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REALationships  # 3 PM 23 June 2013Boy Meets Girl 2

 THE DIVINE EMBRACE

We have spoken in week one about Gods great passion to have a people of His own.

God is firstly a Father and He longs for children to walk with Him.

 HOSEA

“But down the road the population of Israel is going to explode past counting, like sand on the ocean beaches. In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God’s Somebody. Everybody in Judah and everybody in Israel will be assembled as one people. They’ll choose a single leader. There’ll be no stopping them—a great day in Jezreel!” (Hosea 1:10, 11 MSG)

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. (Hosea 2:14, 15 MSG)

 PICTURE – God as the jilted lover, Israel as the unfaithful partner.  God, broken hearted keeps promising restoration if she will return.

 WHY DO WE, AS PEOPLE, FIND FAITHFULNESS TO A LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP SO HARD?

 1. The fruit of the tree you shall not eat… You want what you can’t have.

2. The grass is greener scenario.

 In Australia http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Cheating-hearts/2004/12/22/1103391840011.html?oneclick=true

Depending on which study you believe, between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of people in long-term relationships have been unfaithful, and, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, infidelity is cited as the main provocation in 20 per cent of divorce cases.

In the 2005 Global sex survey taken by the condom company Durex; Australia rated second highest nation on earth for the number of sexual partners respondents had. An average of 13.3.

 But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way? When one of you says, “I’m on Paul’s side,” and another says, “I’m for Apollos,” aren’t you being totally infantile? (1 Corinthians 3:1-4 MSG)

 Broken lives, sin soaked hearts, believing that you have to make it all happen yourself. Thinking God is not going to take care of you, wont keep his promise. He has promised to take care of you and provide everything for your needs. Your need for relationships is clear to Him.

  THEREFORE, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP)

 So how does one build a great relationship with others especially someone who you want to share your life with – a life long partner?

  1. Put God first in your relationships. – intimacy with God brings life.
  2. Stop talking about yourself! Show interest in others.
  3. Sow what you want to reap – do unto others.
  4. Become the right person instead of looking for the right person.

  Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims. You know the old saying, “First you eat to live, and then you live to eat”? Well, it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing, but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food, or indulging it with sex. Since the Master honors you with a body, honor him with your body! (1 Corinthians 6:12, 13 MSG)

 There’s two needs women and men experience – intimacy and sex.

Within a marriage a woman will put up with sex to gain intimacy, and a man will put up with itimacy to gain sex.

 But before marriage God has a plan…

 Discover God and learn about people.

1Co 7:32  I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.

1Co 7:33  Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse,

1Co 7:34  leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God.

1Co 7:35  I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.

 Building great relationships is different today than in past times.

When your grandparents grew up it was most common fro a young man to court a young woman for a couple of years and they would decide to marry.

 Of course you have needs for companionship and for sex. The world says take what you need, the religion says deny what you need, but the answer is  acknowledge your need yield yourself to God.

 In my pre married days I had to make that transition from regular sexual involvement to celebacy as I became a Christian.  Its a high calling. Think of our grandfathers in th trenches in WW1.

 In my generation young couples met at parties and sometimes clubs and decided to go out. Later couples were connecting through mutual contact through school UNI and the workplace. Often groups of young adults hung out together and made relationship building a group affair.

 Things have changed a lot – in one episode of Jerry Seinfeld he’s dating a girl but can’t remember her name, he gets into all kinds of trouble trying to find out out what it is but can’t ask her because they are already sleeping together. This episode is dated over 10 years ago!!

 These days a fair percentage of couples get together through relationship and dating services.

When the Internet first began I married several couple who met someone through the Internet chat rooms and I was at first horrified. I thought for sure that these virtual relationships wouldn’t last, however I was surprised how many cof these coupes stayed together.

 DATING SERVICES

RSVP

Australian members: Two million – the most popular online dating site, according to recent figures. Who’s on it: Roughly 50/50 female and male; 48% of members are aged between 26 and 40, while 34% are between 41 and 60

 eHARMONY

Australian members: More than a million, according to an eHarmony spokesperson Who’s on it: About 51% males and 49% females; most members are aged in their 20s and 30s, but there are also a large number of older users

 Oasis Active

Australian members: About 1.6 million Cost: Free Who’s on it: Roughly 60% of members are male and 40% female; 64% are aged between 18 and 35, while 27% are between 36 and 50

 Some people may still feel a bit uncomfortable about connecting through an online dating service,  however if you use one you will more than likely have more success than if you didn’t use one. And why is that?

 Relationships are hard because people are time poor, expectations have changed a great deal and online communications have taken away genuine intimacy.

The reason these online services have a good strike rate is the extensive profiling of each  person that takes place before they meet. To apply you must give a complete review of all your personality, background and experience. They website computer program’s select people with similar values so that the potential for conflict is reduced.

 WHAT MAKES A GREAT RELATIONSHIP?

Do you look at a relationship and ask, “Will this relationship meet my needs?”

Then you may experience a lot of disappointment in relationships.

What makes a great relationship is the task of making someone else’s life beautiful.

 What makes a great relationship is what you give into a relationship.

Relationships are not 50/50 – It’s 100%

Are you looking for Mr. right or Miss Right? Or are you working on becoming Mr. Right or miss Right?

 Being needy or insecure in a relationship is going to make that relationship difficult. If the threat of ending a relationship brings fear to you then you may compromise your values to keep it. It’s not worth it.

 Here’s two great promises for you.

  1. God has planned your life. Jer 29:11  I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out–plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (MESS) – Tina’s story
  2. God knows your needs –  Mat 6:7  “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God.  Mat 6:8  Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. (MESS)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. Do you believe that a person’s relationship with God can be so fulfilling that they don’t need a partner? Discuss.
  2. Discuss how online communication such as facebook has removed a lot of the real intimacy in relationships.
  3. Discuss the differences in how young men and young women experience the challenges of singleness.
  4. If you are always talking about yourself, what does that do to your relationships?
  5. When people think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, they are often getting the wrong perspective. Discuss.

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