Summary: Marriage is more than moonlight and roses. In our day, it is by many lightly regarded, and by many as lightly discarded. But marriages are kept alive by God's grace.
Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37). And, the only people who go away unsatisfied from that living water are those who are filled with the stagnate water of self-love. But, if you’ll seek the Lord Jesus, today, if you don’t know Him, listen to me, if you’ll seek Him today, you can find Him.
Take God’s Word and open, please, to the book of James chapter 1, and in just a moment we’re going to read a formula that will change your marriage from a “Duel” to a “Duet.” One verse, just one verse out of the Word of God, properly understood, I guarantee you, will transform a marriage.
Now, we’re talking about a duel. Is it common to debate with your mate? Well, it is. Almost all folks who are married sometimes get into it. Now, look up here all you holy-looking people and just nod your head this way. Sometimes we get into it. Now, sometimes some folks stay in it. I mean, you’d think they were married by the secretary of war rather than the justice of peace. I mean, they just stay in it.
Well, the most important thing, believe it or not, is not whether or not you have confrontations. The most important thing is this, how do you handle those confrontations? Look in James 1 verse 19: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Better words, truer words, or more helpful words could not be said in a shorter sentence. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. Now, what he is really saying is this, “Tune in, tone down, sweeten up.” That’s what it says. “Tune in,” be swift to hear. “Tone down,” be slow to speak. “Sweeten up,” be slow to wrath.
Now, I want us to think about these things in some detail. First of all, he tells us that we are to tune in. And, He’s talking there about the awesome power of the listening ear. You know the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 18 and verse 13: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” To speak before you listen.
All good marriage communication, or communication anywhere else, begins with listening. Did you know that psychologists tell us that we really only catch about twenty percent of what we hear? Really only about twenty percent. Being a preacher, I think perhaps it’s less than that.
And, then you know, so many times what we hear is not clear anyway, and it’s garbled. I picked up this sentence the other day, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” Have you ever listened to a person talks that way? I mean, when they’re finished you really don’t even know what they have said and you have to listen so carefully.
Now, for the sake of time, I’m gonna buzz right past that and just say “tune in,” learn to love your mate. Are you listening with your ears and with your eyes? Because there’s verbal communication, there’s visual communication. “Tune in,” listen. One man said, “My wife goes around the house all day long just talking with herself.” His friend said, “Does she know she’s doing it?”