August 17, 2012

Marriage Success Series: Lesson 2


Hi all! Hope all is well. Here's week 2 lesson from the 8 weeks marriage class. Enjoy!

RCCG Agape House of Worship
Marriage Success Class 

Lesson 02 - Foundation of a Healthy Marriage

Introduction
In most cases people get into marriage because they are athacted to each other. Unfortunately that initial attraction (tingle) does not always last for long. After the first or second year of marriage, when the initial "tingle" is starting to fade, many couples find that they don't feel towards each other the way they used to. Many people foolishly take this to mean the marriage is over; I don't love him/her an)more or vice versa. This is the reason most marriage failures occur within the first two to three years of marriage. The fact is there is only so far the initial feeling that brings us into marriage can take us. The true virtue that sustains a marriage is commitment. Commitment means choosing to love. That is actually the true definition of love and that is the vow we make when we get manied.

Psalm 1 1:3 - "when the foundations ore being destroyed, what can the righteous do? "

What is Healthy Marriage?
  • In a healthy marriage each element (person) in the marriage performs his/her God-given functions well. The husband perform his role of the servant leader of the house (Eph. 5: 2l-33,lPeter3:7) while the wife performs her role as the helper and supporter of the husband. 
  • A healthy marriage is well oiled (with love, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness etc) and can easily adapt to changes and challenges as they come. Unhealthy marriages get thrown-off by changes as they occur in marriage while a healthy marriage is able to recalibrate and adapt. 
  • Healthy marriage involves people of healthy personalities. A healthy marriage is impossible when one party has unhealthy personality like poor self esteem, pride etc. 
  • In healthy relationships, a period of confrontation ends in forgiveness - in drawing together - in deeper respect and understanding - and sometimes in sexual satisfaction. But in unstable marriages, a period of conflict produces greater pain and anger that persists until the next fight. When that occurs, one unresolved issue is compounded by another and another. That accumulation of resentment is an ominous circumstance in any marriage. This is why the apostle Paul admonished us not to let the sun go down on our wrath (Ephesians 4:26).
Commitment is the Foundation for a Healthy Marriage: To have and maintain a healthy marriage a Christian couple must make commitment in the following three areas:

l. commitment to God - commitment in following Jesus. Luke 14:25-28
  • Commitment demands a choice: Jesus wasted no time getting to the heart of commitment: either the disciples would be committed to Him and deny their own desires or they would be determined to go their own ways and deny Him. The choice to commit is the same for all believers - either deny ourselves or deny Him; we either go His way or we pursue our way. 
  • Commitment demands action: it cannot be divorced from responsibility. It extends beyond our relationship to the heavenly Father to other areas of life. Ruth's words of commitment to Naomi did not speak as loudly as did her actions. She left her family and homeland to return with Naomi to Bethlehem.
2. Commitment to Each Other
A couple must be committed to each other's welfare, wellbeing at the expense of self. Marriage is a commitment to forget any exit strategy and stay together regardless of situation or circumstance.

Genesis 2:24: - For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.

Mathew 19:6 - Jesus made some inferences for us: "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let no man sepdrate.

In answer to a specific question that the Pharisees had posed to him, He went on to explain that God
directed Moses to permit divorce only because of his people's hardness of heart, or sinful stubbornness.
Divorce was established to guard innocent people who were being taken advantage of in the rush to put spouses, usually women, away. Jesus added that divorce was allowed (not commanded) only in the case of adultery. Verse 9: "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marry another woman commits adultery. "

3. Commitment to Personal and Spiritual Growth
Growth is a sign of health, by nature living things must grow. Anytime one party in a marriage refuses to grow or one party is growing at a much slower pace than the other, conflicts are bound to occur. For a marriage to remain healthy both party must make a lifelong commitment to personal and spiritual growth.

 Additional personal notes:
  • Do not take wedding vows for granted, as you're entering into a covenant with God and your spouse. To help understand the magnitude of the vows you're going to be reciting, meditate on it before the wedding and understand the power in each word.
  • Sometimes your destiny is tied to your marriage and the moment you end the marriage you cut your destiny short.
  • You have to be willing to accept change in a marriage and be willing to help each change - unhealthy personalities.
  • Separate your emotions from your responsibilities. Don't stop cooking or fulfilling your wifely duties during conflicts. *
  • Do not let your conflict drag on longer than it has to -  forgiveness
  • Teaching moment: instead of reproaching a bad behavior or attribute of your spouse find a teaching moment where they'll clearly see the reason they need to change instead of you forcing them to. Careful not to make it a I told you so moment.
  • The marriage is like a triangle where you are both on each edge and God is at the top. Make God your focus and you'll both be working towards a common goal and eventually align together. If you make each other your focus without God, you'll never have a meeting point.
  • No exit plan, if you have a backup plan of what you'll do when things goes sour, you'll be subconscious working toward that plan.
  • Marriage is a living organism, you have to feed it to grow - with spiritual elements.
  • Spiritually, feed yourselves the same material so you may grow at the same pace and think same.
  • Yearn to grow, where you are and what you know today will not sustain you in 5 years.
For comments, thoughts, addition, clarification - leave a comment.

Xx
Christiana

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Xx
Christiana

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