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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

TWO WORDS TO TAKE HOME. Matt & Jacqui with Craig

I do a lot of weddings. As I stand at the top of the aisle, looking at the bride and groom, I see that real sparkle in each eye, I see the smile on her face as she thinks about the protection this man will give her over the next few decades. She dreams of growing old together, she thinks about the children they will have, she remembers the feel of his strong arms wrapped around her to comfort her. He is gobsmacked with her beauty. She reminds him of some movie star. He thinks about the love making tonight and right through the honeymoon. He sees something magical in that sparkle in her eye. He knows she can be a handful at times but he loves the challenge of working through the issues and coming out with answers.

Fast forward any amount of time you like, six months, two years, ten years. Now she feels unprotected from his hurtful words, she’s not sure she wants to grow old with him, the kids just drain all her energy, she wonders if he has any arms. At this time he still thinks she’s gorgeous but seems like she’s off limits a lot! That sparkle has turned into “the look”, he feels like when they talk they never seem to resolve anything and right now the bills, the mortgage and the conflict at work feel like they are crushing him.

What happened?

Unmet expectations! Is this your marriage? Don’t despair. I can help you. This picture can turn around. Things will be better. I just want you to remember two words from today’s message – Cherish and Respect. Can you write those down somewhere?

I have counselled a lot of marriages, I have been to a ton of marriage seminars. I have taught on marriage and most importantly I have been married for 37 years! The couples who make it long term in marriage have learned how to work at it and work through it. There are two words that when applied will really help you build your marriage stronger. Are you ready?

CHERISH – THE WORD FOR THE GUYS.

OK guys don’t tune out right now. This is the moment to tune in big time! Just think right now… I’m going to tell you who will win the grand final this year, how to make a million dollars in one month and how to look buff while eating anything you want…. Are you listening?

Imagine you are the father of a little girl, she’s about say 5 years old and she is about to be attacked by a stranger. Your precious little princess is in danger, she is so innocent, so vulnerable, so unprotected, so what do you do? You spring into warrior mode! You’re going to protect her at all costs! You’re going to save, protect, rescue, comfort, hold secure, and kiss away the tears until that little girl feels safe once more.

HOLD THAT THOUGHT!!

That’s how to treat your wife every day. The number one need our wives have is security. Listen, they may come across tough, they may have a few choice things to say about those other tuckshop mothers. They may be able to bite the head off a klutz that cuts them off in traffic, BUT, to you she is your little ewe lamb! She wants to held, to be understood, to be embraced, to be comforted, to be protected every day. Ask your wife to give you a photo of her as a little girl. Keep it in your wallet.  I guarantee she will find one for you in ten minutes flat when you get home. Girls if you ask your hubby to find a photo of you for his wallet it may take about 15 years!!

Listen to this story about the ewe lamb.

2 Sam 12:1-7 (ESV)

12 And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” 5 Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, 6 and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!

Guys, if you can get this, it will really help your marriage. Underneath the surface of every great woman who can hold her own in any argument, rage at unrighteousness, terrify the kids, and build a global corporation there is a little girl who will only be vulnerable to you and only if you become that warrior protector.

IT’S CALLED CHERISH.

Ephes 5:25-30 ESV

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

How to Cherish.

See her as that little girl that needs your protection. Hold her. Look into her eyes and be amazed, tell her that you love her at least once every day. Bring home flowers to surprise her. Write a note and hide it in the kitchen somewhere expressing you devotion. Plan a honeymoon weekend once a year. Ring up from work with no other agenda than to say, “I was thinking about you.” Listen when she talks, look into her eyes when she’s talking to you. Write a list of ten things you love about her, leave it lying around the house. When you’re in bed at night hold her tight just for the embrace of intimacy, not every hug will end in sex. Intimacy is more about adoring and cherishing. Don’t worry, you’ll get plenty! It’s a generalisation but women endure sex to obtain intimacy, men endure intimacy to obtain sex.

NOW IT’S THE GIRL’S TURN.

Respect your man. You will never be able to fathom the fact that your man at times feels truly inadequate. The toughest of us, and we will never show it, even to our wives, but we often feel like a failure. We often feel like we should have done better. We often feel that we have let ourselves down and didn’t become what we should have become. Unless we are one of the very few sporting heroes or multimillionaire overachievers we won’t be entirely satisfied with life. We will often carry deep regrets of how we could have made better decisions. It feels like not very many people really look up to us and really respect us. So when we come home, it’s supposed to be a safe place, but if we are disrespected there, it’s crushing.  But we will never show it even to those closest to us. We will either tune out to the pain by watching the footy, or we will get mad and go ape about little things. Some guys drink, some guys do porn, some become workaholics, and some just give up and go missing.

Watch this great video – https://youtu.be/J7FNn_FuT6Q

Maybe you feel like telling us to grow up, get some guts; but it doesn’t help, we’ve been trying that for years. Just like you, very deep down inside of us is that little boy who has very big dreams and just needs someone to believe in them. Who will do it if you don’t? With all our faults and failings, we still really want to succeed and sometimes we just don’t know how. The responsibility is on us to lead and provide and be the strong one, and if that isn’t happening we can find it very tough, but we will never tell you!

How to respect your man.

Just simply say, “I believe in you honey” Pray for your man. Tell someone else how amazing he is for something he did, not just because he has great buns or guns. Tell your kids they have the best dad ever. When there’s trouble at work, financial pressure, or any kind of struggle for him, let him know you have confidence in him to overcome. You know he can do it! We all need a little help from time to time but if we live with criticism we will become broken down or we will leave. You didn’t marry Mr.  perfect, you married “Mr. right for you.” Every time you build him up he becomes the better man you always wanted. Listen to what Jesus says to you.

Colossians 3:18(AMP)

18 Wives, be subject to your husbands [out of respect for their position as protector, and their accountability to God], as is proper and fitting in the Lord.

Ephes 5:33b AMP

and the wife [must see to it] that she respects and delights in her husband [that she notices him and prefers him and treats him with loving concern, treasuring him, honoring him, and holding him dear].

Press the reset button.

Learn to press the reset button

Building great relationships is a task for courageous people. Great relationships are built on love. Love is often accompanied by wonderful feelings of joy, life, and energy. But love is not always practiced in a time of positive feelings.

Love is kind and patient. Sometimes I don’t feel kind and patient! Sometimes I feel like telling someone off or I feel like walking away because I’m sick of waiting. When I have chosen love, I remember what love is, and I choose to practice love at a time when my feelings are not positive.  If I don’t feel loving – it’s not that I don’t love, it’s that my feelings are telling me one thing and my values are telling me something different.

Love is the value and the commitment we have to do the highest good for this person. Whether I feel like it or not I choose kindness, patience and trust. Love is choosing to act the best way, no matter how I feel in my emotions.

Of course there are times when we fail and let one another down. A courageous person says sorry. A courageous partner says I forgive, and we press the reset button. Start over with a fresh motivation to continue in love.

Today I pray you both choose love and be courageous in saying sorry and forgiving one another. I believe then you will build a strong marriage.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. How much do you think your childhood and upbringing have an effect on the way you do relationships?
  2. Have you ever thought deeply about what your partner may have lived through on the journey to adulthood?
  3. How can two broken people do life together?
  4. Husbands, when was the last time you felt really loved and admired by your wife? Share with her.
  5. Wives when was the time you most felt cherished and adored by your husband? Share with him.

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REALationships # 1  –  Sunday 9th June 2013 AM –  The Divine EmbraceREALationship

Have you ever fallen in love?

Do you remember the feeling of life and excitement that surges through your heart and emotions as you see someone in a different light to everyone else in your life?

God designed you to fall in love like that.

Have you ever broken up with someone, whether it was your decision or theirs and you literally feel like you’re going to die?

That’s because God designed you to have someone beside you.

God designed every single human being for REALationship.

Gen 2:18  The LORD God said, “It isn’t good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him.” (CEV)

You are made for relationship. You are designed to have another close to you and share your life with you.

My heart truly goes out to people who have lost their partner. I pray that over time they will find someone to share their life with. This is one of the most difficult challenges in life, losing your partner. My mum lost her husband and my father when she was only 36 and I was only seven years old. I saw how brave she was to build a family and look after a disabled daughter and her son as a single mother. I am a much richer person for her exceptionally positive outlook on life.

So let’s go back to the thought that you are designed for relationship. Where does that originate from? It’s from God Himself.

Eleven times God says in the bible, “I will be their God,” referring to His people and, “they shall be my people.”

THIS IS WHAT I CALL THE DIVINE EMBRACE

2Co 6:16  And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

Deep in the heart of God He desires to have a relationship with people. With you! In the bible account of creation, God makes man and woman. It says Gen 3:8  And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The first man and woman were used to having conversation with God and time with Him in the cool of the day. When they choose to disobey Him and take from the tree of Good and Evil, God was forced to drive them out of their first home in the Garden and into the wilderness to till the ground, so that they will not reach out and take the tree of life and live forever in this fallen state.

I can imagine it broke God’s heart to drive His friends away from the peace and joy they had known. Can you see how God knows the pain of separation?  That break in relationship causes real pain. If you are suffering pain today because of loss of relationship, God knows your pain, He cares for you, He has an answer for you.

God longs for relationship with you. We are created in His image and after His likeness so that we can walk with Him in relationship where we share our lives with each other. This is so far from religion it’s not funny! Religion is keeping a form and ceremony. It’s following a set tradition, a ritual of observance and there’s no deep conversation with the one you love, it’s all about going through the motions because that’s how you were taught to do it.

Religion is a bit like a marriage that lost its spark a long time ago; and now you’re just going through the motions because it’s too painful to do anything else. If you have been stuck in religion for some time, God has an answer for you… To fall in love with Jesus.

Do you have any idea how much God loves you? Do you have any idea how deeply He desires to be there for you and be your companion? Let me show you how God sees it.

Eph 5:31  As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother to get married, and he becomes like one person with his wife.”

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery, but I understand it to mean Christ and his church. (CEV)

The most intimate relationship on earth is the marriage union between a man and a woman. When you see that relationship at its best you see a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. Can there be a more intimate relationship than that?

God invented marriage and He wants us to see it in all its glory and splendour and see that’s how God wants it with us.

Eph 5:22  A wife should put her husband first, as she does the Lord.

Eph 5:23  A husband is the head of his wife, as Christ is the head and the Savior of the church, which is his own body.

Eph 5:24  Wives should always put their husbands first, as the church puts Christ first.

Eph 5:25  A husband should love his wife as much as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

Today we are going to witness a real marriage. Right here, right now a young couple are going to be married. I want you to see this marriage as a picture of the love that God has for you and the devotion that you can have for God.

GOD USES THE PICTURE OF A MARRIAGE TO SHOW THE REALITY OF THE INTIMACY HE DESIRES TO HAVE WITH HIS PEOPLE . OBVIOUSLY WE ARE NOT TALKING SEXUAL BUT CLOSENESS AND DEVOTION AND COMMITMENT AND COMMUNICATION.

CALL TO RESPOND TO JESUS

In every wedding you witness a picture of the love, intimacy, hopes and joy of companionship that God desires to have with you.

To come to this place of true commitment Both Robert and Rebecca had to forgive each other for things they had done wrong. That allowed them to give themselves fully to each other in trust and commitment expecting that they can now build a future together.

In the same way to come to God we must be forgiven of things we have done that have prevented the relationship between you and God. God loves you. He desired so much to receive you as His son or daughter that he sent Jesus to die for you. Jesus was punished for your sins and my sins on the cross. This was so that he could satisfy God’s justice for all sins to be punished. We have sinned and the punishment we rightly deserve has been given to Jesus who stood in our place. Now that’s love and that’s commitment. Even before we responded God already sent Jesus to die for us.

He’s asking you today will you take me as your God and saviour. Will you give your life to me?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss what it may have felt like for God to drive Adam and Eve from the garden following their disobedience.

2. Eleven Times God says, “I will be their God and They shall be my people” Discuss how much God longs for a people to be His own.

3.  If a marriage is a picture of Christ and His church, describe how a relationship with God should look from God’s point of view.

4. What does intimacy look like in a spiritual relationship between God and  believer?

5. How do you feel about your level of Intimacy with God in your own life?

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We live in a fallen world.

We live in a world where values of integrity and fidelity have moved significantly over the last 100 years.

Adultery has always been a factor in every era, but now in this day in which we live it is sold as exciting and adventurous; being openly displayed on almost every TV program, movie and magazine. It has become far more acceptable now then ever before.

MOVIE CLIP – AN AD FOR THE “GOOD WIFE”

http://youtu.be/M5wbUmhf3ro

The hurt caused by betrayal is seldom given the prominence that a salacious affair is given.

The Effect of the media.

The media glamorises adultery.

Catholic news service  http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=28831

LOS ANGELES (LifeSiteNews) – The Parents Television Council released a new study, Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, which revealed that broadcast networks depict sex in the context of marriage as either non-existent or burdensome, while showing positive depictions of extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships with alarming frequency.
Across the broadcast networks, the new PTC report found that verbal references to non-marital sex outnumbered references to sex in the context of marriage by nearly 3 to 1, and scenes depicting or implying sex between non-married partners outnumbered similar scenes between married couples by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1.

Durex’s Global Sex Survey has found that worldwide 22% of people surveyed have had extramarital sex. Some countries the prevalence was as high as 58%

United States

Alfred Kinsey found in his studies that 50% of males and 26% of females had extramarital sex at least once during their lifetime.[20] Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% women,[21]

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.

http://wayback.archive.org/web/jsp/Interstitial.jsp?seconds=5&date=1203149228000&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf&target=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20080216080708%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf

There is now a website that facilitates adultery; It is a website for people who want a fling. AshleyMadison.com their slogan is Life is short – Have an affair.

Christians commit adultery too. In spite of the bible saying

1Co_6:9  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

1Co 6:10  Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. (AMP)

Yet many Christians fall into this trap.

Most likely your marriage is fine. This message may seem irrelevant to you, but consider who else you can help who may be struggling in this area. More to the point; be on your guard, for we are all subject to temptation and we need Godly advice to protect us from errors.

Why do some Christians fall into this trap?

 

1. The culture of the age

The culture of the age is drowning in moral relativism. That is: if it feels good – Do it! The trend is to question all kinds of restraint. Who says pre-marital sex is wrong? The result: the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases sky rockets. Who says adultery is wrong? Result: the divorce rate is the highest ever, throwing massive costs on to the economy through a multitude of ramifications.

As people move away form God, righteousness and fidelity, they look more and more like the nation of Israel who suffered the consequences of disobedience to God. If you don’t believe in God or don’t care about righteousness then none of this makes sense to you and Christians are just prudes and kill joys, hypocrites who try to tell others how to live.

But the bible calls us Christians to be salt and light. Not only are we called to live in righteousness but our example is to show the way for others. It’s our joy to walk with Jesus and to be ever so grateful for our release from the prison of sin and the horror of eternity in hell, that we draw on all His power to live a new life of freedom, righteousness and purity.

As born again Christians we have a new nature. We are born from above we don’t want to sin any longer; this salvation we have, is power over sin, and we have a new heart that wants to please God.

2. Everyone is tempted

Jas_1:14  But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). (AMP)

We learned last week about the power of walking in the spirit, we have a carnal nature – that old man that still has influence in our lives if we let it. But we choose to walk in the spirit and thereby we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

You may be tempted, but here’s why you don’t yield to it.

  1. God is so generous and gracious to call you out of darkness. We say no to sin because of so great a salvation. We know what we are saved from.
  2. We count the cost. Is one night of passion worth losing our marriage, losing the respect of my kids, breaking up the family home, paying lawyers thousands of dollars in divorce settlements etc etc? (It cost Greg Norman $9mill to divorce his first wife… might have been less pain to stay together)
  3. There’s a massive amount of evidence that such relationships rarely work out. 41% of marriages end in divorce and 83% of second marriages.

MY STORY IN KIEV.

3. The absence of the fear of God

The church must stay true to the word of God. If the church strays away from truth it loses its power and effectiveness. The church cannot wink at pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexuality because the society is changing. We must preach bible values. To preach the gospel is to present the true picture of salvation. The reality of what Jesus has done on the cross is so awesome and amazing that we are deeply moved by our understanding of the consequences of sin and the great gift of salvation we have received. It is a gift that we do not deserve in any way. Our ability to see it and repent is totally a gift from God and for us to take it for granted is the height of foolishness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Depth of His love equals the height of His anger against sin. If we truly know Him we are people who walk in a Godly fear and walk in a manner worthy of so great a salvation.

Heb 10:26  If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice

Heb 10:27  and are left on our own to face the Judgment–and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!

Heb 10:28  If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death,

Heb 10:29  what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit?

Heb 10:30  This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing,” and, “God will judge his people.”

Heb 10:31  Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me. (MESS)

God is so gracious and forgiving, and yes, of course, adultery is not the unforgivable sin, but can we trade on that grace and enter a forbidden relationship in the belief that God will forgive and pardon us in the end?

I have counselled many people who have made that decision. Some ended up far from God, others serve in the ministry today. My only plea to all people I serve with the word of God, is walk carefully, this is very dangerous ground.

4. Spiritual and emotional adultery

Physical adultery breaks a covenant made in the sight of God between two people. Often this step comes at the end of what began as emotional and spiritual adultery.

Some people may even enter emotional and spiritual adultery and not actually come together physically.

Jesus speaks so clearly about this practice when he says…

Mat 5:27  You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. [Exod. 20:14; Deut. 5:18.]

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (AMP)

When a man and a woman marry they covenant to live together and give each other their hearts and their souls and their bodies. Scientists have discovered that when a couple makes love, the hormone oxytocin is released in both the man and the woman. This hormone creates a bonding experience in the mind and emotions of each one. The act of sex is so much more than physical.

When a married person shares their heart with a person other than their spouse they begin to forge a link that supplies the rest and refreshment of the soul that should be provided only by your spouse. Often counsellors get into trouble because they show empathy and express care and listening skills which create a bond emotionally that leads to emotions of infidelity. That is why in this church we do not counsel the opposite sex.

These emotions can seem so real that the person believes they have fallen in love with someone else and now they feel their own partner does not love them.

Often the man feels his wife does not understand him and he finds solace in the caring of another woman. His own wife will sense he has distanced himself from her and alarm bells go off. Soon her fear of another being present in the relationship, pushes her to criticism and anger, pushing him away.

At this point the offending pair will say, “It all seems so right. Perhaps we married the wrong person.”

They have been duped by deception. This deception stops them from seeing the truth – that their new relationship is of their own making and it is fuelled by pride. “This is what I want – it’s for me”

Pro 6:32  But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.

Pro 6:33  Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. (AMP)

 The way out

  1. Cut it off now. Don’t wait another hour. Don’t expect your feelings to approve. Run from the snare that has caught you.   Pro 7:21  With much justifying and enticing argument she persuades him, with the allurements of her lips she leads him [to overcome his conscience and his fears] and forces him along.

Pro 7:22  Suddenly he [yields and] follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, like one in fetters going to the correction [to be given] to a fool or like a dog enticed by food to the muzzle

  1. Seek God and cry out for His mercy that perhaps He will lift the deception off your soul.
  2. See a counsellor. Be open to someone who is Godly and confess your sins and receive instruction. Chris and I are willing to see anyone. You may wish to see a professional counsellor outside the church. Here is a resource for Christian counsellors. http://www.ccaa.net.au/find-a-christian-counsellor/all-christian-counsellors.php?intstate=2  and another  http://www.totalwellbeing.com.au/counselling-service

We live in a crazy world where the moral standards are plummeting – lets be a church that shines the light so bright. Let’s be a church that empowers great marriages and heals broken ones. Let’s be a church that helps adulterers find a way back home and let’s be a church that helps to heal the broken hearted ones who have been betrayed.

Love one another, go easy on one another, pray for each other.

 

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