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Logo of GYC 2016: When All Has Been Heard

4. Advising Love’s Experience: Married Life

Sebastien Braxton Candis Braxton

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Social media can be deceiving in how married life is presented. Love’s experience is not just romance, date nights, missions and vacations, but also awkwardness, conflicts, misunderstandings , and moments of loneliness. We will answer questions like: How do we continue our courtship well into our marriage? How do we engage in physical intimacy biblically and openly? What are some tactics for managing conflict? What if he/she breaks my trust through infidelity or inappropriate relationships? How do we build spiritual intimacy?

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  • December 29, 2016
    4:00 PM
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This message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference call has been heard in Houston Texas for other resources like business on line. Let's pray to God. As we approach. You at this moment. We trust that you are able to again speak to our hearts as we make ourselves available to you keep us faithful keep us honest and help us to remain true to you but also Lord's honor the commitment that marriage represents before God we love you and we thank you for all these cubes for the gifts of you speaking to our hearts just now is our prayer in Jesus' name amen. So advising love's experience. So we looked at Love's beginning we looked at Love's growth and we looked at Love's commitment. And in looking at Love's commitment we acknowledge that. After engagement right we're crossing the line into this whole new experience and so we want to talk about as we said the good the bad the ugly. And really give you a full picture of what it's really about from our perspective and what we can see from the Bible. So we have some key takeaways as usual. Every session. So the first thing is that the Bible says in Genesis two eighteen that God said. It is not good for men to be alone. I want you to take your Bible I want you to turn there to Genesis two eighteen. So. In Genesis two eighteen the Bible says that it is not good for men to be alone. Now this is a very unique statement in Genesis chapter two and verse eighteen. Now here is why are you there. Amen. Sound like you had a long day. It's so it says in verse eighteen of Genesis chapter two. And the LORD God said it is not good. That man should be alone. I will make him a helper comparable to him verse nineteen out of the ground. The Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and did what to them. What did he do with those animals. He brought them to Adam so was Adam alone. Was he literally alone. No he was not so notice two individual two groups of entities are interacting with Adam. First of all God is interacting with Adam he made him he told him to attend and keep the garden. He said Of every tree of the garden. You may freely Eappen not this one. So God is interacting with Adam and so this whole idea that God is enough is not a biblical idea you to keep that in mind in God's ideal before sin entered the world. God said it is not good that men should be alone. Now he's talking about men having social needs. But as Ellen White articulate marriage fulfills our social needs which is why God created it. So here is God talking to Adam. But he recognized something would be missing from Adam's experience. If Adam only had gone to interact with and the animals in the garden. You know it's amazing how much we spend on pets every year in the world and you know. Every woman's greatest fear is to become the cat woman right. Have been a whole bunch of House of cats and in this same experience Adam had plenty of animals in the garden. Adam had access to Jesus himself and even greater than that if he had access to Jesus then you also had access to angels. So in each of these groups of people. Adam was interacting with the God of heaven personally. Adam was interacting with every single animal God created under the sun and he was personally naming them. Adam was interacting with angels but yet God said the man was alone. What this tells you and I is that there is a certain experience that Adam could not find fulfillment through in his interaction with God and his interaction with Angels in his interaction with animals that he could only find in his interaction with Eve and I use the illustration this week. After God would visit. Adam in the garden. And speak to him teach him some amazing new truth. Adam could not come back to the parrot and say Did not your heart burn within you. You understand. Man I'm so moved. What is he going to do talk to the parents in the dolphins in no that's not they can't relate to him in the same way in the same sense to angels Angels were there when Adam was created. So they're like God doing them. We know these things. And then God Himself. Even God has the Trinity. He has the father and he also has the spirit. And why is that significant because when Jesus comes to the Father the Father shares Jesus's nature. He understands when Jesus understands he feels the same exact way that Jesus feels so when God was creating this context of marriage. He was creating an experience for Adam where he was telling him. Listen in this experience that you're going to have with this woman she's going to be one that shares your nature. She can relate in life her senses are the same her intellect can develop her physical body. She has hands like you. Dogs don't have the same even body parts and even though you're fundamentally different by you're a man and she's a woman but yet all the other similarities overcome those differences that lead you into unity. So in this experience when we talk about marriage and love's experience. Love is experience. According to God's creation and his order in Genesis to this inspires perfect happiness. I want to quote something Ellen White said she says in commenting on this experience she says. When God saw Adam in the garden before he made Eve he knew that the current state of Adam's situation would never create perfect happiness. I want you to think about what I just said. He didn't say Adam would not be happy. He said it would not yield perfect happiness. So men God is looking at Adam Adam is content. Am I right. He didn't say God why am I alone. It wasn't until after he saw all the animals that he realized you know what I don't have a helper comparable to me which is why God brought the animals him in the first place to help and recognize this. But before that Adam was content. It was God that was not satisfied when we think about the institution of marriage married. It is representative of the very reality that when you are satisfied God is not while you are happy. God says there is even better while you are content God says I can take him even higher. I'll take that one a man we have to realize that in the experience of marriage God's goal for us is perfect happiness that was always his ideal marriage was not designed to bring whoa and burden and weigh upon us. Now when God made it. He wanted us to have perfect happiness and so when we talk about this some in our in all these different these different things. Our goal is to try to carve out from the Bible in practical experience. How do we push towards Jesus's ideal of perfect happiness because that's what God wants for us even if we don't want it for ourselves. Jesus wants it for us. Now we start here by simply saying the fact that marriage is a beautiful thing. Amen. Marriage is beautiful. I mean after. When we think about the intention and the purpose behind it. What we just talked about to have a space in a person more as we continue in Genesis right. We know that later on when Adam says that this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. The Bible tells us that they were both naked the man and his wife and they were not ashamed and I know that this is one of the areas of marriage that I personally find to be a beautiful thing where you can be in a space where you can be naked and not ashamed. Now I'm not I'm not just talking about the physical the physical part of that. But a space where you can be your true self and you don't have to be ashamed of that. And so God created this space for us to experience that. We know we have that with him but he made it so that we can experience that with another person. And so it be intentions there are for it to be a beautiful thing but it really is us making it beautiful. And because we have a we have to allow that space to say see if we're to remain a safe space for our spouse in them for us in order for this to be true and. So when we talk about marriage marital life. Right. We're talking about romantic vacations. I remember one of the first experiences that really gripped me about being married was waking up the next morning next to her in the bed. And knowing that it was right. Amen. There was nothing wrong with that. And to think of the fact that when you do it. God's way. Even the littlest things inspire you in your marriage experience because we were doing it. God's way to wake up in the bed next to Candace that morning after we got married. You know it was one of those moments of clarity and recognition like I'm exactly were God wants me to be. And I was just watching her sleep. And I think right you're looking at this woman this beautiful woman you just married. And after all the fanfare right. Where is she coming back to she's coming back to my arms. And I say that's my wife. That's the person I'm supposed to cherish and take care of and so immediately right that that inspiration kicks in. Like i should order something for breakfast. Right. We should do something special. Right. And no sense is right. Taking romantic vacations and all these different things. People think oh yeah no you can do this in our you know I'm not trying to down people who take you know Mission vacations and all that stuff. I think that's great and I think you should do it. But I also think there is a place for us just to have time for us and our spouse. Just to express that love to them and to recognize that we appreciate them and we cherish them because it's not possible for you to be in love with the person and not want to do that. Whenever there is love. There's always a desire for intimacy. There's always a desire for exclusivity. Right. Even though my wife is very happy to allow me to preach It still pains or to let me go. Yes Amen. And at the same time you know I start to see it even in my children and so now even when I go to work and my kids see me put on a suit in a tight papa my son's i pop or are you going to preach again I'm like No son I'm just going to work. I'm not leaving. Anyways. Oh OK All right see you later. This is life. And he runs out. But as soon as I'm going to the airport and I'm getting out right. My daughters are crying papa I'm going to miss you. I'm going to miss you too. Sweetness I'm sorry I have to go right and you start questioning yourself Lord what are you calling me to write is this my cross that I have to bear but I recognize it just to be here. A G Y C. Just me and my wife I know everybody wants to see the kids and all that kind of stuff but how lujah right we have a week where it's just us and we can have time for us in to invest in that and I believe that that's something that should be protected in your marriage. Yes And before we move on investing in each other. I know you mentioned. Machines. Right. And there is nothing nothing wrong with machines. I mean we do missions together as a family to. However sometimes we think of ministry is being something that takes precedence over our family or our personal life because we think. I guess I don't know sometimes you me just feel as though our marriage or that Sis was filling our own personal desire there that's not at all. You know related to what what God's work is and we fail to remember that that our marriage our home that we're. Stably seeing that is also a holy thing that in Southall ministry in and of itself. And so that is something that we need to be protecting. Yeah very very important very very important. Also in terms of date nights one of things that we encourage couples to do is don't give up your date night. You've got to maintain a day every week especially to the guys you've got to maintain a day every week where you're just there to treat your wife and especially when the kids start coming along. You're going to recognize how much more you need to do it. Because sometimes right. We forget that the Bible has a lot of counsel to how we should treat our wives as a men not only does it say to love but I want to get a first Peter three and this verse I remember you know shocking me into action and reminding me of some things that I needed to make sure I had took care of first Peter chapter three. Sometimes we like to use this passage first Peter three wives submit to your own husbands right. Sarah called Abraham Lord and people want to quote this but they don't want to keep reading. Because the very next text in verse seven says husbands. Likewise. So God doesn't have just counsel for the women he has counsel for the men and he has warnings that he never gives to the woman he says husbands likewise dwell with them. You start them out your wives with understanding giving what other to your wife. Think about this God says to the apostle Peter by inspiration husbands you need to give honor to your wife he says as to the weaker vessel. And as being heirs together of the grace of life that your prayers may not be hindered. God will not hear your prayers based upon the way you treat your wife. People think oh yeah you know I'm out here. Doing this in a third I don't care how much their brother spring. The Bible says you don't give honor to your wife you don't dwell with her with understanding your prayers will be hindered. There is no joke. And this is all the way back in the Old Testament in Proverbs eighteen twenty two where the Bible says that he that finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of The Lowered you find a good wife. The Bible says God will favor you more as a man. Because of the woman you married. You will obtain grace and favor from God because of your wife. How can you treat the woman who's bringing more grace and favor into your life as something that's not honorable Are you tracking what I'm saying. And Peter says you need to recognize that God is going to look at you as a man and essentially say to you. Hey listen. I'm not trying to hear your prayers because you're not listening to your wife. That's what he said. And so for us the date night is very important that we take time to go out and I remember you know date nights can be very very good and very very great and Oh baby you have a favorite day of my favorite date night. Most one that I that I will see what we take turns right we take turns. So we each lead out every other week. A favorite date night at the end my favorite one the one that keeps coming. My mind is. You know many times we think that we have to like go and do something extravagant and I'm very much. One that likes to do something that's significant and perfectly low budget save money to spend on my paintings go to this four star hotel restaurant. How much is it cause. Once in a while I mean I make that too but I like that says that it doesn't always have to be. That in order for it to be special. So I like to be creative. And so there was when date night that I created a house. And it was like a spa night complete with a tray of grapes and the king. Cheeses and sparkling cider. It was a blessing. It was a blessing. So that was a that was my favorite because of how well it was received and I thought it meant a lot to him especially being the busy guy that he is so to have a night to just be pampered. Which he's not going to go to the spa so but he liked it though. So I gave him ideas for you know what to do. From what. Absolutely absolutely. I think a lot of different things that we've done for a date nights will we'll go to you know cafes have tea. Drink coffee or stuff like that but. We'll go there and have tea and sometimes we'll meet other people while we're there will talk have dialogue. Sometimes we play games. Yeah we'll play games there or. One time our date night came on the very heel of a very passionate argument. And so we went there was it was should we still do date night because we just had a really bad argument. And I well she still go. Right. So we got there and we don't really know what we're going to do we just ordered ginger tea. Sat down and next thing you know. Candace is like well you know papa I got these magazines and I was hoping we could cut out some letters and I wanted us to make this sign together to put in our room that says there's nothing that we cannot learn to do together with Christ. And so that's what we did there and people are wondering you know what we're making we're cutting out all these letters and talking and laughing and by the end. Right. We told we forgot what the argument was even about. We've also done a different kind of date nights where. You know we will get. Canvases little small canvases some water colors on them and we do some some painting. To try to illustrate different things that we appreciated body shudder in their city or in our rooms always remind us of how we visually express that just ways for us to be creative and engaged together. And of course you have the regular stuff you know if you want to go walking together or want to go for a run. I mean we could go on and on and off forever different ideas of what you could do but the key thing is it's very important. We always know in our marriage that there is always going to be time just for us. And it's set aside it's not going to get run out. It's not going to be oh sorry babe I double booked. Oh sorry I have another meeting it's going long. I got to be willing to tell people when I'm on a conference call and I'm to get on many of them. And people are going along and waxing eloquent and you know my wife looking at me like. It's six o'clock. On my you have five more minutes. Guess what time it is seven o'clock by the time you get off. And so by that point in time and showing that you're not valuing your wife more than this and at the end of the day. Who cares to be successful in business and your wife is not there to enjoy it with you. So that point I had to start learning. Hey man you got another hour. Nope got to go talk to guys later and one guy actually got offended right he was texting He said When can we meet. What about Saturday night I said not as my date night man. We're trying to build a business man you talk about date night. Click turn off the fun little bro you crazy. My wife is my second so. I'm like I'm going to sit and talk to you about making a business. You can be lonely and I rather be broke is the truth. I would rather be broke. Then to be sit out here with a broken mirror. Each. And the reality cycle and you can see what I was going to just say the reality is that if we were courting if we were in the States before hand you know if something came up people like not have planned already. There would be no there would be no conversation about it. The many times we get into magic you know this person is always going to be there but that's the thing you have to keep investing so that that person is always there in the way that we want them to be and then another aspect we obviously talk about missions of couple years ago we took our family we had two kids at the time. And we were basically out on mission for about six and a half months. All over the place. England Cambodia Austria Dubai Dubai we were everywhere with our kids homeless just roaming. And people was looking to look at us like wait a minute. So you got kids and then you decided to go on missions. Usually people go on missions that come back and have kids right. But for us. You know we began to see as we've taken our kids to different places and not only the relationships that they've developed but the very fact of how ministry and all these things are very central to our life as a family. And they begin to see how important that is to the point now where now my kids you know. Now they're trying to preach and I want to do all this stuff on Sabbath morning like Pop I'm going to preach on Sabbath. OK sounds good. Met. My daughter wants to sing and teach Sabbath school and lead out in these different things. So you're. You're recognizing that by allowing our kids to share in our service they begin to see us as examples. We're not just telling them serve Jesus and make God first. We're showing them what that actually looks like. And also we're recognizing the fact that one time I remember I was doing eventually meetings in Munich. And I just had my daughter NAAFI and my wife was sitting there and I had all these slides. To finish up for the series and she could tell I was stressed. But nothing was I rolled around acting crazy and she was trying to get the place set up as well as take care of her and she was like Babe you know we should not have come you know you're so busy you have all this stuff to do like we don't want to hinder your ministry like we're God's calling you to do and I had to pull my wife aside I said Baby. You are my ministry and so I said it's actually this is distracting me from my ministry. So I said you should never feel bad because I know that when everything is come to an end the last thing that's going to be on my mind is thinking to myself. Not all men did I hit that one last eventually stick series or that slide I could have made better. It's going to be knowing that my wife and my children can be by my side in sincerity not just because I'm their dad but because they always knew that I loved them and valued them. Because at the end of the day. Those are the people going to be by your bedside. All those people you preach to when Yeah you know we love you and everything will pray for you post a couple post online and social media but they're not coming to your hospital. Your wife is going to be the one by your bedside. And in that sense you better make sure you're investing in the future and so for us what missions bringing our family together and recognizing that your family is your first ministry is not your only ministry. That's the key. Yes it is your first ministry but it is not your only ministry and it shouldn't be your only ministry because God had given us gives long before we had a family and have also say with that in gauging I mean we want to. So we know that something want to do and we have children put it will be in our next session about parenting in that whole gamut. There and then it's going to start establishing those patterns of behavior. Season before hand. But something meant that we're not. Certainly going to cover but something that missions does for us and I know we see this in our singleness too and has a way of reinvigorating that that our own spiritual our own spiritual life. We see that I have seen that time and time again before I was married and that's especially one of the reasons why we want to do it together too because when we're married. Finding spiritual intimacy. Together it maybe it can be very challenging at least for us it has been a challenging part of our of our walk in You'd be surprised because you say well. There are two spiritual individuals. It should be very easy to come together in that way and it not it's not always the case. And so the mission trips are definitely a way of of allowing God to again. You service to bring those that are serving together even closer and so I definitely encourage masses married couples to do that to continue getting that fire to be burning for him who will be the one that draws and helps us to become more spiritual intimate with him with each other. Now in Genesis two twenty five Candace brought this up that they were both naked the man and his wife and they were not ashamed and for us we're going to talk about sexuality in a little bit but in looking at this versus Candace brought up earlier you know about being able to be yourself and that's one of the experiences of love that she's really appreciated and. You know I recall you know early in our in our engagement. We were having a very difficult conversation and I was struggling to be very vulnerable with her and I think she could sense that I was struggling to be vulnerable. And as we were quietly on the phone. You know most talking you know she stepped in and she said. Sebastian I want you to know that no matter what you say. You know no matter how this conversation goes I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to be here. And sometimes we're not vulnerable in relationships or in circumstance because we feel like if I tell this person I really feel if I tell them what I really think if I tell them how I'm actually sensing they're going to judge me. They're going to look at me differently or they're going to walk away from the relationship and a big part of what marriage provides and why God hates the voice is because he wants to provide that safety net to know that look things may get ugly to God's people get ugly for him. Absolutely. Did they not embarrass him. Yes. Did they shame him. Yes but they were still his people. They may go to captivity but they were his people in captivity and this is a very heavy principle in marriage that if we cannot be completely vulnerable and accept each other as we are we will fail to really enjoy what marriage as expressed in physical intimacy is trying to accomplish that sex is really to be a physical illustration of an emotional and spiritual and intellectual experience that has already taken place. That's why sleeping with a prostitute is not as meaningful as being intimate with your wife because there is no intimacy beyond this physical act. This is just an animalistic base desire expression but in your marriage. You're not sleeping together and you're not being physically intimate simply because oh you know you're attractive I'm attractive No this is simply an expression of a deeper intimacy that we've achieved in every other area of our lives and that's why this is called the consummation of your marriage the Latin word consume. That means with everything. Before you're married you can love with your mind you can love with your emotions. You can love Spirit. But you cannot love them physically you're not able to do that. God says that's only for marriage. And by the time you get married. You've built spiritual intimacy. You've built intellectual intimacy. You've built emotional intimacy but now you're married. God says now that you've made a commitment. It's you can be physically intimate and that intimacy is to reflect the intimacy in every other area of your life and to show you that when you are naked before your spouse their response is not to recoil in shame. Their response is not to walk away from you and say you know can we turn off the lights. Telling the truth. Their responses. I want to embrace you and bring you closer. That's the response. And that's what that whole act is to be symbolic of sex is not about sex physical intimacy is not about physical intimacy itself it is a symbol that should be pointing to a greater reality. Inside your marriage. And this for me has been a very great area that Candice has helped me to growing into recognize that in being able to be completely vulnerable. This is what this whole act. This is what this whole part of our marriage is all about. And you're able to recognize that. How was she able to to kiss and to embrace and want to be held by me when I failed to do my responsibilities today when I wasn't coming today when I wasn't the kind of man that I needed to be today. And what she's doing is she's showing me God's love. But then I recognize in that moment that because that kind of love is not natural to her that God is loving me through my wife because she surrendered to him. And she decided that I'm going to love you anyway. Despite all your failures and your mistakes. And that to me. In that love's experience of being naked and not ashamed. Here I am in all my faults and imperfections and weaknesses and insecurities and all you want to do is hold and embrace. If there's anything else in life that can compare to that experience of what it means to show the grace and the love of god please show it to me because it's not there. And that's exactly when we look at Love's experience God could say in his ideal world every single marriage was to have that experience. And Adam and Eve had it first. Even in perfection. No shame but to be completely free. Now we also recognize that marriage is hard and it takes effort. Very care and a lot of care. Take your Bibles go to Proverbs Chapter fourteen Proverbs Chapter fourteen. I love proverbs because it's so to the point and it sticks in your mind. Proverbs Chapter fourteen in verse four. It can read when no oxen are the trial in Scream. But much increase comes by the strength of an ox. Now I want you to look at this verse right in a very interesting way and recognize the principle that the wise man is bringing out he said were no ots in our the manger is what that word is in Hebrew the manger is clean. What does he mean by that. But when you look at the oxen. You have these animals. Guess what's going to happen. You've got to feed them and there's going to be waste is that not true and I'm going to smell good. So he said. Look if you've got no oxen the manger is clean. You've got no work you nothing to clean up. Nothing organized nothing to feed but he says guess what though. Even though you may not have nothing to clean. But guess what much increase comes by the strength of an ox. So if you want to increase and you want the benefits of the strength of the ox and what he can bring to your agricultural society at that time having an ox was a big deal. In fact the word for for father right. Aba right. Coming from the olive which means the strong ox the ob So when you look at this fact that the father is the strong ox of the home. And in this text he says there is no ox in the manger is clean. But a lot of increase comes by the ox. In other words if we want the benefits of marriage. We have to recognize that like having an ox and if you're going to have a spouse you're going to have a relationship is going to get messy. There's going to be things you've got to clean up. There's going to be parts of it that just don't smell good. You just don't like you just don't enjoy. But you have to recognize in that moment right that. Yes it takes effort. Yes it takes work. But focus on the increase. And that's a very critical moment. You know and the light says that after we get married. We will come to realize that our spouse has excellent sees these great things about them and will come to recognize that they have weaknesses and deficiencies and she says this is a critical moment in your marriage. And it is a critical moment because you have a decision to make whether to focus on the deficiencies. Or focus on the new excellence and most people they like to focus on the deficiencies and you already know what I begins to take their marriage versus those who focus on excellence. They're focusing on the increase not all the stuff that they have to clean up because they have an ox. But you have to recognize that in the same sense when marriage. If you're going to get into a relationship with a center. You've got to expect it's going to be challenging. They are not perfect ready for translation. Amen amen. And that was not the commitment that's not what they signed up for you got to be perfect and we will have a good marriage. Well then you are imperfect. So the reason our marriage and good is because you're not perfect so we can pick and choose and say well your imperfections are the problem in our marriage what about your imperfections and we obviously know that God doesn't see any difference. Right. If we skip over. Marriage is sacred. Skip to let me think. OK but it kind of dovetails with what you were just saying about marriage. You know being one that takes work. And you know before the before the marriage time comes in we are we have many positive things to say about the other person we can easily list of lists off all the reasons why we want to marry to them. And then something happens after you know the honeymoon phase is over after the marriage happens and then we stood as the match and said the reality of the different things start coming now you realize I mean you married sinner we are all theaters right. So the things that. That are not so great start to come out and start to be entertained. And they have many times feed into what we then respond with. It's very easy. To love someone that is been being loving to you. It's very hard to be loving towards someone that is irritating or. National in love in the way that you desire them to you were showing attention. And there's this this concept about being a God centered spouse and that talks about in those times when when when there is when the ox is made a mess that we should be focusing not to focus on the mess that's made but being focused on. On being more of a servant to that spouse does it make sense can it take a little bit more pressure on our My my mail. You know one of the things that changed radically changed our marriage from the beginning was this concept and. Candice is always the one that has these little like sound bites that she says you know like men as deep like I think about that one. This is one of those concepts and as I fleshed it out in my own mind because I'm much more introverted and I think about things journal helps me to reflect and organize my thoughts. It struck me that essentially what can this was trying to get at was was that if I fail to do something as a husband or as a father. She's irritated. But she has laundry to do and she has all these other things to do for me. She's recognizing that I'm not doing these things for Sebastian. I'm doing these things for Jesus. So if Sebastian is messing up. I was never doing it for Sebastian in the first place. I was doing it for Christ's sake. And so that means even when you are messing up don't get it twisted in your mind that because if she truly. Me based on the way I treated her she buy what you don't think out the trash no dinner tonight. I'm being practical. Well you know what you don't pay the bills then guess what. Don't come to me in at night time looking for love and women do that to their husbands withhold physical intimacy. To punish them or to alienate them. Because what are we doing. We're treating them the way we feel like they're treating us and it's always the principle of relationships that her people her people. It's because you are hurting that you want to hurt someone else but that's because you're a spouse centered spouse. You're focusing on as long as you're good and as long as you're taking care of business. We're going to get along great. But once you step out of line you messed up. So no forget that which you know might there like a three year old kid. No you didn't put your stuff back. So no no quiet time today. No story time today. No I'm holding this against you and we're using this coercive type power or reward type power to say well because you failed. I'm not giving you this I'm taking this away. That's childish. But in God's mind being a God centered spouse is a way for us to conduct ourselves in our marriage to say I'm not doing these things for you. Sebastian. I'm doing these things for Christ and even if you are failing and you are messing up. I was never doing it for you in the first place. I was doing it for Jesus. So I will continue to do it. Why because Jesus has always been good to me. Amen. So this is where we come with this concept of the God centered spouse which for me radically changed things to say look you can easily compare yourself to your spouse. And that naturally happens. Who's doing more work. Who has more value who's doing is who's doing what I do this when I do that. It's always come out an argument. And right now. People just flex in a muscle put in a chest and guys you'd better know that you don't lose that one every single time. So don't even start down that road. Well I'm doing this. I'm doing that. I mean OK it's great that you can pay for a house but you know by will be in your cooking. And don't be no furniture and will be no dishes to eat with. And you could go on and on down the line like who cares. You want that kind of like go live in a hotel. So in this mindset. We can easily get very very exacerbated and exasperated with each other. Because we're trying to be a spouse centered spouse rather than God centered. And he's alert for this because many times you don't feel like doing it. But you know if it's easy think I'm willing to by the police in human. Now in terms of the scuffing spiritual intimacy. We feel like this is very very important in your marriage that you guys are able to have conversations about physical intimacy some couples are very disturbed or they feel like it says right here on the back of his car awkward. So yeah so I'm. Yeah OK All right good night. So I think we can have a conversation about this. So it's like people need to be upfront and honest because we have no clue. The background where people are coming from into their marriage. There was a book that I read called Make Love Not Porn. And this book was about how vast the pornography industry is and it's influencing people's approach to physical intimacy and the day that she launched the website to promote the concepts and her book the website crashed because it got too many hits. Put the website back up three days later it crashed again. She started getting fan letters and all this stuff and it was an Indian couple that wrote her and said you know what this book saved our marriage. Why because she says when we got married I was super excited and then after we got back to the hotel. My husband turned into something else that I had never seen before because in his mind in his Indian family. No one ever sat down and talked to him about physical intimacy. So his only source of knowledge was paranoid before and he's thinking well this is how you engage in sex and all these different things. So she wrote this book. So people can understand the contrast of saying look that is not real. That does not equate to great physical intimacy. This is a production and so in this sense you know in discussing physical intimacy the book raises the question that we need to be able to have honest and open conversations with our spouse about what we like what we're comfortable with where we're coming from and we need to be respectful of each other. This cannot just be whatever the guy wants another one. It's very clear about this to women. You do not just submit to whatever your husband wants to do in terms of physical intimacy. You are not a piece of meat God owns your individuality as a woman and the same thing goes for men. So just because one marry is not the card table and we can do whatever we want sexually that's not true. Ellen White says it is wrong to lust after your wife. You can be married and still lusting which means you're using your wife or your husband as an object of sexual fulfillment. You're objectifying them. And it's wrong. But because we don't have conversations about it. People feel it but there's no space to talk about it. So we just want to talk about some strategies to doing that. So the first. Thing is be prayerful. You know in your physical intimacy. I always find it is very very important to pray before we are physically intimate so this is not like we are having to in prayer to get there yet known and not like this with the with so we feel like it's very very boring to be prayerful and one of the things that I always you know quote in my mind in terms of approaching intimacy with my wife is to remind myself of that text in Hebrew starting in verse four that marriage is honorable among all people and that the bed is undefiled and to recognize what this event and act is really all about is just a silent thing that I do to myself to center my mind in what this is really about and not to get caught up in my worldly experience of just a you know which is going to go do this isn't this what it's about and it doesn't matter and we give no thought to that. Secondly you know can this really help me with this just to be open and honest. You know it's very very important. You're able to be open and honest with your spouse about what you're comfortable with your experience in terms of sexual intimacy and being physically intimate a lot of people you know. Candace was very very open. She would ask me direct questions and I'd be like super awkward in like. Squirming and stuff like we can't be talking about this right now like. I'm tired to go to bed like but the reality was we needed to talk about it. And she was so comfortable with herself with her body that I was not comfortable with. And I wasn't ready to have those kind of conversations but it was important that we did have those conversations because in your marriage. It's a big part of your marriage. And at the end of the day there is no man alive who is married who is not thinking about the fact that he wants to make sure that his wife is not just taken care of in terms of physical needs but also her sexual needs. You don't want to sit there and think well your wife feels like she has to go with some. Other guy to become fulfilled in this particular way and in this sense every guy has that insecurity. Especially if you marry a young lady who was in the world or has been intimate before you were with her you start having these thoughts in your mind and doubts about yourself and insecurities. OK M.R. performing and that's not what it's really about. So it's very very important to be open and honest and thirdly I would just say the same goes for females too. So be really nice guys. If you have that opening of space and making it a safe space for us to really be honest about how we feel about certain things too. And really taking those things not just into consideration but valuing what we're saying about it. Also another point that you know Candace mentioned was being other centered right in your approach to sexual intimacy This is not about your pleasure. Right. This is about you wanting to serve the other person in this act right there's not a selfish thing that you're trying to do and so again discussing physical intimacy is a way for me to start asking my wife from my husband you know what is it that you like what can I do you know that you enjoy right. And we can have open dialogue about that but my focus is upon you. Not just in a conversation but in the actual act of that and also recognize that. We're not performing. Right. This is not a performance. Right. We're not trying to make a video or anything like this and some people have it in their mind that this is how exactly they are approaching physical intimacy. So it's very very important that in your marriage. You're very open and honest about the fact like look this is not a performance. The thing that gives value to sexual intimacy has nothing to do with techniques and mechanics. It has everything to do with emotional intimacy vulnerability love acceptance and grace and spirituality. That's what makes it significant man. Next we have managing conflict with our time. My time is over our time is over. OK. I will just wrap these points. So we have basic rules that we said in our marriage for how we manage our conflict. So we have an argument or disagreement. The first rule is no interrupting. Right. My wife loves this rule. And now. Smiley see me. But again you don't have to adhere to these rules these are just the things that work for us because there are areas of weakness for each one of the right. So interrupting and you know how that works right. You get into a heated argument with your person that you're you're in a relationship with or you're married your spouse and as soon as the stars get heated right you can't even finish a sentence. Well I was just thinking that was the problem that was the can often it's not the Can I finish my thought. It's tight but you won't talk too long you will go too long. If I wait a minute hold on hold on hold on. We can't be interrupting each other because we're escalating the situation because when you interrupt the person who is your spouse who you claim to love and cherish you're communicating that what you have to say is less important to what I have to say and that makes us feel like we're not a team. We're not working on solving this conflict together in my feelings and I'm not just the final or the you are invalidating them but we do have to recognize right and I have this problem right. I'll be honest and vulnerable. I'll go come along right to my wife look at me like. Are you done. Because I'm trying not to interrupt you but. When life five minutes one twenty. So no interrupting is very important. Also you know raising your voice. You have to commit to not raise your tone. Nonverbal communication is a very strong part of communication. It's actually eighty percent of communiqué. Is non-verbal. It's not the words you say but your tone and your body language that says it all and so raising your voice has to be a no no you cannot do this ever and that means you need to take a break. Breathe tell arson take deep breath. Have a man you need. But yes coming back into speaking being calm enough to speak because chances are if you are not common enough if you're not calm enough when you're raising your voice. You're not listening either. Thirdly next month is no pulling out. You know sometimes you're an argument and you kind of upset. OK OK Yeah I got you. No problem. Whatever you say honey. Whatever you say it's pretty much because you just done right. You're tired of talking about it and you just want to end it. And so for us we don't allow each other to just pull out like that and just cancel the whole thing like yeah you are whatever you say you're right you're right you're right you're right. No you don't really believe I'm right. You just try to jump out of the conversation and again this is not respectful and it's not solving anything you're just trying to procrastinate the issue. So for us. That's a rule you can't just cancel and walk away from the conversation. Easier said than done but no personal attacking. I mean physically and verbally right. I don't know why he put this one in here. I mean you just never know many people are struggling with this. You gotta let people know. You cannot become aggressive you know and also verbal right focus on the topic of what you're discussing don't attack your spouse focus on what you're talking about this is the topic but you know how we do right. Oh well why didn't you pick up the kids are all well you know things got caught up see you always running late. This is what you always do is I wait wait hold on. Are we talking about picking up the kids are we talking about being on time. Now it's a personal attack. So it's very very important to say look we cannot make any personal jabs at the person. The goal is to resolve the problem and the focus on that always remembering that we're on the same team we're married we want the same thing. So we're not adversaries we're not enemies. A new rule that we also made was no arguments before bedtime. You can bring up the issue when it's time to go to sleep because you will never go to sleep will never leave you the center line man I've got to get up early in the morning is right. Nine thirty P.M. turn off the light and there are only pillow. You know when you said this earlier. Why I mean you know I didn't mean that but I mean clearly you said that but that's not what I meant or what did you mean. And now the scene just it slowly escalates and before you know it's eleven o'clock midnight. Now your blood pressure is up everybody lights back on. And you're like memo days are messed up. We should never done this we should just waited till the next day. So for us it's also important that you also keep in mind that rule no arguments before bedtime. And there's so much more that could be said about marriage and much that we still are learning too. But if there are any questions that you have or. Any any comments that you have you can feel free to visit us here. If you go to Tiny U.R.L. dot com slash advising you can send write down your questions your comments and we'll be looking at those for CUNY on Sabbath afternoon. And if you if it's something that you want us to personally talk to you about the e-mail or some other form of communication even beyond the conference. You can make mention of that there too. So all right let's have a prayer and then we will go. Father in heaven. Thank you so much for your word. Word. Thank you Lord for the gift of marriage. Thank you for the fact that marriage is beautiful. That marriage is sacred. That marriage is designed by God. But also Lord that marriage is challenging because it has the potential as a wife says to resource the image of God in that if we conduct this relation a right. So Lord help us to acquiesce to these and we trust and pray and believe that as we apply them and as we grow your Holy Spirit will continue to bless the marriage is that we seek to establish and to create one of the greatest arguments for the Gospel by establishing Adventist licensure is our prayer. She says that this message was presented at the G Y C twenty sixteen conference when all has been in Houston Texas a supporting ministry at the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so winning Christians for other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. the Web dot.

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