “are you mad at me?” No son, why? “Because,” he said, “you told my brother you loved him, but didn’t tell me.” Wow, he noticed! I mean, it was important to him. He needed the repetition. The important things have to be said again and again.
- Second thing Lencioni said was simple messages. In other words, say it clearly. Don’t muddy it up. Don’t bury it under a host of qualifiers and excuses or rationale. Just say it! I talked about this two weeks ago how easy it is to be misunderstood.
o When Orville and Wilbur Wright finally succeeded in flying the first airplane for fifty-nine seconds on December 17, 1903, they rushed a telegram to their sister in Dayton, Ohio, telling of their amazing accomplishment. The telegram read, "First sustained flight today fifty-nine seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas." Their sister was so excited she rushed to the newspaper office and communicated the telegram to the editor. The next morning the newspaper headline carried a small article headlined, "POPULAR LOCAL BICYCLE MERCHANTS TO BE HOME FOR HOLIDAYS." The scoop of the century was missed because someone wasn’t clear. The editor missed the point.
- Third thing Lencioni said makes for good communication is multiple mediums. Meaning, we’ve got to say it every way we know how. Again to use church as an illustration: I’m not a very complex guy – which can’t mean much for my IQ – but as a leader, I’ve basically got one life changing idea that rocked my world and I have to share it: We matter to God, but we are lost rebels, yet God – in love – made a way to cover our guilt, sending his Son Jesus Messiah who died on the cross to pay for human sin, once and for all. And now the choice is yours, to receive that debt payment and welcome God’s grace and forgiveness and the power of his Holy Spirit for a changed life and hope for heaven. That’s it. That’s all I got. Some of you have figured that out. You go home and say, “Hey Bessie, that kid preacher, he’s a bit of a broken record! If he’s only got one thing he really says, why does it take him so long to say it every week?”
o I’ll tell you why! It’s because I’m trying to say it every way I can. So we say it with music; we say it with media; we say it with drama; we say it with the teaching the Bible and stories from people’s lives. We say it corporately in the way we treat each other. We say it when you come in and first Impressions people greet you, helping you find your place, helping you get your kids settled, we have people who love and teach your kids, saying the same thing.