Married Life April 15th: Crazy Love April 22nd: Broken Vessels April 29th: Friends or Lovers? May 6th: The Devil Made Me Do It May 13th: Prayer & Spiritual Intimacy May 20th: Thunder & Lightning May 27th: Mosquito Bites June 3rd: Guest Speakers June 10th: Learning to Love
From Week 2 Summary points • POINT 1: Change in a marriage cannot happen without changing my perspective • POINT 2: Happiness in the marriage is dependent on shifting focus from changing you to changing me …Happily ever after is centered on character transformation • POINT 3: We all have a style of relating born out of our brokenness that we carry into our marriages • POINT 4: The greatest gift you can give your marriage is to have a real and growing relationship with Jesus Christ… where you grow to be more like Him
I. why get married? • Would you rather have great sex life or life-long companion and friend? • This answer to “why you got married” is the key to making it through the difficult times … what is it for you? • Companionship- far more the actual brick and mortar of two lives lived together- the glue that allows the marriage to make it- the path toward finding something rich in your marriage • Despite our vows, hopes and dreams, most couples end up living separate lives
I. why get married? • Rather than luck and love, the most common reasons couples give for their long-term marital success are • commitment and companionship. They define their marriage as a creation that has taken hard work, • dedication and commitment (to each other and to the institution of marriage). The happiest • couples are friends who share lives … • Finnegan Alford-Cooper, For Keeps: Marriages the Last a Lifetime (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1998); Judith Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee. The Good Marriage (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995); Robert Lauer and Jeanette Lauer, “Factors in Long-Term Marriage” Journal of Family Issues 7:4 (1986): 382-390
I. why get married? • "How was your day" might be the most beautiful gift a marriage has to offer. It means my life matters to someone. • Are you and your spouse companions? • On a scale of 1-10, how much companionship do you experience in your marriage?
I. Why Get married? • POINT 1: We marry to share life with another • How well do you share life with your spouse? • What can you do together to build companionship? • What reasons stop you from living life together- blocked the development of companionship?
ii. Companions… • 1. Seek Love… Pursue it… • I Cor. 14:1 • Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. • 1 Timothy 6:11 • [ Paul’s Final Instructions ] But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. • Proverbs 21:21 • Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. • Do you pursue love with your spouse?
ii. Companions… • 1. Seek Love… Pursue it… "We are most alive when we find it, most devastated when we lose it, most empty when we give up on it, most inhuman when we betray it, and most passionate when we pursue it." In his book, Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael McManus
ii. Companions… • 2. Know their spouse… Men's Five Basic Needs: 1. Sexual Fulfillment 2. Recreational Companionship 3. Attractive Spouse 4. Domestic Support 5. Admiration Women's Five Basic Needs: 1. Affection 2. Conversation 3. Honesty and openness. 4. Financial Support 5. Family commitment What does your spouse desire? Most important to him/her?
ii. Companions… • 2. Know their spouse… • Story of life • Fears • Wounds • Dreams • Desires
ii. Companions… • 3. Listen… • “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” • David Augsburger • “The first duty of love is to listen.” • Paul Tillich
ii. Companions… • 3. Listen… • A good listener: • Is slow to speak… James 1:19- “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” • Listens beyond words… (Listening is: 10% words/30% sounds/60% body language… 80-90% is NON-VERBAL!) • Focuses on understanding not being understood… • How good of a listener are you in your marriage?
ii. Companions… • 4. Are Safe… • Warmth-John 4- Caring, respect, sincere, non-smothering concern… regardless of the person’s actions or attitudes • Genuineness - not phony or superior, open, sincere… honesty without cruel confrontation… (a soft answer turns away wrath), being congruent • Empathy- Sensitive and able to communicate understanding of the person’s thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, inner conflicts… to “feel with”, especially at the beginning is most helpful • A-C-C-E-P-T-A-N-C-E – do you feel accepted as you are by your spouse? Do you accept your spouse as he/she is?
ii. Companions… • 5. Speak a foreign language… • Words of Affirmation: Genuinely meant compliments and words that affirm their commitment to you means everything. • Quality Time: LOVE is spelled as T-I-M-E. Nothing in the world matters to you more than undivided attention of your partner. • Receiving Gifts: Simple everyday gestures make their day. The efforts and thoughts behind it makes them feel loved. • Acts of Service: An act of making coffee or helping them in the kitchen can also be a language of love to some. Anything you do to help or ease their burden will be considered as great care and love. • Physical Touch: Love is expressed by a simple hug, pat on the back, holding hands or a thoughtful touch on their arm, or face.
ii. Companions… • 5. Speak a foreign language… • How do you identify your and your spouse’s love languages? • What does your spouse do or not do that hurts you most deeply? The opposite of what hurts you most is probably your love language. • What have you most often requested of your spouse? The thing you have most often requested is likely the thing that will make you feel most loved. • In what way do you most often express your love to your spouse? Your method of expressing love may be an indication that would also make you feel most loved.
ii. Companions… • 6. Share Experiences… • The Office for National Statistics finds that on average we spend two to two and half hours a day together, including weekends. And what do we do when we're alone with our loved ones? Watch TV (one third of all the time spent together), eat (30 minutes) and do housework together (24 minutes). Whoopee. • Of course it matters if you don't spend much time together or if that time is spent having a TV dinner. A study in the Journal of Sex Research of 6,029 couples from the US National Survey of Families and Households found (somewhat obviously) that the less time couples spent together, the less sex they had.
ii. Companions… • 6. Share Experiences… • Shared experiences- bonding • Time = Love • Recreational activities • Of course it matters if you don't spend much time together or if that time is spent having a TV dinner. A study in the Journal of Sex Research of 6,029 couples from the US National Survey of Families and Households found (somewhat obviously) that the less time couples spent together, the less sex they had.
ii. Companions… • “I will tell you what a tragedy is. I will show you how to waste your life. Consider this story from the February 1998 Reader’s Digest: A couple ‘took early retirement from their jobs in the Northeast five years ago when he was 59 and she was 51. Now they live in Punta Gorda, Florida, where they cruise on their 30-foot trawler, play softball and collect shells. . . .’ Picture them before Christ at the great day of judgment: ‘Look, Lord. See my shells.’ That is a tragedy. • “God created us to live with a single passion: to joyfully display his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. The wasted life is the life without this passion. God calls us to pray and think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of him in every part of our lives.”John Piper, “Don’t Waste Your Life” • (Matthew 6:33; I Cor. 6:19-23; Mark 16:15-17; Luke 10:27)
ii. Companions… • 7. Share a mission… • Dreaming of a future together with meaning • Just like there is “more to life than this”… there is “more to marriage than this”… • Ask yourself: What do we worship? What do we consider significant? Is it truly important in light of God’s magnificence? What am we doing with our life? Is it meaningful when evaluated through the lens of God’s eternal purposes? What should we be doing?
ii. Companions… • Sharing a Mission Together… • What is he mission of your marriage? What are the two of you called to, together? If you have none… • Start dreaming together- what do you hope to do? • Pray- “what do you have for us?” and “what are we involved in that we shouldn’t be?”
Ii. Companions… • POINT 2: I have to work at • becoming a good companion
Iii. Friends or lovers? • Again… Would you rather have great sex life or • life-long companion and friend? • POINT 3: A good companion spouse IS a good lover… the best of lovers
Personal questions • Are you and your spouse companions? On a scale of 1-10, how much companionship do you experience in your marriage? • What reasons stop you from living life together- blocked the development of companionship? • What can you do together to build companionship? • Is your marriage stuck in routines? • What are some of the highlights of your journey together? The good parts and the bad? • Have you ever thought your marriage was to have a mission? • What is the mission of your marriage? What are the two of you called to, together? • Do you feel you are “in this together”?Or, alone?
Do something • Talk about your mission together this week- dream of something more and say it • Try something new this week- do something different and adventurous for you- break routines • How much time do you spend together? (Do you have “Date Nite”?) • How do you spend it? Can you look at your spouse & truly say he/she is your friend? Why? Why not? • Discuss with each other… do you know his/her favorite: Vacation Place, Movie, Restaurant, TV Show, Kind of Novel, Way of Relaxing, Way of Working/Doing Tasks, Way of celebrating something special, Way of Receiving Love and Giving Love?, Way of Being Approached for Sex?, His Favorite Food/Restaurant, How He Has Fun, What Makes Him Feel Good About Himself, How He Would Prefer to Spend Some Extra Money, How He Handles Stress, How He Feels Respect From You, When He Needs Your Help, How He Would Prefer Your Love Life