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Summary: Poor communication is incredibly disruptive in a marriage

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2/16 Viruses Ephesians 4:29

The inability to effectively communicate your needs, your thoughts, your feelings and have them valued and understood is demoralizing.

Intimacy: closeness, familiarity, easiness, comfortableness,

union, oneness.

The fuel of great marriages is intimacy.

Our words and the attitude we use them with can destroy or preserve intimacy.

Words:

Revealing Matthew 12:33-35

Powerful: Matthew 12:35-37

Communication viruses:

Anti-viruses:

“Your marriage will never grow beyond your mouth” Jimmy Evans

Reboot ideas:

List the areas that you find yourself all too often arguing about. Stop arguing and find solutions.

Set up ground rules for when you talk together each day.

Closing illustrationNail video as bumper

Turn to Ephesians 4:29 please. This morning we continue our series entitled “Modern Family.” We’ve tackled some tough, even controversial subjects: we’ve insisted that God designed the operating system for healthy, male/female relationships, particularly marriage and when we try to live differently than His design, we fail in so many ways; we’ve insisted that the Bible is right when it says that sex is a gift ONLY to be shared in a covenant relationship between a man and a woman called marriage—outside of marriage, sexual activity damages and destroys; and we’ve talked frankly about how to upgrade our marriages in the area of sexual intimacy. Now this morning we are going to discuss one of, if not THE most difficult, if not impossible, areas within male/female relationships—and that is communication.

Is there any thing more frustrating in your dating relationships, in your employment, in your marriages, than the difference between how men and women communicate? Sometimes it’s like you are speaking a completely different language. If you’ve ever traveled internationally, you know what I’m talking about. First time I traveled to China, I couldn’t understand a word they said and they couldn’t understand me. I’d say, “H-e-l-l-o! M-y n-a-m-e i-s R-u-s-s.” Slowing it down made no difference. And still, sometimes even after almost 33 years of marriage, Sue is talking to me and I promise, I have no idea what she’s saying. I feel like saying, “Hello, my name is Russ.”

Study after study has been done analyzing the difference between how men and women communicate. One study noted a few differences:

1. Nonverbal communication: when men talk, they tend to be less demonstrative, while women treat it as a full body experience. Interestingly, when the genders sit, it’s just the opposite: women sit politely and compactly while men sprawling and stretching out.

2. Body orientation: if a group of women are sitting down talking, they’ll try to arrange the chairs in a circle; guys tend to just sit as the chairs are places; again, sprawling and pretty lackadaisical in the way their body is oriented in the conversation.

3. Disagreements: when a possible disagreement presents itself, women tend to ask question; men tend to make statements. I can tell when Sue disagrees with something I’ve said or we are about to do: she starts asking questions: “Why are we going here? What is this place? Are you sure?” I get irritated at the questions and tend to answer in short statements. “Yup”

4. Interruptions: both men and women interrupt conversations. Studies show that women will interrupt their man’s sentences. My wife is very normal in this area. But men tend to interrupt the conversation by changing the subject.

5. Compliments: which gender is this? “Oh I love your shoes! They go so well with your outfit. I saw an some like that the other day at Macy’s. Where did you get them? So cute!” And how does the man make compliments, if he does at all? “Nice kicks.”

Now these are just general tendencies and so you or our spouse may operate outside these normals and that’s fine. But there’s no denying men and women communicate differently.

And that difference can cause a lot of conflict. We tend to think that the topic of discussion is what brings the conflict: finances, parenting decisions, in-laws, sex, scheduling, household responsibilities. But It’s not the topic that causes the conflict, it is the communication breakdown between the two that causes conflict. My selfish nature insists that my way is right, my opinion is right, my mode of communication is correct, and that always spells trouble.

The inability to effectively communicate your needs, your thoughts, your feelings and have them valued and understood is demoralizing.

And some of you are hopelessly demoralized in your marriage because you can’t seem to bridge this communication gap.

In our time this morning, I can’t cover the full breadth of issues concerning communication, so I’m going to pick one: words; the words we select and the attitude we exude when we use them.

Let’s read Ephesians 4:29, “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.”

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