In doing so, today I found message notes from a message series back in October that Pastor Chris did called "Real Life". I remember enjoying it (obviously since, I kept a few of the note handouts) but after reading them again I realize there are probably many others out there that might also benefit from my sharing them. It seems for Cory and I each year around this time we get into a little "funk" in our marriage. Nothing major, but as summer and the freedom it brings ends, and work gets into crunch time gearing toward putting up good numbers come year-end and all the craziness the last few months before the holidays (and nearly every birthday for our families!) bring, I find us both needing sometime to refocus on our relationship - not just as husband and wife, but as Mommy and Daddy, best friends and even our own identities as Cory and Sarah.
So, with that in mind, here's just an outline of the message notes I took, I hope they give someone I love a lesson for constructive study and help to heal and strengthen some relationships. I've also included some scripture references for those I particularly liked, if you are so inclined to look them up and see exactly what the bible reads on each. The theme that Chris used for the whole series was the Song of Soloman. Of course, you can also listen to the actual messages online at the church website, the link is on the right of this page.
Til Death Do Us Part
The Power of Commitment - (Proverbs 20:25) "It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows."
- My commitments show my values.
- My commitments shape my life.
- My commitments determine my destiny.
Anything worth having costs - EXPECT IT TO BE HARD!
- Pay the price. Decide to pay for it up front.
- Give your best. Think about what you can do today to add value to your relationships!
- Live by principle, not by pressure.
- Guard your eyes.
- Keep Christ first - it all begins with God.
Commitment matters when things are tough not when all is well and good.
Trouble in Paradise - When trouble does hit!
Work it Out
- Resolve it as soon as possible. (Ephesians 4:26)
- Seek first to understand. Force yourself to state the other person's issue. It forces you to understand what's upsetting to them. (Proverbs 18:13, this is one I have to work on!)
- Guard your tongue.
- Fight the real enemy.
There are four things that infect a relationship: Withdrawl, Escalation, Belittling, False Beliefs.
The following is the best and most simple process I have ever come across to heal a realtionship - but it is easier said than done unless both parties will believe and put it in their heart to follow it.
First, Forgive. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
Second, Accept - unconditionally, reach out and bring the other in. (Romans 15:5-7)
Third, Serve - do small things for the other that does nothing for yourself (Philippians 2:3-5)
Fourth, Encourage - intentionally look for something to build someone else up (and make it genuine!) (Ephesians 4:29)
Finally, Submit - to one another. (Ephesians 5:21)
If I have learned anything in the past 5 years it's that I do not need to have control. If I trust and believe in God and what he wants for me, I will be rewarded in everything I do. I am on his timeline, not my own and the more I try and control whatever I am facing on my own, the longer he will wait to step in and resolve my struggle. I know, I'm not the same old Sarah and we are all happier for it!
Love you all!