Shouting Aloud Allowed. Chapter 2 of The God-Wild Marriage

18 06 2012

I am using The Inkling to introduce you to each chapter of my new book, the God-Wild Marriage.

chapter 2: shouting aloud allowed

God-Wild Marriage

While God is everywhere, He is not everywhere manifested. He is most ‘at home’ in praise and, being at home, He manifests Himself best as God. When you or I choose to make God at home through praise, we invite Him to act ‘at home.’

Jack Taylor

To be sure, we have many challenges to overcome, but isn’t there a way we can use marriage to draw us to God rather than allow it to dull our senses and lead us into a practical atheism … Rather than letting marriage blunt our spiritual sensitivities, can we use it to awaken our souls in new and profound ways?

Gary Thomas

… speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Ephesians 5:19-20

I was hanging out with my seven-year-old son, Josh, one day by a campfire when he said, “Daddy, is my voice going to change one day?”

“Yes, it is,” I replied.

“Why?” he asked.

As I was pondering exactly how much of the testosterone tale I needed to tell him at his tender age, he very excitedly announced, “Well, when my voice changes, I’m going to speak Japanese!”

We have four children who have passed through the unsettling, often-conflicted years childhood experts call “adolescence.” If you’re a parent, you know how crazy those years can be. Among the many physiological changes during this time, one of the more dramatic (to the child) and humorous (to parents) is the voice change. You know it’s happening to your son when you call home and a man whom you’ve never met answers the phone. You know your boy is changing when, as he sings along to a song on the radio, he tries to hit those high notes and it sounds like he just got hit by a truck.

But we all know that the changing of our child’s voice is a sign of growth and maturity. Scientists and pediatricians tell us that the voice box is a structure at the top of the windpipe that is made of cartilage. Stretched across it are two vocal cords, which are a bit like elastic bands. As air is expelled from the lungs, it passes between the vocal cords, making them vibrate. As a young boy grows, testosterone increases in the body, causing the cartilage to grow larger and thicker. During adolescence, the vocal cords also thicken and grow 60 percent longer. Now when they vibrate, they do so at a lower frequency than before. With the release of more testosterone, the facial bones grow, creating bigger spaces within the face. Larger cavities in the sinuses, nose, and back of the throat give the voice more room in which to resonate, thus deepening the voice further.1

Even though we may laugh whenever our kid’s voice breaks or croaks, we know this is the natural result of a gradually maturing body. It’s not only natural, but healthy. A healthy child will grow physically, and with growth will come a tonal change to one’s voice.

In a similar way, as we mature in giving control of our lives and marriages to Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, our voices will also change. God wants our tongues! God wants to have control of what is admittedly the most difficult area of our life to control—our tongue, our communication with Him and with our spouse. But this is difficult—especially in the marriage relationship.

27 Minutes a Week?

One researcher found that “the average married couple actively communicates on the average of just twenty-seven minutes a week.”2 Unbelievably, most couples “exchange the most words on their third date and the year before a divorce.”3 Most marriages rise and fall on the use, lack of use, misuse and abuse of the tongue. Obviously, most couples are not communicating very well. (But they are shopping. The average married couple shops six hours a week!)

Communication is risky. Experts say that how a couple communicates, how they use their tongues with each other (I know what you’re thinking, but that’s not what I’m talking about—wait for Chapter 6), is one of the most important indicators of a happy or unhappy marriage. In Twelve Hours to a Great Marriage, the authors list several verbal “risk factors” that can damage a relationship the most:

  • having negative styles of talking and arguing (for example, putting each other down, refusing to talk or yelling)
  • having a hard time communicating, especially when you disagree
  • not being able to handle disagreements

These risk factors are the ingredients in a simmering brew of eventual marital misery and disaster.5 But it is in learning to tame our impulsive tongues and intentionally expressing our hearts in more positive and loving ways that we can see God transform our dying, atrophying marriage into a great one.

Surrendering Your Heart and Tongue

Just after His command to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul provides us with the first indicator, the first step into the Jesus-honoring, wild Spirit-empowered marriage, by saying, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Read more in The God-Wild Marriage by Dr. Steve Holt


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