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Can We Talk?

A Word of Encouragement for Those Who are Married

Ephesians 4:25-32; 1 Peter 3:8-12

Have you noticed that you and your spouse communicate just a little bit differently?

* "Express Lane" communicators often like to find the shortest path to the goal. The destination is the goal.

* "Enjoy-the-Ride" communicators think we should relax, get comfortable, and enjoy the experience of the trip.

Can you identify yourself in either of these descriptions? Can you identify your spouse? Scripture teaches us to be affectionate to one another (Romans 12:10), accept one another (Romans 15:7), and bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2). This is what believers do-they work hard at being patient and loving their spouse, even with differences in communication styles. Even so, eventual moments of conflict are often inevitable. Whether involved in normal conversations or sensing mounting tension, one piece of advice might serve to both thwart the wicked one as well as draw you close together in unity.

"Bookend" your conversations with verbal affirmation. Even if we are married, have kids, and are surrounded by people, it is easy for us to think we are the Lone Ranger. Satan will do everything in his power to make us think that no one cares about us, loves us, or stands with us - that we are alone. The verbal affirmation of a spouse is one of God's tools for building unity within our marriages (Hebrews 3:13, "exhort one another daily" - earnest support is the sense of the Greek word exhort). A simple "I'm for you," "I'm in this with you," or "Our marriage is God's and He's gonna win" can be used by God to build oneness and reassure each other of a united front.

So, while we may not always take the same route while discussing the various trials of life, make sure that you come alongside as God's kind of spouse - encourage each other daily in the faith, affirming the unity that is ours in Christ (Romans 12:10).

Pastor Chris and Julie Juvinall

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