July 12, 2012

Marriage Success Series

My church marriage ministry has a marriage counseling class called the Marriage Success Class for dating/engaged couples as well as marriage couples that wish to learn or improve their relationship or older married couples that would just like to impact knowledge unto young and upcoming couples. The series is 8 weeks longs and the last time they had they series, Mr. D and I made it to one class. That one class was very insightful and fun. we gained new knowledge and learnt from other people sharing their experiences. When the new series started we decided we'll try our best to make it to all 8 classes.

The new series started last week and even though it was the introductory lesson and it was geared mainly towards dating couples, it was still very good information that led to interesting conversations. I thought it would be a good idea to post each week's transcript as someone out there might just find it useful.

So without further due, here's the first lesson from the marriage series class.


Lesson 01: The Christian Courtship

Courtship is a period of wooing each other. It should also be a period where you can study your partner and determine if you are both compatible. For a believer, it is a golden opportunity to confirm or proof the choice you have made. In doing this, you must:

  1. Recognize that you cannot by your knowledge and understanding know everything about your spouse. You need to rely on God and be prayerful.
  2. Not take things for granted; respectfully discuss anything you are not comfortable with in your partner.
  3. Encourage honesty and sincerity, deception will hurt you in the long run
  4. Do all you can to improve your knowledge about marriage; read books, attend relationship conferences etc. Knowledge is power.

Three Major Questions to Ask

  1. Am I ready to give myself totally to this person?
  2. Am I ready to give my possessions to this person?
  3. Will I be proud to present this person anywhere?

Genuine Reasons for Breaking a Courtship

  1. Signs of deceit; the person constantly not telling the truth or trying to hide things from you.
  2. Signs of sinful tendencies from the partner.
  3. Signs of abuse; verbal, physical etc
  4. A very high degree of incompatibility. Ordinary incompatibility should not be a reason for breaking courtship. You cannot get someone perfectly compatible.

Breaking a courtship should not be done without godly counsel. Most problems can actually be solved through proper counseling and a willing partner. Courtship should only be broken after other means of resolving the problems have been pursued.

Things to Look Out For During Courtship:
  1. Character: Study your partner’s character; you get better clues from how your partner treats other people. You cannot completely change people, pray for them and understand each other’s weakness.
  2. Background differences: Study and understand your partner’s culture, family status, class, religion background, etc. All these factors play into who they are and why the act the way they do.
  3. Taste and Preferences: Know your partner’s likes and dislikes e.g. colors, etc and seek for ways to reconcile them.
  4. Share your past experiences: Be open to each other, talk about your past failures and successes, share your abilities and talents, goals and aspirations, also talk about your health conditions.
  5. Attitude: Your partner’s attitude to life, money, people. est.

Ingredient of an Effective Courtship:

1.      Structure: Put structure into your relationship: when, where and why you meet.
2.      Vision: Set goals, cast vision about your future. The man is especially responsible for this.
3.      Spiritual Focus: Schedule time to pray and study the bible together.
4.      Relationship: Develop relationship with each other’s family, friends etc.
5.      Length: Keep the courtship to a reasonable time frame. We suggest about two years.
6.      Mentorship: Look for a married couple that you respect to be a mentor and guide.
7.      Continuous Learning: Make sure you learn together about relationship. Books, Messages etc.


Keeping Sexually Pure
Let's face it; we are living in a time when sex is treated as being somewhat casual. It is no longer perceived as the sacred seal of a new marriage. And if you outwardly discuss it from a Biblical standpoint, expect to be ridiculed and even scorned. Regardless of how we have tampered with its God-given purpose in our entertainment, advertisements, educational system, fashion and society, we cannot escape God's standards just by shutting our eyes. He has a plan for sex. Rest assured that His plan is not one to make us miserable. On the contrary, it can spare us heartache - as many of us have gone down the road of yielding ourselves to someone who only trampled upon a moment that was given to them as a priceless treasure. To Jesus Christ, our sexuality is a treasure. He reserves it for a husband and his wife. So, what is an unmarried Christian couple supposed to do in the meantime? Wait. Yes, wait. Although waiting can be difficult, God’s grace is available.

1 Corinthians 6:13b-“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

One of the most important things an engaged Christian couple can do is to stay sexually pure for each other, for themselves, and for God. Temptation can be really strong, because, after all, the person you're engaged to is the person you plan to have sex with for the rest of your lives.

Dangers of Premarital Sex:
·         It’s a sin – Sex outside marriage is a sin.
·         Engaging in sex before marriage clouds your judgment, removes rationality from the relationship.
·         It prevents you from really having a simple friendly relationship.
·         Pre-marital sex is a powerful tool that could put your mental and emotional connection at risk.
·         Risk of pregnancy, STD etc.

Steps to Avoid Sexual Sin:
Staying sexually pure during courtship is not something that can be passively done - you can't say, "we just won't do that", and go on with life. You have to be constantly watching for temptations, actively shooting them down, setting up rules and tactics for defeating them, praying to God for help and wisdom, and above all, watching yourself. Here are some steps that would be very helpful:

  1. Discuss the issue of purity and lay down ground rules - The devil thrives where there is ambiguity. Eph.5: 11- Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. The core of the issue is a heart one. Do you want to stay pure until you're married, and why? A desire to please God and remain pleasing for Him and a desire to respect your beloved and keep him pure as well should be the core of it, nothing short of that will work.
  2. Avoid being alone together. When you are alone make sure it is in public places. Be prepared and do please leave the scene of dating when you first notice that you are alone or the mood has started to change.
  3. Also avoid spending too much unnecessary time together: If you don't have any plans, you're likely to spend the vast majority of your time kissing and caressing each other.
  4. Dressing issue – This is especially for ladies; do not show too much skin, men are very sensual.
  5. Avoid kissing, caressing etc. These actions are generally meant to arouse sexual passion. Find other ways of showing your affection without arousing passion. SOS 8:4 -"I want you to promise, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.”
  6. Be careful what you read and watch: keep away from romance novels, movies etc. There will be more time for all these when you get married.

Xx
Christiana

4 comments:

  1. This post was great and really insightful. You should continue to blog about these topics if you continue to attend the meetings. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you find it insightful. Will continue to post the transcripts.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing this.
    I particularly like the part where u listed ways to avoid sexual sin.
    I wish churches would organize such forum and not just wait till Pre-wedding class.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome. Thought it would be beneficial to everyone willing to read it. I agree with your comment, forums/classes like this are mostly only offered as a requirement to be completed before a pastor agrees to officiate the wedding, which is always couple of weeks or months before the wedding. Can you really open your mind to change or learn anything new at that point when your mind is already set on the wedding day? At that point you see it as just one more thing to check off the list of to-do.

      Delete

I enjoy reading all your comments and I highly appreciate you taking the time to leave one. So, go ahead, speak you mind!

Xx
Christiana

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