Category Archives: Marriage

“What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate”

Those of us of a certain age may remember that line from the movie Cool Hand Luke. I’m wondering, though, if it is not more than a memorable line from a movie. I’m wondering if a failure to communicate may be at the heart of many of the marital (and family) problems today.

A few years ago, I wrote a book about families entitled God Give Us Christian Homes. I chose the line from the movie as the title of this post as the title of one of the chapters in the book. 

One part of that chapter dealt with what I consider to be some barriers and/or roadblocks as we try to communicate with one another. What follows below is a sort of CliffsNotes version of that part of the chapter. Each of these is fleshed out more in the book, but, perhaps, this will give you an idea about what I see as some real problems in communication. Along with that, I’ve included from that chapter some suggestions I made that might help us to communicate better.

The barriers and/or roadblocks I wrote about were:


A real barrier to communication is erected when one person thinks he or she knows what the other person is thinking, what they are going to say before it is ever said, and/or their emotions. It is hard to tell somebody something when they’ve already decided for themselves what you have to say and have, in fact, already begun to work on a response.


The woman that Jesus met at the well in Samaria was a great dodgeball player. As you read the account of the conversation that Jesus had with her, it is easy to observe all of the efforts she made to change the subject and, in fact, to try to put Jesus on the defensive (cf. John 4).

Dodgeball is still being played and it is not confined to grade school physical education classes. Husbands, wives, parents, children, and all members of any family often try this tactic to keep from really engaging in conversation. 


You may have heard about the fellow who was complaining about his wife becoming historical every time there was a disagreement. His friend tried to correct him by saying, “Don’t you mean hysterical?” “No,” the man replied, “I mean historical. She brings up everything I’ve ever done wrong in the past!”

Communication will never be what it can be when one or more of the parties involved insist on being “historical.” The situation at the time is what needs to be dealt with. 


Most of us, especially in family situations, know what issues, words, and/or ideas to avoid. How many conversations have been destroyed because somebody refused to resist the temptation to light the fuse on a firecracker we know will go off?

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt…”  (Col. 4:6). This admonition leaves little room for something that we know will ignite a situation.


Sonny and Cher weren’t the only ones to use those words.  At least, they weren’t the only ones to have that idea. 

The blame game has destroyed many conversations and relationships and needs to be avoided.  This game has been around for a long time, hasn’t it?  In the garden, Adam blamed Eve (and God) and Eve blamed the serpent. 


The suggestions I presented that, hopefully, will help families to communicate better were:


Now that you know that I am a real math expert, let me explain what I mean by that. The thought is certainly not original with me that God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He was trying to tell us something.

Far too many people think they are communicating only when they are talking. This is far from the truth. Good communication will involve listening as well; maybe a lot more listening than talking.

Repeatedly, during His earthly ministry, Jesus told the Jews, “You say…” (cf. Matt. 15:5, 16:2, etc.). To be sure, He was usually in the process of correcting some of their misunderstandings or misinterpretation of scripture. At the same time, though, He let them know He had been listening to what they had been saying.


In some meetings where votes are taken, the ayes have it. In communication, often the eyes have it.

Those who are experts in the field of communication inform us that we listen as much with our eyes as we do with our ears. Whether it is family members or others we are talking about, we need to look at them when they are speaking to us and when we are speaking to them.


“Let me be brutally honest.”   

That sentence usually precedes something that is very unpleasant. Hurt feelings, broken hearts, and/or broken relationships have been some of the results of somebody being “brutally honest.”

The Bible informs us that we are to be about “…speaking the truth in love…” (Eph. 4:15, emphasis added). How we say something can have as great an impact as what we say. 


Modern families eat on the run and often eat separately. If, on a rare evening, all of the family members find themselves at home, they might be found eating while watching television or fiddling with some electronic device.

There is a real need in our society to use the dinner table for something other than a nice piece of furniture to be admired. There is a need for the family to sit as a unit around the table with no distractions and share their days and their lives.

Some of the best memories I have of the house in which I was reared and, then later, of the houses in which our children were reared involve eating together. The food was always good, but one can get at least a decent meal at a lot of places.

What is memorable and now missed is that our children are no longer at home and my parents have passed away is the time we had as a family to share more than a meal. We got to share in each other’s lives.


So; there you have it. At least you have some of what I suggested in that chapter. Maybe you have some things you would add to these ideas.

To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

To Purchase God Give Us Christian Homes, follow this link.

Episode 87: Polishing the Pulpit Preview, “Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” and More! [Podcast]

(Player not displaying or working? Click here.)

On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the beginning of the homeschool year. Then, they preview Polishing the Pulpit, both in general and some of the lessons they are presenting. Finally, they discuss a great article about how things that are not sinful can begin to eat away at our families and become idols. Resources below.


Polishing the Pulpit [Homepage]

Polishing the Pulpit Schedule [pdf]

Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” [Brie Gowen]

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Find us on Stitcher Radio

Visit the show archives

Episode 85: Technology in Worship, Modesty for Kids, Marriage Myths…and More! [Podcast]

(Player not displaying or working? Click here.)

On this week’s program, Adam and Leah take some time to discuss three very important subjects. What about kids have tech in worship? Why modesty for kids really matters? What are some common myths our culture tells us about marriage?

The links to these articles can be found below.


Children and Technology in Church” (PreachingHelp)

He Looked Down: A Powerful Lesson on Immodesty and Respect” (A Legacy of Faith)

5 Myths Our Culture Tells Us about Marriage” (Of the Hearth)

More from A Legacy of Faith

To subscribe to A Legacy of Faith by email for free click here.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes

Subscribe via rss

Find us on Stitcher Radio

Visit the show archives

Memories of Mom

(photo of Ruth Turner, daughter Donna faughn, Granddaughter Amber tatum, and great-granddaughter lyssabeth tatum, taken about 2008)

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck” (Proverbs 1:8-9). So said the wise man Solomon. 

Many of us were raised in homes where our fathers and mothers loved and cared for us. They provided for our needs and taught us much about how to live in this world. Some were blessed to have both parents as faithful Christians, and some of us were not. This was the case in my home. My father was not a faithful Christian while I was growing up. He had been baptized as a young person but left the church early in his marriage to my mother. My mother, on the other hand, remained faithful to God and taught me much about serving Him and living for Him.

When my mother was in the last few weeks of her life, I visited with her often at the assisted living home where she lived. On one particular day when I arrived she was asleep on her bed. I knew she hadn’t been feeling well so I didn’t want to disturb her. 

I pulled a chair quietly to the side of the bed and just watched her sleep. I sat there and made what I called “mental snapshots” of the beauty of this woman who had raised me to be the woman I am.

Let me share with you a few of those thoughts:

  • She was a loving mother. I never doubted for a single minute as a child her love for me and my brother. She saw to our needs to the best of her ability. I can recall to mind so easily the clothes she made for me, often after working a long hard day at the hospital. She was that Titus 2 woman. She loved us and she loved God.
  • She was disciplined and she disciplined us. In every aspect of her life, she was self-controlled. Days were planned with what must be done and what could be done. There was no “sleeping in” for her children (unless you were sick) because she had plans for your day too! Along with that, she disciplined us to behave like she wanted us to and God wanted us to. I have picked many switches from trees in order for her to teach me a lesson.  I learned quickly!
  • She was a hard worker.  I don’t recall much time when she just sat down and rested.  She kept an immaculate house and served great meals.  The yard and flowers in the yard were beautiful and cared for. Spare time was something she didn’t know much about. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, idleness was not part of her life.
  • She was a nurse. Being a young woman during World War II, she felt it her calling to enter the army where she was trained and became a nurse in the armed forces. Caring for others made up much of who she was. She didn’t think much about herself, but most often focused on what she could do for others.
  • She was committed. While serving in a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, a young man was shipped from Europe back to the states with a horrible injury from battle and she became his nurse. She later married him and nursed him for the next sixty years. Many of those sixty years were not happy years for her because of his lifestyle after leaving the church, but she had taken vows before God to stay together for life. She lived up to that commitment we read about in Matthew 19:6. In the last years of their marriage, he returned to God and the church in part, I believe, because of her example in life. (1 Peter 3:1-2)
  • She was beautiful. Oh, she was a beautiful woman on the outside, but more importantly, she was beautiful on the inside. She had a heart that always sought to do what was right in God’s eyes, while others around her were doing wrong. She spoke with wisdom and showed compassion to others.

I was blessed with a wonderful mother. She wasn’t perfect, but she was close in my eyes. I often look at her picture on my desk and when our eyes meet, I stop and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the mother with which God blessed me.

“Her children rise up and call her blessed;”  (Prov. 31:28)

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”  (Prov. 31:30)

To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

How Drinking Skim Milk Can Help Your Marriage

I grew up drinking 2% milk. Sometimes it was just good old vitamin D milk. We might on occasion drink 1% milk. But skim milk? No thanks. Isn’t that just water with some kind of milk powder in it? Is there such a thing as white food coloring in water? – because that’s what skim milk tasted like to me. I didn’t like it at all and I decided that if I was ever going to drink milk it wasn’t going to be skim.

But then I got married and guess what? I found out right away that my wife grew up drinking skim milk. To her, 2% milk was too thick and whole milk was disgusting. So she was not interested in drinking any milk that wasn’t skim. So we had a choice to make. One of us could either try to like a different kind of milk or we could buy both skim and 2% and leave them in the fridge all of the time.

Welcome to marriage! They don’t teach you this stuff before you get here. You learn as you go. I have often laughed in premarital counseling sessions when young couples think that everything is going to be pie in the sky. You find out once you are married that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about the other person. Things are going to come up and you are going to have to figure out how to resolve them. Early in marriage couples fight over the silliest things! It usually isn’t really about the issue at hand, but rather, it is that two people are trying to jockey for position in the relationship.

You see, when people live together everything about them is exposed to the other person: the fact that they are messy, or that they don’t hang up their towel in the bathroom the same way that you do. Maybe they snore. Maybe they want the thermostat at a different temperature all the time. Maybe their ideas about individual responsibilities over certain household chores are different. Maybe they are a morning person and you are a night owl.

So guess what? I started drinking skim milk. Why? Why give in? I didn’t see it as giving in. I saw it as a way to show my wife right off the bat that milk was not that important. I felt that I needed to lead the marriage. I have heard people say over the years that marriage is about compromise. I understand what they are trying to say but I don’t think that I entirely agree. If marriage is about compromise then what you are saying subconsciously is that you think the other person has moments in which they need to bend your way. That’s stinking thinking. It leads to an attitude of discontentment and resentment on those occasions when you had preset in your mind that it was their turn to do it your way.

I would rather say marriage is about sacrifice. Somewhere I remember reading that God said a relationship between husband and wife was to be like the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ exemplified his love for the church through full sacrifice. It humbles me as a husband to realize that my job in my marriage is to spiritually lead my family by loving and sacrificing in the same way that Jesus did for the church.

The rest of the story? Well, for about 20 years now I have been drinking skim milk. I still prefer 1 or 2%. But I have gotten used to skim and it’s not bad. And if the milk spills I don’t cry about it. It’s just milk.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” – Ephesians 5:25

To Receive Every Article from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

[Quote] C.S. Lewis on the “Danger” of Love

Source: (quoted in) The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller

Preparing for a Wedding

March 20, 1970 was a very busy day. Actually, there had been a great deal going on for weeks around my mom and dad’s house. We were preparing for a wedding – my wedding to the man I loved and with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life. 

The time and place were set. Dresses were being made for bridesmaids, suits were being selected for groomsmen, flowers were being selected, songs were being picked out, decorations for the church building were in the planning stages, a photographer was chosen, THE DRESS had been purchased, a place for the reception was selected, a beautiful cake had been ordered, and so many other things were occupying our time.

I know this sounds very familiar to anyone who has either planned a wedding or may be planning one in the not too distant future. There is so much to do to prepare for a wedding.

But, I wonder…do we take any time to prepare for the marriage? You see, there is a huge difference in the wedding and the marriage. The wedding is a celebration that lasts for part of a day. The marriage is intended by God to last for your lifetime (Matt. 19:5-6).

How do you plan for a marriage? Let me share a few thoughts that hopefully will help stir some young minds to make an even longer list of preparations for their marriage.

  • Take your time. Hopefully, you have had parents who recognize that the task of training their children for marriage begins with their example in marriage, and teaching what God says about marriage in His word. But, along with this, when you begin to have an interest in the opposite sex, take your time in selecting someone to date. Have your standards set that are in accordance with God’s word. Choose carefully the person with whom you will spend time and never rush into anything because “everyone else is.”
  • Listen to your parents. Most parents have a wealth of knowledge just because they have traveled the path upon which you are walking. Listen to and accept their wisdom on subjects having to do with life. Marrying a person is one thing; dealing with life on a day-to-day basis with that person is something else entirely. We listen to the advice of doctors, teachers, co-workers and others in our life. Make sure you listen to the two people who love you the most. (Prov. 1:8)
  • Understand the meaning of commitment. So many people today are raised without a deep understanding of commitment. We hear it said like this, “Rules are meant to be broken.” If it doesn’t please us or go our way, we quit. If you didn’t have parents who were committed to one another in marriage, learn what true commitment is before you enter marriage. Look carefully at the level of commitment of the person you are considering marrying and never assume “he’ll/she’ll change.” Again, God intended for marriage to last for a lifetime.
  • Seek pre-marital counseling. Many ministers will not perform a wedding ceremony until they have counseled with the couple. What a blessing!!! Talking with someone who is objective about differences you may have as individuals is invaluable. If the problems you may encounter can be pointed out before you are joined for life, you will hopefully be ready to tackle them when they come (and they will come).
  • Spend time in prayer and study. God will listen to you as you are preparing to enter the most important earthly relationship you will have. Next to being married to Christ when you become a Christian, this is your most important relationship. Pray for the person you will marry and his/her family. Pray for yourself and your family as you prepare to enter this new role in your life. Seek God’s wisdom in all of the planning for your life as a married person.
  • Enjoy your wedding day. Take joy in the beautiful wedding for which you planned, knowing that you have spent the most valuable time preparing for your marriage.

“Let marriage be held in honor among all…”  Heb. 13:4a

To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

[Quote] For All You Busy Parents Who are Struggling

SOURCE: For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk. (Page 220)

Praying With Your Family

Yesterday something happened that gave my wife and children cause to celebrate. We had a late day – two hours late to school due to bad weather. I decided to take advantage of the extra hours in the morning.

We went out to breakfast together. It was a prayer breakfast. We used the time we never have on a Monday in which we are usually in a rush to get ready. We talked. We ate a sit-down meal together. We discussed the week ahead. Then I asked them all to tell me something specifically they wanted to pray about. It was a great morning for our family. It was also a very humbling moment for me as a father.

How often do you pray together as a family? I am not talking about a quick prayer before a meal or a brief nighttime prayer you may have with your spouse or your kids. I am talking about an organized gathering where you share your thoughts and anxieties and spend some quality time together with every member of the family present in unified supplication to Jehovah God.

We need to pray more together. The family at home needs to communicate and then pray. The local congregation that constitutes your spiritual family needs to communicate and then pray. But we don’t! We are in too much of a hurry!

And just as we go too fast in praying before a meal at home, we often rush through every instance in prayer with the church. There seems to be a time limit on the Lord’s Supper.  I mean, after all, we have got to get the preacher up there ASAP so we don’t go over! If old man Jones leads the closing prayer and he gets long winded the people begin to fidget! And when is the last time you heard a prayer in the assembly that was more than five minutes long?

Slow down to pray. Whatever is going on can wait. Your work for the day will hang out and still be ready for you until you are done praying.

We need to repent about our prayer lives! We have robbed ourselves, our families, and our Father from prayer time by simply not making it a priority. We think we are doing a great job as parents because we are making every practice, getting all the homework done, and being on task for each and every responsibility. I would rather have a child who wasn’t as good at basketball as the other kids, if my child knew how to pray. I would rather have a child that gets B’s than a kid who gets A’s if my child was one who walked and talked with God. I’d rather have the laundry backed up and the kitchen not as tidy as long as I had a spouse who was allowed the time to have a healthy prayer life with me and my children.

It just hit me yesterday. In doing the right thing about prayer for once I realized I had been doing the wrong thing most of the time. Families MUST share quality spiritual time together and pray. This is true for the church and it’s true for the home.

If you are an elder and you are reading this I ask that you consider making 2017 a year of prayer for your church family. If you are a parent I suggest you to the same thing for your home. You will not regret it. I left breakfast for once feeling like a pretty good husband and father. Not because I am good, but because my family had together just talked to the One who alone IS good, and that is God. We left everything at His feet. We trusted Him and His will and it gave us peace. We came together in love and care for one another in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it was wonderful.

“Father, forgive me for not praying as I should. Forgive me for not leading my family in prayer as I should. Forgive me for all the times I didn’t make time for a conversation with You. Because You are what I need the most. And You are who I love the most. I am looking forward to talking to You more. Thank You for always being there to listen and help me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Whatever you are doing, you have not done as much as you can do…until at first you have prayed.

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray…” – 1 Timothy 2:8

To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here

AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Photo background credit: BillAC on Creative Commons

It’ll Never be the Same Again

The picture reproduced here is an image of the way things used to be. It is also an image of the way things had never been before. 

Four of us used to gather around a table to eat – just like the picture shows. In that way, the picture shows the way things used to be. 

Four of us had never gathered around a table at a Panera Bread in Nashville. In that way, the picture shows the way things never had been before. 

This picture was taken on the next to last day of 2016. It was taken close to the end of a whirlwind and emotional week for the “Faughn Family of Four.” 

On Sunday of that week, I had preached for the last time as the full-time minister for the Central church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky. I completed sixteen years of work with that congregation in that capacity and over thirty-eight years as a full-time gospel preacher. On Monday of that week, our family finally got together to open Christmas presents and enjoy some time together for a few days. 

On Wednesday, our son and his family left for their home in Haleyville, Alabama. On Thursday, our daughter and her family left for their home in Cookeville, Tennessee.

On Friday, the four of us met in Nashville because our son is a life-long Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. He had never had the opportunity to see them play in person, but they were to play later on that Friday in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee.

His wife had surprised him with a ticket to the game as a Christmas present. Our son-in-law did the legwork and secured that ticket and three more so that the four of us could enjoy the game together. (Yes, all the rest of us paid for our own tickets.) 

As you can see from the picture, his sister (our daughter) probably enjoyed the game more than he did. She has become a Tennessee Volunteers fan and, as you may know, the Vols beat the Huskers on that Friday.

It wasn’t about wins and losses on that Friday, though. It was about the four of us being together. It was about, as my late mother-in-law used to say, “making memories.”

The four of us spent a little time that Friday trying to remember when it was that just the four of us did something special like this together. None of us could come up with a definite answer to that. There have been some changes over the years. For one thing, when the family got together earlier that week for Christmas, there were not just four of us. There were eleven of us. 

While I could not come up with a specific memory of the last time the four of us did something special together, I did come up with a very distinct memory. I remember very well the night before we took our daughter to Freed-Hardeman University in order for her to begin her freshman year there. 

I remember the four of us lying on a bed together and “just talking.” I can remember all four of us crying.

As long as I have a memory, I will never forget something her brother said that night. Through the tears, he said, “It’ll never be the same again.”

I’m not sure he realized then how right he was. In the years since that statement was made, there have been more changes than I need to document here. There have been changes in the composition, ages, and locations of our family. Degrees have been earned. Careers have changed. Loved ones have been lost. The list could go on and on.

The words of a song that we sometimes sing present a pretty accurate view of the changes we all experience. The words also present to us some valuable admonition/advice.   

Time is filled with swift transition –

Naught of earth unmoved can stand.

Build your hopes on things eternal,

Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Along with the admonition and advice in that song, I would add the following from one who has lived long enough to see more changes than I can remember.

Treasure time with your family and others with whom you share your life. Do all you can to make good memories. Do not take any moment, event, or experience for granted. 

Remember that it’ll never be the same again.

To Receive Every Post from A Legacy of Faith through Email for Free, Click Here