Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Marriage, What Did You Expect?

This past weekend Jeff and I went to a marriage conference with some of our good friends. The speaker was Paul Tripp and he did an amazing job.

Dinner at Cafe Adobe in Houston

I thought I would share with you some of the things I learned from the conference:
  • "A marriage of unity, understanding, and love is not rooted in romance, but in worship."
    • Romance isn't a cause, it's a result.
  • Our behavior is more caused by what's inside of us than what's outside of us.
    • We often think that outside things cause our anger (i.e. traffic) but you have to first have that anger in your heart.
  • The DNA of sin is selfishness.
    • How much of your anger has anything to do with the kingdom of God? (Good question, right?)
  • Your spouse will never be the source of your happiness.
  • It's only when you are living for something bigger than yourself that your heart has room for marriage.
  • "Marriage, this side of heaven, is always a war between two kingdoms;" the kingdom of self and the kingdom of God.
    • If both spouses are living for their own kingdoms, there will never be resolution.
    • Each spouse will always think the other spouse is the problem.
    • It's only when God is in the rightful place that others (i.e. your spouse) can be loved as yourself. (Galatians 5:13-15)
    • You have to first fix your relationship with God before you can fix your relationship with your spouse.
  • We are always seeking some kind of treasure.
    • Your marriage is either protected by or harmed by the treasure you seek.
    • What you treasure controls your heart.
      • What controls your heart will control your behavior.
      • Earth bound treasures will never satisfy your heart.
  • You do not NEED a spouse that loves and/or respects you. God never promised that. It's a blessing, but you can't turn it into a demand. (That's pretty tough to swallow, isn't it???)
    • Your true ultimate need is God.
    • If your kindness towards your spouse depends on your trust and actions of your spouse, you will never consistently be kind.
    • Your kindness and love for your spouse has to be because of your relationship with Christ.
  • "Love is willing sacrifice for the good of another that does not demand reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving."
    • Self-sacrifice should not feel like a burden because of love.
    • Love is more powerful when the other person is not deserving.
      • Because of the love we first received from God while we did not deserve it, we should love others even when they are not deserving.
    •  The biggest sin in marriage is forgetting the love we have received from God.
    • In Christ's love, we receive the power to love.
  • Your spouse is God's creation. Do you worship the Creator for the way He created your spouse? Do you see glory in His creation?
  • As a spouse, it is our job to show grace to our spouse. God uses us to show grace to our spouse.
These are some of the key points that I took away from the conference. Head knowledge is great, but unless you learn to apply it, you're not going to get anywhere. My prayer for myself is to be able to whole heartedly apply these truths.

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