This series of messages were inspired by a book called “Talk Easy, Listen Hard” written by a lady named Nancy Sebastian Meyer. The book speaks about a lot of things and really includes several other books. What the author is exploring for us in the book is really about one Big thing and two things that come along for the ride.
The Big thing is human communication. The two other things that come along for the ride are communications between couples and married life.
I think the author might even argue that human communications is not the major thing, but really as you read the book you find that what is at hand here is that different humans communicate differently.
Frankly, the thing that drew me inside the book right was that line on the back that says: “your spouse is probably not annoying you on purpose”. Note she says “probably”. They might be, but we will cover that too.
So if you are here with us and are married we are going to be talking about how couples communicate and even help you understand how you ended up with the person you are with when you are nothing alike.
If you are here with us and you are not a part of a married couple but would like to be part of a couple we will be trying to help you understand how to start off on the right foot.
If you are here with us and you are not part of a couple and do not want to be a part of one at all you are going to be able laugh at the rest us… So stick around. J
Before we go a lot further I want to mention two other books that are used a lot here in “Talk Easy, Listen Hard” and one that isn’t, but that I use to council on marriage.
The Bible: Mrs. Meyer uses this book extensively throughout her book. If not we wouldn’t be presenting about her book here. Right?
The Five Love Languages: This book, by Dr. Gary Chapman, has been read by many of you here. If you have read it then you understand why it makes a good reference when talking about human communications and especially couples communication. If you have read it then you also know that we are not going to cover all of it here.
Marriage on the Rock: This is a great book about male and female roles in marriage. I will use one example from here just to get us started.
So why is this a big deal? Why do we care about all of this information at all? Human’s have been wired to live in relationships. We were never made to be alone.
The story of the creation of man found in Genesis tells us that when God saw the first human He said it was not good for us to be alone.
Genesis 2: 18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
In Genesis one He even implies that He is not alone.
Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness”
Interesting isn’t it. He was with us… yet he still considered that we should have human relationship. Human relationships are vitally important to God.
Jesus himself said that His walk with God, he calls “the Way”, is about relationship. He chose, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”( Matthew 22:37)
Relationship to God is paramount, but relationship to people is just as important!
“And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:39)
Jesus tells us that when the spirit comes upon us, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
So you would think that being in a relationship with other people would be simple right? Wrong! Being in a relationship with another human is tough stuff. Why? We are very different aren’t we?
Now we could spend a lot of time dealing with why this is so. We could talk about the Tower of Babble, We could talk about original sin, we could blame this oddity on a ton of things. But I want you to notice something. People have been different from the beginning of creation.
Adam and Eve were different.
Cain and Able were different.
Abraham and Lot were different.
Jacob and Esau came from the same womb on the same day, but two people could be more different.
So it would be more wrong to assume that God made us all the same and we changed it so that we are different. It is clear that God made us different. God likes us different. I will lean on the evidence that this is true and will not attempt to explain it. Why is there more than one bird? Why is there more than one color of person? Why are there a million different trees? God created variety. God built in evolving for survival in a changing world. God designed difference.
Let’s cut to the chase… God likes variety. Variety works.
Now the question is how to we live within God’s plan and desire?
It all comes back to the first sentence I read from “Talk Easy, Listen Hard”. (on the back of the cover)
“Your spouse is probably not annoying you on purpose” – Nancy Sebastian Meyer
So if they aren’t trying, how is it they are so successful? J
The book tells us some amazing numbers that point out that this really is not a mystery.
Most people marry their opposite personality type. If people marry a second time after divorce they marry people with the same personality type. But if they marry again they will go back to their opposite type. We gravitate toward our opposite type.
This means that we are going to have communications issues. We just are. It means that we are going to have to be patient. It means we are going to have to make an effort. If not we WILL FAIL!
But this is my soul mate. I’m supposed to be able to just get along with them. They are supposed to just understand me. If I have to work at this then it must not be love. Oh hooey! Men and women are different on the most basic levels. Viva le difference!
Let’s start with an example: Run the Video
Guys: How many of you know what kind of appointment Jennifer got for Samuel has today?
Women: What kind of appointment did Jennifer get for Samuel?
There are some very basic ways that different people listen and some of those have to do with being male or female, but most of them have to do with the personality type you may have.
Men for example generally become engrossed in what they are doing to the point of distraction. Some would say this is because of early man’s tendency to be the one who left on long hunting trips, sailing, trips, and war where failure to concentrate might mean starvation and death for the entire tribe.
Women are more able to multi-task and concentrate on the entire range of things going on in the room. They might have learned this from being home and among so many others. They had to learn to keep an eye on their children while also getting thing done within the tribe. Women are often deeply interested in consensus among those in the tribe. That’s you buddy.
Consequently Jennifer thinks that Michael who is looking at his magazine is actually paying attention to her. Michael has learned to camouflage his behavior and say “Uh hu” and “yep” without breaking a moment of reading. He can even look at a cell phone message. But all the while he is still concentrating on his prey (um magazine, TV).
So here is our first trick of the night. Ladies, If your man is hunting water buffalo (magazine, TV) he has become one with the buffalo (magazine, TV). If you are talking to him he will do all he can to deflect that talk and continue to be one with the buffalo (magazine, TV). Your job, remove him from the buffalo (magazine, TV) first. Get solid eye contact. Then speak to him.
Men, pay attention to this exchange.
Wife: “Do you want to help me wrap presents?”
Husband: “No not really. I’m watching this awesome documentary. Go right ahead.”
Women… Was the wife inviting him if he wanted to or was she really saying she wanted him to help?
The problem here is that we speak differently. We communicate differently and yet we react as if everyone communicates the way we do.
Women… Is the wife happy with that answer?
Men… Didn’t no seem like ‘NO’ one of the options?
Viva le Difference!
Over the next four weeks we are going to be talking about three major topics:
· Personalities – Why we talk
· Thought – Where our talk comes from
· Love Languages – How we communicate our feelings
We’re going to finish up tonight by getting you started with some homework.
Let me caution you about this. We will not be doing these test to pigeon hole anyone. If we start tagging people then we are limiting God’s ability to create.
So we are going to look at four major personality types, but to give you some perspective lets think about food and taste. There are only four major food tastes.
How many different food tastes can you think of?
So here are the four basic personality types we will be building our recipes with.
How do you know which these you are? First few people are all one type. Like taste in food, most people are a combination of personality types. Some two, some three, but all of us are unique. So we will be looking for your recipe.
What we are looking to do is to provide each other with the tools to be able to be a good partner to our spouse and to the have stronger relationships with everyone we interact with.
We are going to give you a test that you are to fill out after the lesson tonight.
Website to test: http://www.oneishy.com/personality/personality_test.php
This website will send you an email with your results. Be sure that you check the checkbox saying that you don’t want any other email.
Here are some fun ways to look at the personality types:
Think of Winnie the Pooh Characters:
Sanguine would be Tigger
Melancholy would be Rabbit or in another way Eeyore
Phlegmatic would be Winnie the Pooh himself
But there is not Choleric in all of this… maybe Rabbit
So let’s look at these Personality types in the Bible.
Peter was is the Apostle that blurted stuff out. He asked Jesus if he could walk out on the water to Him. He Told Jesus that he would follow Jesus to death. He told God that he couldn’t eat unclean food, even after God had just told him to do three times. But no one was more loyal to God and the mission of Jesus Christ.
Having Paul on your side meant that you had a zealous leader who would persecute even God’s Church if he thought he was right. Paul was always well educated about his topic and was ready to answer questions. Paul would take a problem and completely understand it then fight for it with his life.
Listen to Luke 1:3-4 “3Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Luke isn’t personally talked about much in the Bible because Luke was the one in the background writing it all down and studying all of the angles. Luke wanted make sure the he understood it all and to make sure that he got it perfect before letting everyone else know.
John was that Apostle who saw his whole value in the Love that Jesus had for him. He was the peace loving type that was always at Jesus side. He wrote about Jesus Love, His compassion for other people, and Jesus relationships to others. John enjoyed the presents of the brothers and the presents of Jesus over anything about himself.
Next week we are going to put ourselves in these types and see that it can be a big help in making it through life. Now our job is to find out where we fit in this puzzle. Who is this person you have hooked your life to? How can you better connect with the people of God and relate to them?