The Place of Consistent Intimate Communication

All glory to the Lord as we come to the last article in the series “Marriage and Vision”. Up until this moment, we have gained understanding on the following subject matters:  As an introduction to the series, we unraveled some values in the society today that are hostile to marriages emphasizing the need to beware and ensure they do not sneak into our marriage  In the first article “The crucial place of a common-vision in sustaining a fulfilling marriage”, we studied a number of partnerships in the bible and were able to see that it took a common-vision to sustain the partnerships and that when a common-vision is compromised in marriage and parties begin to pursue their own selfish ambitions, division sets in  The second article “Preserving a common-vision in marriage” dealt with a common-vision in marriage as a seed that needs to be nurtured and uncovered things to be done to nurture this common-vision

Intimacy in marriage and relationship

 In “Threats to a common-vision in marriage” we emphasized that marriage was of high value and for that reason needs to be guarded against the enemy’s attacks and devices. What tools/devices does the enemy deploy against marriages? We attempted answering this. In this concluding article, the focus will be on “intimate and consistent” communication in marriage – a vital lifestyle that must be if the common-vision of a marriage is to be kept alive. What purpose does communication serve in marriage? Beyond the psychological and emotional nearness that communication brings into a home are there some things that can go wrong spiritually when effective communication is missing in a home? How can effective communication be used to reinforce purpose in marriage? In order to extract maximum value from communication, what should be the characteristics of effective communication? NOW! Let’s seek answers to these by the help of the Holy Spirit. ISAAC AND REBEKAH - When only one spouse knows about the destiny of the children ‘Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” ’ Genesis 25:21-26, NIV Quite an interesting story leading up to the birth of Esau and Jacob! It is amazing how God works – one would have thought the destiny of the children would be revealed to the father who prayed and caused God to terminate the barrenness. However it was revealed to the mother. What should Rebekah have done? Was the revelation for her alone seeing that it takes two parents to raise a child? Could things go wrong when God reveals a thing to one of us about a child and he or she fail to share and communicate this revelation? The battle for the blessing ‘Now Rebekah was listening as Isaac spoke to his son Esau. When Esau left for the open country to hunt game and bring it back, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father say to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some game and prepare me some tasty food to eat, so that I may give you my blessing in the presence of the LORD before I die.’ Now, my son, listen carefully and do what I tell you: Go out to the flock and bring me two choice young goats, so I can prepare some tasty food for your father, just the way he likes it. Then take it to your father to eat, so that he may give you his blessing before he dies.” Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “But my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I’m a man with smooth skin. What if my father touches me? I would appear to be tricking him and would bring down a curse on myself rather than a blessing.” His mother said to him, “My son, let the curse fall on me. Just do what I say; go and get them for me.” ’ Genesis 27:5-13, NIV It becomes obvious at this point that Rebekah never shared with Isaac what God had revealed with her concerning the children. She lived with him for several decades but never shared this secret with the person who needed to know it most – the husband who had the patriarchal blessing; whose words would determine who comes first among the two children. Things went well in the home while this secret was hidden but a moment came that required that the secret should never have been made a secret. Let’s learn something deep from Jacob. “Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn” Genesis 48:12-14, NIV The purpose of God concerning the kids was revealed to Jacob and he put aside tradition by setting Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. It ought to have been this easy in Isaac case if only Rebekah had opened up and disclosed what God had revealed to her (as we would soon see in Manoah and his wife – parents of Samson). As a result of the non-disclosure by Rebekah, the family was almost destroyed because of inheritance. Summary of Lessons from the case  God can decide to speak to any vessel in a family – husband or wife  However execution power and patriarchal grace is placed on the husband and father  For this reason, it expedient that the wife communicates clearly what God is telling her to her husband and vice versa  This communication is not an imposition but a sharing of inspiration and divine instruction with faith that the Lord, who has given the instruction/revelation, will give understanding to the other party  When there is misalignment (difference in understanding) concerning vision (the purpose and promises) in a home, peace will be affected and confusion will eventually set in SAMSON’S PARENTS – Models of Intimate Communication “A certain man of Zorah, named Manoah, from the clan of the Danites, had a wife who was sterile and remained childless. The angel of the LORD appeared to her and said, “You are sterile and childless, but you are going to conceive and have a son. Now see to it that you drink no wine or other fermented drink and that you do not eat anything unclean, because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used on his head, because the boy is to be a Nazirite, set apart to God from birth, and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Then the woman went to her husband and told him, “A man of God came to me. He looked like an angel of God, very awesome. I didn’t ask him where he came from, and he didn’t tell me his name” Judges 13:2-6, NIV Very similar to the case of Rebekah we just studied – God revealed the purpose of Samson to the mum. However she was wise: after the encounter, she (the woman) went to her husband and told him. When you study this couple, you can clearly see intimate communication, oneness of heart, unity of purpose between husband and wife. ‘God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman while she was out in the field; but her husband Manoah was not with her. The woman hurried to tell her husband, “He’s here! The man who appeared to me the other day!” Manoah got up and followed his wife. When he came to the man, he said, “Are you the one who talked to my wife?” ’ Judges 13:9-11, NIV Again we see Manoah (the husband) praying yet God appearing to the wife instead. Immediately, she (the woman) hurried to tell her husband. As a spiritual leader in a home, God reveals a lot of his purposes to the husband, BUT it is crucial to see here that God also shows things to the wife – very important things for that matters. The lives of the Manoahs teach us that if God’s purpose is going to be fruitful in a home, the husband and the wif