Love & Marriage: Christ-like Conversations

Love & Marriage: Christ-like Conversations

Opening Illustration:
A few years ago, I was spending some time with my middle son Jack. I was trying to get to know him  a little better and I was also trying to talk to him about some Biblical themes of love and grace.  Together we read from Matthew 5 where Jesus teaches the disciples of love and grace by saying, “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  Jack quietly nodded as I read that Scripture to him.  I patted myself on the back for being such a good Father.  I was revealing the deeper truths of Scripture to my son.  Boy, I was a great Dad.  

I asked Jack, “son, what would you do if another boy came up to you and slapped you in the face.”

He thought for a second.  I was expecting a very thoughtful and profound statement.  

Daddy…

Yes Jack…

Daddy, just how big is this other kid that slapped me?

Out of the mouths of babes.  I still laugh at that story from time to time.  You see, that conversation opened the door to seeing inside of Jack’s world.  It opened the widow to his heart and his mind.  It taught me a little bit about how he thought.  That funny conversation helped me know him better.  

Point:
Friends, our conversations are very important.  Especially in the context of marriage, our conversations should be a priority because it is in those conversations that we learn more about one another.  Our conversation opens the window to our hearts and minds.  If husbands want to truly know their wives, and if wives want to truly know their husbands, we have to have conversations.  

Not just any conversation mind you.  It must be a conversation that would glorify God and grow our relationship with each other.  

Sure, we need to talk about bills.  We need to discuss the kids.  

Husbands and wives, when is the last time you sat down and just talked about life?  

When is the last time you had a “get to know you better” sort of conversation?  

When is the last time you sat down and talked about spiritual matters of the heart and soul?  

These are the conversations that I am talking about.  

Point:
Friends, how would you grade your conversations?  Do you use your conversation to hurt the other person?  Is your conversation careless or clueless?  It is just on a priority for you.  Or, is your conversation Christ-like?  

Let’s talk about that this morning.  

Is Your Conversation Cutting, Clueless or Christ-like?

Illustration:
Let’s be honest, we live in a digital age.  Years ago we wrote love letters to our special person.  Those letters were treasured.  When I was dating Angela, there was no texting so we wrote sweet letter to one another.  Today is very different.  We display our love via digital media and text messages.  Listen to this text message from a young man to the love of his life.  

My love,

If you are smiling, send me your smiles

If you are sleeping, send me your dreams

if you are crying, send me your tears…

I love you

Im in the toilet…what do I send?

Point:
Sure, we need to work on our conversations don’t we.  Well, Paul gives us some very helpful hints on how we can improve and further develop our conversations.  

Colossians 4:6 ESV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

I also like the way that the NLT puts it…

Colossians 4:6 NLT
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

So, what lessons can we learn from this simple piece of Scripture?

3 Ways To Care About Your Conversation…

I. Practice 
Colossians 4:6
Let your speech always be gracious…

Point:
Paul wanted the church to be different.  The main way that he wanted outsiders or non believers to see the difference in these new Christians was their speech patterns.  He wanted their speech to be so different from their peers that others would forced to recognize the difference.  Their speech would be so drastically different that people would want to know why they were speaking so kindly.  

I think that the most important word in this verse is the word “always”.  This words connotes that our speech is to be daily pattered in grace and and peace.  

This means that every day we must practice speaking graciously and attractively.  

Point:
You may think that this is not a big deal.  After all, how does practicing our Christlike speech influence others? Friends, trust me, when you practice speaking in a gracious and kind manner to your spouse, it will rub off on your children.  Your children will then carry the same speech patterns to their school.  It will rub off on their peers and their teachers.  It will change the way they talk and communicate.  

Let me prove it to you.  

I have been involved with you sports since I arrived here on the Eastern Shore 6 years ago. I have coached soccer teams, football teams, basketball teams and baseball teams.  I have coached with men from just about every sort of background you can imagine.  Some of the men that I call friends do not even go to church.  Sure, I have invited them but many have not taken me up on my offer yet.  Some of these men have deplorable language during their day.  However, when they are with me, their language cleans up.  They don’t curse and shout and carry on.  Why?  Is it because I have spoken with them about it.  No.  Not really.  I believe that their languages cleans up because they have seen the difference in my speech patterns.  My role on any team that I have coached is an encourager.  I try to not only build up the coaches but also the kids.  

You might say, “well big deal Stuart, they are just going to start cussing after you leave”.  True.  However, in that moment I pray that those men and parents see and hear Jesus in me.  What better place to practice than in the real world where my conversation can make a difference.  

Point:
So, husbands and wives, practice conversation.  Practice Christ-like conversation.  Husbands, if you practice speaking kindly and generously to your wives, you will see a difference in how they speak to you.  Wives, if you speak encouragement into the life of your husband, you will notice how it impacts your relationship.  

Illustration:
I like to jog at a local high school track, so I enjoyed hearing a middle-aged man's story about his jogging experience. He was puffing around the track that circled the high school football field while the team was practicing. When the players started running their sprints up and down the field, he told himself, "I'll just keep running until they quit." So they ran. And he ran. And they kept running. And he kept running. Finally, in exhaustion he stopped. An equally exhausted football player walked past the jogger and said, "Boy, I'm glad you finally stopped, mister. Coach told us we had to keep running wind sprints as long as the old guy was jogging!" 

I Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

3 Ways To Care About Your Conversation…

I. Practice 
II. Persuasive 
Colossians 4:6 ESV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt…

Illustration:
I love to eat.  Recently I have been trying to drop a few pounds.  It has been a hard struggle to say the least.  You know, diet food is just not as good as real food.  Its not.  The other day I was eating in a restaurant and the food tasted so bland.  I didn’t want to eat it.  So, I did what most people would do.  I picked up the salt shaker and poured some salt on the food.  All of a sudden, the food was transformed.  It was was missing that one simple ingredient…salt.  Adding salt persuaded me to do something that I did not want to eat.  

Salt is important.  Paul says that our conversation should be seasoned with salt.  This means that our conversation should literally be appetizing.  The manner in which we speak should call others to join in.  People should want to talk to us.  

To many times, my speech was more salty and fit for a sailor than seasoned with salt fit for others.  

Husbands and wives, how can you tell if your conversation is seconded with salt? Take this test.

1. When speaking to one another, are you prone to yell or raise your voice?
2. When speaking to one another, do you highlight small flaws instead of positive attributes?
3. When speaking to one another, do you withhold important information that could impact your spouse?
4. When speaking to one another, do you play games?  Do you try to make your spouse guess your emotion?
5. When speaking to one another, do you fold or cross your arms in a defensive manner?
6. When speaking to one another, do you look into your spouse’s eyes?
7. When speaking to one another, do you turn off outside distractions so that you can devote your full attention to your spouse?

Friends, if you raise your voice.  If you take defensive stances or play games.  If you withhold information or use your words to cut down your spouse, you are not communicating in a manner seasoned with salt.  What you are creating is distance, not devotion.  No one is going to want to talk to you if you have not seasoned your speech with salt. 

Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

3 Ways To Care About Your Conversation…

I. Practice 
II. Persuasive 
III. Power
Colossians 4:6 ESV
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Point:
Let’s be honest, our speech is going to get us into trouble from time to time.  We need need to remember that our speech, our conversation has power.  Husbands you carry both life and death in the way you speak to your wives.  Wives, you carry both life and death in the way you speak to your husband.  

Let’s take a moment and read about the power of our words.  Turn in your Bibles to James 3:2-12.

James 3:2-12 ESV
For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Point:
Husbands and wives, we need to realize the power of our words.  We need to do a better job of speaking kindly to one another.  

Illustration:
A couple of years ago I purchased a Dremel power tool.  Our church does a Pine Wood Derby race each year and I had seen some men in our church use the tool to shape their cars.  Honestly, I had no idea how to use it.  So, I did the unmanly thing, I read the directions.  As I was reading through the directions, I was struck by how it related to the use of another power tool that God has given us: our mouths. The directions said:

1. Know your power tool.

2. Keep guards in place.

3. Be careful around children.

4. Store idle tools when not in use.

5. Don’t overuse the tool without properly maintaining the equipment.

6. Never use in an explosive atmosphere.

Friends, perhaps the most powerful tool that we possess is our tongue.  It is our words.  It is our conversation and how we communicate with one another. Yet we show more caution to power tools than our mouths.  Like the Dremel, our words can cut and shape people’s lives.  The Dremel, if not kept under a good hand can create some pretty serious damage just like our mouths.  We should certainly guard our words when young impressionable ears are listening. My wife reminds me of this quite often.  

Do you use your words cautiously or carelessly? 

How can we keep better tabs on our words? How can we better maintain the power tool of our mouths and words?

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

Take Away Points:
1. Husband and wives, making communicating and conversation a priority in your home.  Practice it.  Limit the distractions and devote time to one another.

2. Speak in a manner that your spouse would want to be spoken to.  Don’t raise your voice or be defensive.  Let your talk be seasoned with salt.  

3. Realize that your words carry both life and death.  Your words can encourage or tear down.  Go home today and begin to speak life into your relationships.  


Turn This Information Into Action!

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