Two weeks ago we began a new series at CCA called Summer Love. Throughout this series our goal is to search the scriptures for God’s thoughts and instructions on the topic of marriage and relationships. Who better to seek insight and instruction from than the creator, designer and master architect of marriage Himself? God doesn’t do random. Everything He designs is latent with incredible strategy and purpose and marriage is no different.
The enemy knows well that our homes and families were intended by God to be the university of life where we learn love, selfless sacrifice, acceptance, loving confrontation and grace. So the plan is simple. Disrupt this, short circuit and destroy this and you can send the world as a whole into a tailspin of dysfunctional and destructive behavior.
While many of us have seen this played out up close and personal, there is good news. While you cannot do anything about your ancestors, you can forever change trajectory for your descendants. Cycles can be broken, futures can be altered and new legacies can be rewritten.
When God sat down at His drafting table and designed marriage he stamped and watermarked over the entire set of plans one word….FOREVER. God intended for it to last a human lifetime. In His infinite wisdom He knew this was how a man and a woman would truly be able to experience and drink in the fullness and richness of life.
With that in mind let me offer 3 ways to make forever a reality.
1. THROUGH LASTING COMMITMENT-
Every couple must first remove the word divorce from their entire vocabulary. Through nearly 14 years of Pastoring and counseling with hundreds of couples, I have noticed that some would like to believe that their problems are somehow worse or more unique than others. It’s not true. All couples have essentially the same problems, the real truth is this. The difference between those who make it a lifetime and those who don’t isn’t in their level of problems…it’s in their level of commitment. Not designing an escape hatch or equipping your vessel with life boats to abandon ship means you find tenacious and creative ways to keep it floating through raging storms. Make your vows mean something and stick to them no matter what.
2. THROUGH LOVING COMMUNICATION-
When two lives converge into one at times the fusion can be volatile. You have 2 different backgrounds, 2 different philosophies, 2 different cultures and 2 different sets of ideas coming together and trying to co-exist. It’s not easy for anyone. I don’t care how much you may have in common, it won’t be long before you realize just how different you really are. Powerful marriages have little to do with how compatible 2 people are, but rather how those 2 people learn how to deal with their incompatibilities. Learn how to navigate and communicate through your differences correctly and you will make it.
3. THROUGH LOYAL CONFRONTATION-
In a marriage, problems are very real and more frequent than we would like, especially in the beginning. God never intended for us to ignore problems or just simply hope they will vanish over time. Usually, not only do they not vanish…they get worse. Christ-like confrontation is a necessary part of having long term relationships on any level. Here are 5 quick tips on confronting and correcting issues the right way.
a. Isolate the real problem- Most people fight over what are really just symptoms. Get to the core issue and fix the infection and the symptoms will take care of themselves.
b. Attack the problem and not the person- Don’t make it ego against ego, no one ever wins. See each other as partners rather than competitors and the problem itself won’t stand a chance.
c. Deal with problems when they happen- God’s word says to not let the sun go down with wrath or bitterness still in our hearts. Before the day is done, clear all accounts. Unresolved issues gather steam over time and produce deep bitterness.
d. Learn the art of negotiation- Avoid win-lose scenarios. Learn to give, flex and adjust. When both come with this attitude, everybody wins.
e. PRAY-PRAY-PRAY- Keep close accounts with God our Father and trust me, He will keep you close and honest with each other.
If you want to hear these messages you can listen to them RIGHT HERE. Hope this helps you, be blessed. J.Mark