1. We are continuing our series: “Taking the NEXT Step With Joy: In Our Marriages & Families”
- Let keep reminding ourselves:
Strong Christians = Strong Marriages = Strong Families = Strong Churches
2. Let remember that communication is one of the VERY IMPORTANT roles of your Christian life, your marriage, your family, and your church family!
- people who don’t communicate well, don’t grow well – which means they are not going to be as spiritually strong as they could be
3. This is our LAST study on communication – being July 4th, I thought it would be good to putsh the PAUSE button and do a REVIEW and personal application of what we’ve studied!
4. During this series, there are a few things we’ve tried to emphasize:
1) * Jesus was a PERFECT Communicator !
> and if we’re going to bring glory to God, we have to be like Christ!
2) Wordsalone are not sufficient for effective biblical communication.
* 1 John 3:18 “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
3) We cannot show love with actions alone because God tells us hundreds of times in the Bible that He loves us.
- So, we should not only do things to communicate our love for others, we must also grow in telling others that we love them . . .
> . . . and use well chosen words to communicate & solve problems and/or prevent them.
4) Godly communication is a key to building relationships: our relationship with Christ (even confessing sin, prayer, asking for wisdom), strong marriages/families, and strong churches
- While some communicate better than others . . . we all must be growing in the area of communication – in both words and actions.
5. Let’s remember a working definition of . . .* Effective Communication:
“The process of sharing information with another person in such a way that the sender’s message is understood as he intended it. Unless the sender and receiver have come to a common meaning, they haven’t communicated effectively.” Wayne Mack, Your Family God’s Way
* We’ve been recommending the following resources for further study: (Ministry Resource Center)
ü War of Words – Paul Tripp
ü Your Family God’s Way – Wayne Mack
6. Remember, in Eph. 4, Paul writes about how to grow and change by replacing the ‘old self’ (thoughts & actions) with the ‘new self’ (biblical thoughts and biblical actions)
7. Paul illustrated this in verses (v. 25-32) and in these examples of the ‘put off’ and ‘put on’ – the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write 4 very effective “Rules of Communication”
> these are good for PREVENTING and SOLVING problems (in all areas of our lives)
[READ Eph. 4:25-32- skip v. 28 – though it is included in the context of v. 22-24 of put off/put on]
7. Our time today will focus on a REVIEW of the 4 RULES of COMMUNICATION and some practical application of these rules to our everyday life, marriage, family, and church!
[REVIEW Rule #1 & 2 & 3 – ONLY RULE #1, #2, #3 (no sub-points) IS ON POWERPOINT]
Rule #1: BE HONEST - v. 25.
- you have a choice to obey it or disobey this command (both have consequences)
- you have to put off dishonesty and put on ‘speaking the truth’
> this is NOT telling everyone ALL your thoughts, ALL opinions, & ALL criticisms.
> The goal of speaking the truth is not you speaking your mind but SOLVING CONFLICTS in a way that brings glory to God or PREVENTING problems
- and to speak the truth . . . . IN LOVE (that’s the hard part!)
Rule #2: KEEP CURRENT - v. 26 &27.
* Solve today’s problems today!
A. Be angry, but don't sin.
B. Stop clamming up.
- remember: Most people who ‘clam up’ eventually ‘blow up.’
Caution: Failure to solve problems daily = gives place, or a foothold, to Satan!
C. Seven questions to ask yourself before trying to resolve a problem.
Rule #3: ATTACK THE PROBLEM, NOT THE PERSON - v. 29 & 30
- Paul makes it very clear that we are to . . .
A. “Put Off” words that attack a person's character.
“unwholesome” = that which is corrupt or foul
B. Use "edifying" communication that encourages or builds up.
grace = God’s unmerited favor
C. What does it mean to attack the problem?
1. Starts with your heart (inner man)
2. Includes your motive (What are you wanting to accomplish?)
3. Thinking right
4. Using biblical terminology
5. Modeling grace
6. Remembering you will give an account at the Judgment Seat of Christ for the stewardship of your tongue
- Thank Joe for teaching last week: all BOLD is now on POWERPIONT
Rule #4: ACT, DON'T REACT - vs. 31 & 32
- let’s begin our time with a question:
Q: What are some of the reasons WHY we tend to react instead of act?
1) The affects of the curse of sin (on our mind’s ability to think and reason)
2) Because of #1, we tend to be impulsive (or walk in the flesh instead of walking the Spirit)
3) Because we make decisions based on our feelings rather than the truth of God’s Word
A. Reactions (v. 31) - attitudes and actions that must be "put off."
1. Bitterness - the refusal to treat someone as if they never hurt you.
2. Wrath - flaring outbursts of anger.
3. Anger - settled indignation or hostility that frequently seeks revenge; "slow burn."
4. Clamor - harsh contention and strife, public quarreling, brawling.
5. Slander - speech that injures, abusive speech.
6. Malice - the desire to harm others or see them suffer.
* Lesson: The natural tendency (and thus sinful response) of our Genesis 3 nature is to be defensive about dealing with our own sins.
B. Actions (v. 32) - attitudes and actions you must "put on" to replace the reactions.
1. Kind - benevolent, helpful, courteous.
2. Tenderhearted - lit. "of good heartedness," compassionate, sympathetic.
3. Forgiving - to give up your right or claim to revenge, hold a grudge, or get even.
- I want to conclude our time with some practical application of what we’ve studied:
Input: What are some things you can say to DEFUSE an argument (make it go smoother, to help avoid hostile responses)?
[Discuss this question – let them know you have a handout AFTER the discussion]
Things to Say to Defuse an Argument
1. I really appreciate your concern about this.
2. Thank you for being interested in this problem.
3. I am glad you are concerned about this situation.
4. Am I hearing you correctly?
5. To make sure I’m hearing you right, is this what you are saying?
6. Would you repeat that again please?
7. Could you repeat that in a different way?
8. I see this is important to you; therefore, it’s important to me.
9. Let me think about this for a minute, and then I’ll respond to you.
10. I’m honestly concerned about the way you feel or think about this (show it!)
11. Thank you for taking time to share this with me.
12. Do you have any suggestions are to what I could do to improve in this area? (express gratitude for the person’s honest response and DO NOT REACT to whatever is said)
13. Did I hear you say it upsets you when I ____________ (communicate your willingness to change and grow in this area – if it is a sin issue; if not, still be thankful to them)
14. Are you saying you want me to discuss issues of this kind with you before I make a decision?
15. I am interested in what you are saying, but I’m not clear about what you mean.
16. How could I do that differently?
17. What exactly is it you see that I am dong or doing wrongly?
18. Will you forgive me for what I said or did?
19. I know God is not please with what I said or did, and I want to change & grow!
20. Thank you for being willing to listen or for being willing to communicate with me about this situation
21. I’m glad you pointed that out to me; I’ll work hard to make sure I don’t repeat it again.
22. Can you give me some more facts about this situation?
23. I want our relationship to grow stronger, so can I talk to you about a specific situation?
24. I’m thankful the Lord is patient with me, and I hope you can be patient with me as I work at growing in this area.
25. In order to please God and make our marriage & family stronger, can I talk to you about something that is on my heart?
Input: What are the RESULTS of NOT communicating?
[Discuss this question – let them know you have a handout AFTER the discussion]
What are the Results of NOT Communicating?
1. Disobedience to God – therefore, God is NOT glorified – 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:31
2. Discipline by God – Gal. 6:8-9; Hebrews 12; 1 Peter 5:5-6
3. Lack of spiritual growth (not being like Jesus) – Phil. 2
4. Satan gets an ‘opportunity’ (beach front) for additional problems to surface
5. You will now know each other as well as if you would have communicated (i.e. God communicated w/us through His written Word and His Living Word (Jesus)
6. Barriers increase and make preventing/solving problems even harder
7. Confusion reigns (you don’t know where you stand with each other)
8. Conflicts remain unresolved and could/probably will lead to bitterness – Mt. 5:23-26
9. Love for each other will not be demonstrated in a biblical manner – 1 Cor. 13!!
10. Your marriage will grow weaker, not stronger (‘one flesh’ relationship is in jeopardy)
11. Children grow up without answers to solving problems
12. Children grow up without hope that God’s Word has solutions and truth can be obeyed
13. Family doesn’t benefit from each other living an example of God’s commands
14. Other people will not see the glory of God demonstrated in your marriage/family
15. God will communicate with you at the Judgment Seat of Christ – 2 Cor. 5:9-10
[GIVE THEM THE HANDOUT – FRONT & BACK, 1 SHEET]
1. Conflicts are possible only if each person reacts.
- It takes 2 to argue – if you don't react, the argument dies.
- One person may be wrong, but conflict or fight occurs because the other reacts.
- When react, attack person, don't keep current, fail to be honest.
2. Changing habits is not easy but can be done with God’s help!
v 1 Cor. 10:13 (quote)
Note: It is much easier than the "way of the transgressor” (Prov. 13:15)
3. You can't change the other person, but you can change how you respond and/or how you initiate the communication!
- No matter how irresponsible the other person is, you must act according to v. 32!
Q: If you had to stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ today, what would Jesus say about your communication?
Q: Do you need to ask your spouse (or your kids) for forgiveness for NOT practicing any of these 4 Rules of Communication?
ð Husband – pray for the guys
ð Wife – pray for the girls
ð One person – pray for the marriages/families