What is your DREAM car?? Imagine for just a minute that someone gave you the keys to a brand new version of your dream car, & told you it was ALL yours! All you have to do is take care of it. Would you maintain it? Get the oil changed? Put gas in it? Get tune-ups, new tires, rotations, etc.? Absolutely! (Maybe cars aren’t your thing- you can substitute whatever is your thing!) So WHY do we not put forth that same effort when God gives us the beautiful gift of marriage?
Marriage is one of God’s greatest blessings, but with that blessing comes great responsibility. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Marriage takes WORK. Continual, intentional work. It is a choice to put daily effort into maintaining a healthy marriage. Life gets busy, throws us curveballs, can be stressful, and obviously we aren’t the same person as our spouse, so there will be differences. And that is exactly why we have to make an effort to invest in our marriage whenever possible- whether it is through a date night, quality alone time after the baby goes to bed, reading books about marriage, or going to a conference. It was much easier to find the time before the baby came along no doubt, so it just takes a little more intentional effort now to keep each other first. I truly believe one of the best ways to be an awesome parent is to be an awesome spouse.
We attended the One Marriage conference a couple years back with some friends & loved it. Here our my notes from the last time we went:
This year, my parents kept Baby Jase for us so we could go. Of course he had a blast!
We arrived right on time to every session & somehow ended up getting almost front row seats. The worship was absolutely AWESOME!
I also got to meet sweet Libby when we went out to lunch after one of the afternoon sessions. She & her hubby came with her parents, & I’m so thankful she introduced herself. So nice to meet you, girl!
When attending anything like this, I think it is important to understand there may be doctrinal differences between what the speakers believe and what you believe. That is why it is so important to study the Scriptures for yourself & be solid in your foundation. I also know that the Lord can speak something to you anytime you have an open mind. All of the speakers were fabulous & shared some great wisdom & insight. Plus, I’m always game to listen to advice from someone who has been married for 25+ and 40+ years!! When you seek wisdom, God honors that and freely gives…
Here are a few of the notes I took away from the weekend. Some of it may not make as much sense without the context of the lesson, but this is some of what I thought was worth writing down:
SESSION ONE: Jentzen Franklin
- the demise of marriages/families=selfishness
- God made us for ONE person. In Genesis 1, He took 2 and put together as 1- the word “them” appears
- Consider your spouse all day, every day
- Submission is not a dirty word. It leads to structure. (submission one to another)
- Compromise is crucial
- What are you destroying in your home by demanding your own way?
- Quit wasting darts on your spouse- focus them on the enemy
- Marriage is negotiation. A house divided will not stand. Together= dream team
- “If you’re not going to bake anything, don’t preheat the oven” (on how far is ‘too far’ when dating). God has ONE- do not defile the marriage bed.
- Some thoughts on Adam & Eve (Before Eve came along (when Adam was single):
1. He first had fellowship with God.
2. He had a JOB. (Gen 2:15- he had a job before the curse)
3. If your marriage stinks, it’s your fault. Cultivate! Before getting married, ask “Will this person bring out the BEST or the WORST in me?” It’s not a good sign if you have to drag him to church.
4. Protect this garden. Guard it!
5. God told Adam not to eat from the tree, not Eve. It was HIS responsibility to know and teach the Word to his family. (So although Eve was disobedient, she doesn’t get all the blame.)
- We skip over the owner’s manual. Know what the Bible says. Learn how to disagree & never go to bed mad (Ephesians)
- Remove the words IMPOSSIBLE & DIVORCE from your vocabulary
- Sex was made for enjoyment, satisfaction, & procreation. It’s okay to be keep it fresh.
- Marriage is beautiful when done right (read Song of Songs)
SESSION 2: Alison Rutland
- How are you spending your presence? Are you really there?
- There is a spiritual dimension to everything. (Make eye contact) Jesus is looking for constant communication. He spoke words of encouragement and we should do the same.
- Everyone is seeking affirmation and a “thank you.” Our spouse is no different.
- Ask “what is his need?” and “what is my need?”
- God wants to give us the power to deeply LOVE, understand, and accept our spouse.
- Be so FILLED UP with Jesus that all of the garbage and superficial stuff pushes out and Jesus overflows and seeps out of us
- Sometimes our experience and assumptions block the voice of the Lord
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for insight and intimacy with loved ones
- Jesus was the master of intimacy
SESSION 3: Dr. Mark Rutland
- Understand Biblical submission
- spirit-filled living means GIVING yourself to one another
- Man is told to love his wife like Christ loved the church. He is the head of the household, but how did Jesus become head of the church? Through LOVING & SERVING! He was crucified for us…
- Leadership decisions cannot be selfish- they must be self-sacrificial
- Submission is about a living & GIVING relationship. SERVANT leadership.
- Men love physical admiration and words of affirmation.
- Women love to talk, practical acts of service, romantic gestures, and to be listened to
So thankful for some time to reconnect with Jonathan. Love him more than words & thankful to get to do life with him.