Men and women are different!  Well, that was about the most obvious truth I have ever stated in my life (thank you Captain Obvious).  Nowhere is that obvious truth more evident than communication.  As part of the "Love & War" series, here's what we talked about:

  • Keep in mind that our marriages are a reflection of the Great Love Story that God has for us.
  • Keep in mind that the Great Love Story of God and Man is set in a war.
  • Keep in mind that our marriages are one of the key battlefields in this war.
  • The first thing you want to take out in a military strike against someone is their ability to communicate.
  • Satan does this by ACCENTUATING our differences and HIDING our similarities.
  • There are 3 aspects of communication - talking, listening, and understanding (processing)
  • Men and women do all three pieces of communication differently!
  • We need to ACCEPT our differences and EMBRACE our similarities.
    • Our differences can be an asset that makes us stronger as a couple and more like Christ.
    • Our similarities can be glimpses of "Eden" reminding us of the way "it's supposed to be!"
  • Couples need to rally around what they have in common.
    • Same goals when we started.
    • Same end result in mind (no one enters marriage WANTING a divorce).
    • Created in the same image of God.
    • Serving and worshiping the same God Himself.
    • Sharing in the same inheritance.
  • Here are some closing tips to help couples communicate:
    • TIMING IS EVERYTHING “There is a time for everything ... a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent, and a time to speak.” - Ecclesiastes 3:1,7
    • THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK "Intelligent people think before they speak." - Proverbs 16:23
    • DON'T SEND MIXED MESSAGES "Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.’” - Matthew 5:27
    • LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN "He who answers before listening - this is his folly and shame" - Proverbs 18:13.
    • ENCOURAGE “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” - Ephesians 4:29
  • “How wonderful it is to say the right thing at the right time.” - Proverbs 15:23

It has been a real blessing to hear from so many people that this series has been both challenging and helpful.  I hope/pray that God will continue to use the weekend services to build up the marriages at Live Oak!