Life & Death: the Power of the Tongue

Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue.

When I came across Deborah Tannen’s book, You Just Don’t Understand, it looked good, so I bought it, took it home, and placed it on my nightstand. That night I picked it up and started reading, and reading, and reading. The more I read, the more I laughed out loud. The subtitle—what it’s really all about—is Men and Women in Conversation.

“What are you laughing about?” my wife wondered.

“I’m laughing cause she’s talking about you and me.”

“What?”

Every night I read a few more pages, still laughing. I’m sure Dr. Tannen didn’t mean for her book to be taken as a comedy. She wrote it as a straight-forward description of the way men and women communicate and fail to communicate, based on the way they think and their goals and purposes in the relationship. But when you see yourself and your spouse on every page, it makes you wonder, How did she know that’s what we do?

How Did She Know What We Do?

I think I learned more about communication with my wife from Tannen’s writing than from any other source. It was easy to see my wife’s foibles and laugh about them. Aha! See? That’s what you do! But then to read about what I do was a real eye-opener. I had to own up to my own patterns and behaviors.

What I learned was that Linda and I are pretty normal in how we communicate. In many ways, we fall into the stereotypes of male and female. But the way Dr. Tannen tells the stories is so funny. I called it my evening devotions. I had to read more.

One of the principles she discusses is the 3-fold asymmetry between the way men and women think and communicate.

  • Men talk to Report; women talk to Rapport.
  • When there’s a problem, men move immediately into Fix-it mode; women move into Affirmation mode.
  • Men speak to establish Hierarchy; women speak to establish Community.

Of course, these are generalities. There are men and women at both ends of each spectrum. All too often, however, husband and wife reach a stalemate because of their differences. Not understanding their communication styles and their subconscious purposes, they become frustrated or angry with each other, and that’s when they say things that hurt the other.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. What it’s saying is we can choose the easy, angry words and slice each other to shreds, destroying each other and the marriage in the process. Or, we can carefully choose words that affirm, heal, and build each other up. When we do that, we have a fantastic opportunity to create a marriage that’ll last a lifetime.

You can read more about this in chapter 9 of my book, WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage

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Writing Update: October 2019

In February, I published WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage, and I’ve received a lot of positive feedback about it. The Lord is using it to help couples improve their marriage. Last month, I spoke at a ministry training conference, and in attendance were quite a few pastors and volunteer ministers who work with couples in their churches. The session went really well, and there’s even more interest in using WisdomBuilt in church classes, small groups, and couples retreats.

Since then, I completed a book about my ministry experience as an Army chaplain in Iraq. I’m really excited to announce that Dr. Richard Blackaby agreed to write the foreword for the book. Plus, I have endorsements from chaplains, pastors, Christian authors, and several denominational representatives. It’s titled Safest Place in Iraq, and is at the publisher now. They tell me it’ll be available as an ebook by early 2020, and in print by next summer.

It’s a collection of stories or testimonies about how the Lord moved in people’s lives at Camp Echo, where I served in 2007. Tell you what . . . the Lord did some fantastic things among us, and it’s exciting to be able to share these stories: answered prayer, healing, and people coming to faith in Christ.

Interestingly, in August I submitted the manuscript to the North Georgia Christian Writers Conference writing contest, and won a First Place Peach Award in the Bible Study & Nonfiction  Book category. I also entered it in the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award writing competition, where it won a First Place Gold Award. Several Christian colleges and seminaries have already expressed interest in using it in their classrooms.

In the meantime, I’m teaching one class on campus at Southeastern University as an adjunct professor this fall. I volunteered to lead a 6-week Creative Writing course for a community-based senior citizen program here in Lakeland. I’ve been asked to mentor a missionary who is completing a Doctor of Ministry degree here. And, I continue to write devotional articles for CBN online, and freelance for a few other magazines from time to time.

So I manage to stay busy — maybe too busy!  🙂 But I’m having fun, and am thrilled to be able to speak into people’s lives, whether in person or through my writing.

Feel free to share this with your friends or post it on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I’d love to get an email from you or note on the Contact Page letting me know how you’re doing.

Blessings to you,
Paul

Training for Ministry

Experience Conference September 2019

I’m excited that on Friday September 13, I’ll be able to share the Biblical Principles of Marriage, which was the subject of my first book. Then on Saturday the 14, I get to tell about some of the fascinating experiences I had in Iraq as an Army chaplain, which is what my second book is about. Although I am speaking as a volunteer and will not be paid, there is a cost to attend the program. If you want to find out more, click on the image above. Please pray for me and the entire conference as we help others prepare for the ministries God has called them to.

Charisma Media Interview

 

In June, I was invited to Charisma Media for a Facebook Live interview about my book, WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage. Chris Johnson was really good at conducting the interview, and I had a great time. It was fun, and gave me a chance to talk about marriage, the Bible, and a few things I really care about.

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Rare and Beautiful Treasures

A few years ago, my wife and I bought a new house. We selected the floorplan, discussed the options we wanted, chose the property, and gathered all the documents needed for the financing. But, even with a lot of prayer and communication, we didn’t agree on everything. Therefore, in order to end up with a home that we both liked and would be happy in, we had to work through the issues and take turns giving in. I had to be willing to say what really mattered to me, and Linda had to tell me what she felt strongly about. We spent hours and hours to get there, but it was worth the effort because we ended up with a house that is attractive, well-built, and meets our needs.

Once the papers were signed and the financing arranged, our house took several months to build. We made frequent visits to the property to see the progress, ooh-ing and ah-ing over every detail.

As you work together through these principles, you’ll do the same thing. You’ll talk, you’ll discover new insights, you’ll have disagreements. And you’ll ooh and ah as you see growth in your marriage, your spouse, and yourself.

You’re welcome to email me whenever you have a question. My website is paullinzey.com and the Connect page is a great way for you to reach me. If you’re part of a congregation, you should also consider talking with your pastor, priest, or other ministry leader to get his or her input.

I understand that not everyone will agree with these principles. That’s OK. What matters most is that you as a couple work together to build a home that is attractive, well-built, and meets your needs. If this book helps you do that, it will have accomplished its mission.

Based on the concept of decorating your home with every precious and beautiful treasure, the principles in WisdomBuilt are arranged in four sections or “treasures.” There are a lot of possibilities for what those treasures are; the proverb doesn’t specify.

However, the Bible, clinical research, and personal experience indicate that there are at least four priceless treasures your home must have if you’re to reach the two goals. If you have those treasures, you are light years ahead of most couples, and well on your way to a great life together.

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Best Marriage Book in Years

front cover 8Just got this email from a pastor in Colorado . . .

Read the book. Loved it. I like the personal touch with personal examples of failures and successes. Every marriage would be better if couples would follow the lead of this book. This is the best marriage book I’ve read in years as it is easy to read and every page is helpful. Marriage challenges are over come with love and commitment. What a joy to know there is help just a few pages away. Thank you Dr. Paul Linzey for your service to the country and to the kingdom of God.

Dr. Lafe Murray, Pastor, Author of Wisdom and Beyond

Five Out of Five Stars!

I just discovered this review of WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage on Amazon.

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Based on sound biblical teaching, each turn of the page presents a new building block of understanding on which we can base a lifetime of marriage and companionship. Where was this book forty years ago? WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage just became my default wedding gift for every couple about to join their lives together. I learned many lessons the hard way. I found myself nodding in agreement and stating “wish I’d known this back then… ” so many times while reading this book. Am married 21 years now, and found things I can apply to make our marriage even better.

Every marriage should start with this foundation.  Christian Author, J.D. Wininger

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“A Superior Resource for Couples”

Terry Raburn 4

I recommend WisdomBuilt Biblical Principles of Marriage without hesitation, and am grateful to have a copy for use in assisting couples in staying together and staying happy. I often work with marriages in deep distress. Many resources offer help, but are theoretical or “ivory tower” perspectives that lack the valuable element of Biblical Truth and proven experience. WisdomBuilt is a superior resource for couples.

Dr. Linzey builds a solid foundation from Scripture, then adds constructive material which offers wisdom for building a strong and healthy marriage, a lasting relationship, and answers for marital problems. He and his wife, Linda, use their experiences and prayer-saturated victories to provide principles for building a marriage that will last a lifetime. They offer Godly wisdom which will help any couple renew their love, revive respect, and maintain a strong relationship. I am confident this book will be extremely helpful. Dr. Linzey has my blessing to offer himself and his material to our pastors and congregations.

Terry Raburn, Superintendent, Peninsular Florida District, Assemblies of God

Waited for this Book 2 Years!

Kaylin & MackIt seems as if we’ve been waiting for this book for 2 years! Finally got it in the mail today and we cannot wait to start reading it. These two are the real deal when it comes to marriage and we’ve been so blessed to have them as mentors!

If your marriage is great or if your marriage is struggling, I cannot recommend this book enough . . .