2 reasons for this series: 1) we believe that to have a thriving life you have to have thriving relationships. 2)I wanted to this series because this month me and my wife will celebrate our 15 year anniversary this year and I thought it was appropriate. amber and i have a great relationship (now) and it is very healthy, but it is far from perfect! there are things we have to work through and things we have to constantly strive to be better at. we don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything, especially…lunch.
and oftentimes we have the misconception that, and us guys really tend to lean this way. we think we only need marriage series, or marriage retreats, or books on marriage, or counseling if our marriage is in shambles or hanging by a thread. Now you do need those things if your marriage is at that point, but it is a flat out lie of the devil if you think you only need those things if your marriage is at that point. all joking aside, i don’t want a good relationship i want a great relationship. this is the most important relationship we have on earth, shouldn’t it be the greatest relationship we have on earth? The only way that will happen if daily we strive to be better. phil. 3 says
“i don’t mean to say that i have already achieved these things or that i have already reached perfection. but i press on to possess that perfection for which christ jesus first possessed me. no, dear brothers and sisters, i have not achieved it, but i focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, i press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which god, through christ jesus, is calling us.” philippians 3:12-14
marriage retreats/marriage series/marriage books and yes even counseling is to me like holistic medicine. holistic medicine can treat illnesses and sickness, but are better at preventing.. they are considered to be more effective as preventive medicine and developing your body so it does not get sick instead of just treating sickness. that is the way our marriages should be!!! we should focus more on continuing to have a healthy marriage instead of just fixing problems and putting out fires like many of us do.
and if you are not married in here… who is not married, raise your hands? this marriage message is for you because i am sure you want to be married someday and, unless your desire is to be a celibate isolated hermit, you will develop into the person that will have a thriving relationship from day one!
so over the next several weeks we are going to talk about 5 commitments that you must make to have a thriving marriage. we title this series “cupid needs more ammo” because butterflies, passion, emotions…they just aren’t enough to sustain a healthy marriage.
girls, dreaming about their wedding. (songs, decorations, dress, names) Boys, not so much. (worried if so). sex 2 a day, 3 on weekends. who’s living out those dreams? “many are disappointed-Is it even possible to have a thriving marriage? not if we base if off culture.
50% make it(less if married young) -the ones that do, a lot are miserable and only stay together for the kids-when/where else are u ok with those odds? 50 odds of a car accident-walking, 50 odds pill swelling heads/hands/feet 3x size-wouldn’t take, 50 chance of losing a check and never finding-new bank
yet for some odd crazy reason we are ok with those odds in marriage and do nothing to shift those odds in our favor. let’s ask God to help us because we don’t want to just “get by”, we want to thrive!
when we get married we say vows like this…
i, matt, take you, amber, to be my wedded wife, my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. in the presence of God, our family and friends, i offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow.
many times we don’t seek god before our marriage, we focus instead on the spouse. because we have this stupid thought that we won’t be happy until we meet “the one”. you know what i mean when i say “the one”? that perfect guy or girl that makes all your dreams come true. we think fulfillment is only found in “the one” and that’s true, but we have labeled the wrong person “the one”
god is your one your spouse is your two.
what did jesus say was the most important commandment?
“the most important commandment is this…you must love the lord your god with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” mark 12:29-30
not your spouse, your god!
the commitment for people who are not married…
in the interim, in the meantime i want to challenge you to have a mindset of:
i will seek the one while preparing for the two.
seek god, know god, pursue god, trust god, love god and watch your life soar
“trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” proverbs 3:5-6
single people-i’m gonna live it up, do what i want…when i decide to get married, then i’ll straighten up, then i’ll get right w god. Problem: when the time comes u carry emotional baggage & trauma-marriage
become the person you want to marry today.
the commitment for people who are married…how do I stay healthy/grow w my spouse? What can i do today to make a difference moving forward?
i will always seek the one with my two. when spouses become our 1, they become idols-bc we think theyre our source of joy/happiness
we idolize our spouses and then we demonize them when they let us down.
idolize-set an impossible bar so high that they must meet all our needs/fulfill/sustain us & when they can’t live up to this impossible expectation we demonize them.
when we are dating…i love how she is so independent…driven…put together…her life is in order.
then we get married & we say she is a control freak, all she does is nag, and she only wants it her way!
The girl will say I love how laid back he is…easy going…comforts me…listener…cares about my problems.
then married he is lazy…always trying to fix my problems…doesn’t do anything…not a leader.
that’s what happens when we don’t seek our 1 w our 2
i wanna talk real quick about the most important spiritual discipline in a relationship to seek god…
theres a lot, but one can lead to them all. “the power of habit” by charles duhigg-keystone habit-habit that leads to other good habits or habit that, if you don’t do it, creates negative momentum and leads to negative habits.
example: gym-eating healthy-energy-having great days. not going to the gym-not eat healthy-gain weight-new wardrobe-no energy at work: lose job-depressed-gain more weight-need more new clothes-no money-shirts fit like tube tops
keystone habit to set marriage on a path of health and holiness:
keystone marriage habit: pray together every day!
“then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, i will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 chronicles 7:14
people in here: land restored in their marriage-humble themselves and hear from heaven-his presence in your marriage will make it thrive. girls in here-stoked. dudes-cmon bro
ways to pray with your “two”
don’t be intimidated: start! today! can’t guarantee success w/o prayer-devil doesn’t want you praying together.
“ confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” james 5:16
“i also tell you this: if two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my father in heaven will do it for you. for where two or three gather together as my followers, i am there among them.” matthew 18:19-20
god in the midst of your relationship? pray. pray together-church together-involved at church-life group-life giving friendships w great couples-raise kids in a godly environment. hard to divorce someone you’re seeking god with. “hard” take the odds! “family life” mag-1000s of christian couples, <8% prayed together daily-years later, those couples: <1% got divorced. <1%!!! That’s stacking the odds in your favor!
crazy spiritual together! fight! don’t settle, thrive! thriving is not divorcing and starting over, seeking god together with your 2!
“seek the kingdom of god above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” matthew 6:33 grab hold of your 2 and never stop seeking the 1 together!
-share a bit about our story. redemption. hope in a hopeless situation. “it was over…through the grace and glory of god he created something brand new. you may feel like you’re hanging by a thread, on the brink of martial destruction, but I promise that, if you seek him as your one, put him as the center of your relationship (matching tattoos), your marriage will soar!”
-invitation- (“i’ve made my two my one, and i don’t even know my one…i have no idea how to do this because i don’t know how to do this because i’ve never made my one…number 1 in my life. all of that can change today, right now! your god, creator of the heavens and the earth, the one who sent His son to die for every sin you’d ever commit so He can have a relationship with you, wants nothing more than for you to come home today! he’s waiting. and all you have to do is repeat a simple prayer we’re all about to repeat together. “sounds too easy!”…never meant to be hard, but it does have to be chosen, accepted by you. and today is your chance. don’t miss this: your everything can change right now…bow your heads…