Marital Communication 101- Session Six – May 30th, 2022
Hi, this is pastor Ken, thanks for joining me once again for the Monday Marriage Message. This is going to be the last edition in the series…Marital Communication 101.
In the past five weeks I have spoken about many of the variables that complicate marital communication. As I have mentioned, some of those difficulties come from God given differences we are created with as men and women. God did not design us with those differences to frustrate us but rather to bless us by giving us access to more than we possess alone. It is us who choose to become frustrated because of the differences. Some of the challenges come simply because though we have arrived at a condition of oneness we came from differing places and those experiences and families of origin cause us to have difficulty seeing the same things the same ways. A very real part of the difficulty derives from the fact that we are profoundly fallen people living in a profoundly fallen world. Thankfully Christ provides the answer for that dilemma. Though knowing Him does not make us perfect it does begin the process of perfecting us.
In Christ we are a new creation. The Bible encourages us that the old has passed away and the new has arrived! This is good news, but you may be wondering what it has to do with marital communication. The answer to that is found in Ephesians chapter 5:22-33. This scripture is often referenced as giving instruction as to how to conduct ourselves as husbands and wives. It is true that these dozen verses are rich with such instruction as to marital conduct, but what about marital communication 101? It is a treasure trove!
Ephesians 5:22-33 in the New King James Version. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
This scripture is among the clearest utilizing the analogy of the oneness of marriage and the oneness type relationship God desires to have with us. These verses go back and forth making note of how both the wife and the husband are supposed to be displaying attributes of Christ and the church. The connection is easy to see, even if less so sometimes to fully understand.
This scripture clearly makes the point that the marital relationship between man and woman and the spiritual relationship enjoyed by God and mankind are indicative of one another, and should display in the same ways. Again you might ask, but what is the connection to marital communication? Verse 30 is clear. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. As the husband in my marriage, I am one with Christ, I am of His flesh and of His bones. But it does not say the husband only. It clearly says: For WE are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. This means that my wife also is one with Christ, she also is of His flesh and His bones. This verse is in reference to what Adam proclaimed upon being presented with Eve recorded for us in Genesis 2:23. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Paul continued in Ephesians 5:31“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This verse is a reprint of Genesis 2:24 referring to Adam and Eve’s created condition of oneness and the oneness condition God would then recreate in every marriage from theirs on. In the next verse written by Paul, Ephesians 5:32 He goes on to note This (supernaturally given oneness between a husband and wife) is a great mystery, but (he said) I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Here is the connection between this scripture and Marital Communication 101. As married Christ followers, the husband and the wife who are one with each other are also each one with Christ. This means that how I interact with my wife, I am interacting with Christ, because she is one with Him. How she interacts with me, she is interacting with Christ because I am one with Him. We innately understand this principle when it comes to our marriages. If someone were to pick a fight with my wife they had better understand they are picking a fight with me! If someone insults, demeans, or otherwise hurts my wife, I take it just the same as if they had done it to me personally. Christ reacts no differently in His oneness with us.
With that being said, (and these are not my thoughts, they are clearly recorded for us right here in this scripture) How I speak to my wife, that is how I have spoken to Christ. How she communicates with me, that is how she is choosing to communicate with Christ. Jesus reinforced this idea in His own words. Mathew 25:31-46 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Jesus was clear, He looks at how we interact with those who are one with Him and considers it the same as if we had interacted with Him in that very way. Marital Communication 101 dictates that we take the time to communicate with our spouse exactly as we would want to be found communicating with Christ. If Jesus himself were sitting in front of me I can assure you I would be very careful with my body language, my tone, my words. I would choose all of them with great care to be certain that He knew of my goodwill toward Him. I would go to any length necessary to make sure no misunderstanding remained and my level of patience with that process would be whatever it needed to be. I am certain the same would be true of you. According to Ephesians 5:30 when you are communicating with your wife or husband, you are communicating with Jesus. Let’s all try our very best to do it well.
Questions to Answer:
Had you ever considered that Christ takes your communication with your spouse personally?
What considerations does it make you want to take going forward now that you know that He does?
What are your thoughts about the fact that He is just as protective of you?
Actions to Take:
Have a discussion with your spouse about how you desire to be more cognizant of this connection between how you communicate with them being indicative of how you communicate with Jesus.
Seek forgiveness from both your spouse and your Lord where necessary and give forgiveness just as freely as you desire to receive it.
Discuss gentle, and loving ways the two of you can pause communication that is not Christ honoring before it escalates in the future.
So now, recognizing that Jesus takes your Marital Communication personally…give it all of the care it is deserving of and…Go Be Awesome!