Breaking the Code
“I just don’t understand. I’m such a nice guy. I’m trying my best to be a good husband, but every time we talk she criticizes me and ends up in tears. What’s wrong with her?”
“How could I have married such an insensitive man? I thought he loved me, but every time we talk, he always has to be right, and then he makes me feel like a worthless failure.”
Sound familiar? Well, it sure does to Jan and me. For the first seven years of our marriage, many of our conversations ended with those kinds of feelings. After a while, we each began to build walls that we hoped would protect us from the pain and hurt. As you might guess, it didn’t work.
Jan and I were standing on a very slippery slope and didn’t know what to do. Our marriage could have degenerated into a lifeless, endurance contest like so many other couples. But finally, through a revelation of God’s Word, we were able to break the code of communications that restored the life and excitement to our marriage.
Although the code was a mystery to us, it’s one that the devil has understood for thousands of years. He has turned that knowledge into a scheme that he uses to destroy relationship between co-workers, friends and family—and especially husband and wife.
Ephesians 6:10 says this, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual host of wickedness in heavenly places…”
Could there be more to a conversation than the subject that is being discussed? Has the devil been using a crafty scheme to turn people against each other through their words, even without their knowledge? Well, if you believe the Word of God is true, then you can come to no other conclusion.
There are things going on in the spirit realm that cannot be seen any more than you can see a wireless internet signal. When the signal is interpreted through the computer, the image becomes visible on the screen. And when your words are interpreted through the heart and soul of another person, they become visible by their reactions.
Most women intuitively understand this principle while most men do not. They get the fact that there are two very different levels of communication. I call the first the topical level of communication and the second, which is just beneath and even more important, the relational level.
It’s why your wife might say, “It’s not what you said, but the way you said it,” (relational level) and why the husband responds, “You always take what I say the wrong way, and then criticize me” (topical level).
Where does the devil enter this picture? He enters at ground zero, the relational level. He doesn’t care what you actually say, although that’s very important. He is more interested in what you are communicating spirit to spirit.
Communication experts tell us that 7% of communication is in the words you speak, 38% is in the voice intonation and 55% in the body language. Therefore 93% of a communicated message is non-verbal. Perhaps you could say that most communication really comes from the heart (relational level) and cannot be masked with mere words (topical level).
If you believe the devil’s lie, that the other person is at fault and that he or she is the real problem, then he’s got you. Why? Because in time you’ll become bitter, resentful and angry toward that person. And then, no matter what you say, your non-verbal communication will reveal your heart and the relationship with that person will begin to be destroyed.
Once you realize that the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, is using your blindness to do so, it changes your perspective and your words. It certainly did for Jan and me. You will stop seeing the other person as the enemy. You will be able to walk in grace toward them in word and deed. And you’ll reserve your anger for the real enemy, the devil.