Secrets & Silence: How to Destroy Your Relationships

Why We Don't Communicate

Put on your new nature and be renewed as you learn to know your creator and become like him. It is in this new life, it doesn't matter if you're a Jew or gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Everybody needs to hear this. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. That's the truth. Before any practical application, Christ is all that matters. 

He lives in all of us. Since God chose you to be holy people he loves you must close yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults and forgive anyone who offends you.

Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony and let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body, you are called to live in peace and always be thankful.

Colossians 3:10-15
It's a very simple equation. Communication literally is the relationship. When communication breaks down among people who love each other, care for each other, the relationship begins to break and break apart.

Why do we struggle with communication?

I ask myself these questions all the time. Why is it so hard for us to figure it out?

First of all, it's just awkward. It's just awkward. There's things that I just don't want to talk about that I don't like to talk about

The other thing that causes the breakdown or causes us to lose communication is a lack of confidence. I'm not sure, I want to put on a good face. I'm not confident about that. I don't know all the answers. We just don't, and we bypass it.

What about this: We have secrets. Since you and I aren't built to carry secrets, it's just easier not to talk rather than to talk a lot and maybe the secrets will come out.

I have a journal for biblical counseling that I read fairly often, and in there they listed 10 reasons why communication breaks down in Christian marriages. Here they are:
  1. Pride
  2. Lies that you've told that you don't want to get caught with.
  3. Selfishness
  4.  Silence between partners just takes over in the house.
  5. Neglect (you're not watering your own lawn!)
  6. Disrespect (When you start to take your mate and now you've elevated yourself and you look at them as lower than you, you begin to disrespect them.)
  7. Ignorance (Nobody wants to admit that, but true ignorance to the situation or to what's going on is part of the breakdown.)
  8. Lack of romance and/or sex in marriage (I'm just going to tell you, if you're married and you're punishing each other with your sexuality, that's stupid.)
  9. Complacency
  10. Lack of submission to God.

What Happens When Communication is Broken?

Well, let's just take a look at the first place that ever happened and we can go back to scripture for this. It's in Genesis 3:7-10. It says this, "At that moment when their eyes were open and they suddenly felt shame in their nakedness. The evening breezes were blowing. The man and his wife heard that God was walking through the garden, so they hid from the Lord among the trees. Then the Lord called to them and said, "Where are you?" The man replied, "I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked."

What does shame always do to us? It drives us apart, and it makes us want to hide. The very first people that ever walked the planet when they were filled with shame, what did they do? They hid.

If people are going to hide from God since the very beginning, how much are we going to hide from the people that we've done stuff to and that we're embarrassed about and we don't want to let down?

Rather than letting them down, letting them know what's going on in our lives, dealing with the sin or the shame, or the pain of our situation, guess what we do? We hide from one another.

When we do something wrong, we feel shame and we hide and shame and pride. This is the problem with shame and pride, they trick us into connecting what we do with who we are. I need you to hear that. Shame and pride connect what we do with who we are, and we start to think like, "Oh, I've done this, so that must be who I am. That's my character."

But here's the deal: secrets and silence are weapons built to destroy. 

They will destroy your life. They will destroy your relationships. They will destroy your marriage. They will destroy your relationships with your kids, with your family, with your coworkers, with everyone around you. Secrets and silence will kill. The thing that brings relationships together is communication

A Good Foundation

We all want to build a life of something beautiful on a good foundation.

The problem is if we're hiding things and not communicating things and tucking things away and running from our problems and not addressing them headlong, guess what? You can't build something beautiful on a foundation of sin and darkness.

God says, "Come to me all of you are burdened and carry heavy weights and I will give you rest."

Proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and then surrender to him all of the things that you've been carrying around. With our mates, it's so important we do that.

I'm going to tell you today you will never find healing in the dark. You can never hide long enough to be made whole. It won't. In the darkness, shame grows and it becomes infected.

The rest of your life you will pay for the thing you can't let go of even though God says, "Come and let me take that."

When we can finally see in the light as proclaimed by John and the Apostle Paul and Christ himself, we can properly deal with what's really there.

In Ephesians he says, "Don't let there be any hint of sexual immorality." In 2 Timothy 2:22 it says, "Run from anything that stirs up youthful lust." Remember, everyone is telling you it's poison. It will cost you, it will kill you. Stay away from it. Don't let these things take over you. Stay in community, stay in communication, and do not hide. Do not hide.

The problem is most of our lines are drawn in the wrong place. Just a little bit is okay, just a little bit's enough. Here's what Jesus’ response to that. It was in Matthew 5:27, "You have heard what is said, you shall not commit adultery but I tell you that anyone who looks on a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in their heart."

At which it's followed up later on in Scripture where it says, "If your hand offends you cut it off.” If you can't scroll Instagram, get off it. Log out. If you can't handle the temptation of having a phone, they got flippy analog ones. They're great.

How do we set the standard for a good communication?

  1. Be intentional. This goes for everything. If you want to get out of debt, have a plan. If you want to start a business, have a plan. If you want your marriage to go well, have a plan. If you want to talk well and communicate well, have a plan. If you want to get your calendar synced up, have a plan
  2. Be clear. It's okay to be clear. It's okay to say “I would really like to date you because you are highly attractive and I think we can hang out for a while.” 
  3. Be humble. We're on the same level. I'm going to be humble in relationship with you.
  4. Be gracious. If your words and your intentions are filled with grace giving them allowance because remember you ain't that great either. Each one of us needs a measure of grace.
This blog contains excerpts from week 5 of the You & Me sermon series at Pipeline.Church.
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