This week I want to focus on COMMUNICATION. So look for a series of posts that I pray will be insightful and thought provoking. To kick it off, I have to go to one of my favorite biblical marriages on the subject of communication. This couple and how they communicated is always a core of the Elevate Your Marriage Conference and any teaching I do with engaged or married couples. So here is Manoah and his wife are Samson’s parents, check out this excerpt from the Husbands, Wives, God Weekly Devotions: 52 Weeks of Enriching Devotions. I am really excited about sharing this, as it may prove to be a new way to communicate in your marriage. Be Blessed!
Manoah and His Wife: Pray Before You Speak
Read Judges 13
Read Ephesians 4:29
Judges 13:8 Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.”
I still can still hear my mother’s voice echoing in my head from my teenage years, saying “Son…Think before you speak!” It was something she had to tell me daily, and I am still working on it. But as I have gotten older and continued to grow in my Christian faith, I have come to realize that there is an equivalent marriage axiom to mom’s advice, and that is, “Pray before you speak.”
In most relationships, the conversation can be characterized by what I call “tennis talk”—a back and forth lobbing of words between a husband and wife, in order to win a point. One speaks, and the other responds, often waiting until the other person stops speaking to make the next point. He speaks, she speaks—back and forth until one scores the winning point of the conversation.
“Tennis talk” is the norm for how people talk and relate to each other. But in Judges 13, we are introduced to Manoah and his wife (Samson’s parents), a husband and wife who exercise a different and healthier communication pattern through a three-way conversation between husband, wife, and God.
Manoah’s wife, who is unable to have children at the time, is told by the angel of the Lord that she will have a child. He then gives her step-by-step instructions on how to raise her son. That is pretty amazing all by itself, but perhaps even more amazing is that when she tells her husband, he responds to God before he responds to her. Admittedly, if told incredible or unexpected news I would have something to say! But before he responds to his wife, Manoah first asks the Lord for guidance. Instead of responding to his wife with questions, disbelief, or ridicule about her claims of soon having a child, he entreats and asks the Lord to “teach us what to do.” In essence, he takes the stress of trying to work things out off of himself and the marriage, and places it on the Lord. Wow! How many arguments and stressful conversations could be avoided by first asking God what to say and how to respond?
Maintain a mind and attitude of prayer and hearing from God while listening to and before responding to your spouse. The next time you are in a conversation with your spouse, pray to the Lord before you speak.
Meditations for the Week:
– How would your conversations be different if you allowed God into the conversations?
-Personal Reflection: What one situation could have been different had I sought the Lord before speaking?
– Look at the character revealed in our words. Read Proverbs 15:1–2, 4, 7; 25:8–10, 11–12, 14–15. Personally, what character is revealed in the words I speak to my spouse?
-Read and discuss Ephesians 4:29. What does it mean to you, regarding how you communicate with your spouse?