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Surviving & Thriving in a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage

Kasey McFarland

Conference

Recorded

  • June 19, 2017
    3:00 PM

Series

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Dear Heavenly Father we thank you for another day of life and another day at camp meeting. Please be with each of us please be with our families please be with our children our husbands and our wives and we just want to pray that you will open our hearts to you that our hearts will be warm to receive what you have to say today through Casey please be with Casey and be with her words and may we all represent you in a beautiful way and we thank you and we love you so much and your precious and holy name Amen. Well good morning thank you for taking the time to come out I know this is a probably a very painful subject for many of you if you're married to somebody who's not attending church or somebody who has no such interest in spiritual things all the way up to somebody who maybe attends but isn't involved in the church that's what we call a spiritual mismatch it's not really your spouse's commitment is not really the same as your commitment and I am married to someone who is like that he was the Adventist of the family and I'll tell you a little bit more about my own testimony a little bit as we go through the seminar but I just want you to be encouraged I don't want you to leave here feeling down feeling scared or hopeless because of the situation that you find yourself in and many times we may be married we may have married in what we thought was a good marriage a Christian marriage where both of you would be serving the Lord at the same pace and in the same way and it doesn't necessarily work out that way but I want you to know that God is with you and that he will help you he will get you through this and he will make it be a blessing in your life so that's what I want you to leave with that's what we're going to start with and that's what I want you to leave with so we're going to get right into it marriage relationships are complex. 2 people coming together in a marriage with their own ideas their own thoughts the way that they were raised everything that's happened to you in your life is very complex and when you take 2 people and put them together it makes it even more complex so marriage is difficult the principles that we'll be talking about today apply across the board in marriage so they're biblical principles of course they're going to apply to all of us hopefully as we get talking about it a little bit you'll see how it applies especially to you especially in your situation I have seen in my marriage and through this process the most graphic representation of God's love and his revealing love and his. Ability to love the unloveable in my marriage and I've come to the place after several years Bill and I were married in $1093.00 and so that's been what 20 some odd years 5 or something like that and I've finally come to the place where I love my husband I think like it's unconditional I hope you feel the same. But you can do that and you can get to that point and that is the love of God that we need to have and that's the love that the Bible talks about so hopefully we'll explore that a little bit as we go through so I do want to just pray 1 more time just for the Lord to speak because I don't want you to I want to share with you my personal situation but I want you to seek God and your personal situation OK so I want him to make sure that that he is speaking to you so I want to ask him to do that just now dear Heavenly Father I just thank you for this opportunity I thank you that you see me through this situation and that you've given me wisdom and your word to help me overcome and Lord I pray that my experience would be used by you for you and then it would help these people that are that have come today that have taken the time out of their busy day in their schedule in all of the opportunities and seminars that they've had to choose from because their hearts are hurting and they want to know what you would have them to do so I pray that you would speak in Jesus' name amen OK So our 1st slide is that's Lucy she is the psychiatry ist and her help is 5 cents my help here is 2 cents so if you need more than my 2 cents I am not a professional I have no training in this I am just a lay person an individual who has been through the situation so if you are involved in relationships that involve abuse addictions or adultery my counsel to you would be to find a professional Christian counselor that is not me. And if you need more than my 2 cents we have some resources on the women's ministries page on the MS de website for you they have a we have a list of Christian counselors that you can look through and find 1 in your area so that would be my counsel and also Jesus has paid his life for you for your life for your redemption for your holiness and I think we need to do everything we can to cooperate with him in building our ourselves our minds our hearts our bodies back to that whole person that he wants us to be in a Christian counselor can help you in those situations All right so have you ever seen this before can 2 walk together except they be agreed it's pretty popular verse I mean it's in the Bible and we've all probably heard it before I used to hear this verse and feel very discouraged because I felt like my marriage was doomed and I didn't have any hope and so I felt my husband if we couldn't agree that we could be loving to each other we couldn't have a good commitment our children would be unhappy I was doomed to unfulfilled marriage but in this it was very discouraging but then you read this verse I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me even walk in and a mismatch marriage you can do it God can help you so if we don't share the same spiritual commitment with our spouse take heart because you can do it Christ will be with you and God requires us to love those who are unlovable. He has given his life and he has loved the unlovable we're really unlovable people I mean when you really start looking deep into your own heart you can kind of see how unlovable we really are we do things that hurt other people we say things we you know are selfish and when we start realizing that you start seeing how loving Jesus really is to love somebody like us right so now we're going to talk about spiritually mismatch What does that mean unequally yoked 2nd Corinthians 614 says be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness what communion has light with darkness Well tell me what Communion does light have with darkness if you were to think of Jesus and his life here on this earth what did he do he was a light right and he came down here into this darkness and fellowship with it I'm not saying that this verse is wrong because we should be very careful about the people that we connect ourselves with we should be very careful to choose those who you know love Jesus and love God and are committed to serving him but somewhere through time and in your relationship you've gotten to the place where your husband or wife is not serving the Lord or not as you would wish them to so it's OK to feel a little discouraged but also to know that Jesus has overcome this for us and he can help you do that so what does it mean to yoke something together if you look at our little picture up there of the little oxen What is that thing in between them. That's the yoke right and they're kind of a No 1 can't go forward without the pulling the other or dragging the other 1 with them so what happens if 1 of those oxen was stronger than the other what would happen to the field how would they how would that feel get plowed 1 would pull the other end of the go around in circles right and that's kind of how we're feeling in our marriage we're just going around in a circle 1 the strong ones pull in the weak 1 and we just keep going around the same problems over and over again and we never get any solutions so how can this be avoided and. Matthew 1129 says this take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls we need the 3 person yoke Have you ever seen anything like that where the other 1 lead there's a 1 strong in the front in 2 in the back so it's more like a team. We need to yoke up with Christ and then he can help us both of us go at the same pace our problem is is that we as Christians and we as the strong 1 in our relationship want to lead and take and we think that we're doing what Jesus would want us to do but in all reality we need to have that 3 person yoke and have Christ leading at the pace that both of you can go at the same time so that's what we need to do we're supposed to be yoked to Christ Well this isn't my story this is my husband Bill and our 2 kids and our kids are grown now the little guy Caleb is now 14 and taller than both of us so it's kind of an old picture but this is our story. Bill and I met when I was 18 and I had been through a lot of abuse in my family my dad left when I was 4 the last memory I have of my dad he was holding a shotgun to my mom's head and then he was drunk and took all of our money and left and I never saw him again that was 4 years old and so it progressed through there my mom's been married 3 times always abusive and destructive dysfunctional relationships and I grew up without Christianity and nobody in my family was a Christian and so when I graduated high school I was kind of a mess. Putting it mildly the Lord has done wonderful things for me but I met Bill when I was 18 at a party we were there and it was through a family friend and his family after we met and started dating was Adventist although he was not practicing his dad died when he was 12 and he has a brother and sister and then a year into our dating relationship his sister was murdered she was stabbed 12 times at her job and it's unsolved to this day there's no 1 ever been arrested so he's been through a lot his dad passed away then his sister passed away and then 4 years ago his mother passed away from breast cancer and 11 months after that his brother died from necrotising fasciitis which is that flesh eating bacteria in 90 days he was gone so he's been through a lot we've been through a lot together. 1 day I was out walking with my friend Kimberly and we were just kind of just taking a stroll and she twisted her ankle in a little pothole and as I bent down to help her up I heard the Lord say to me this is what I want you to do for your husband because I had to help or home and it was very slow and very tedious and very to me kind of a inconvenience but I heard the Lord tell me this is what I want you to do for your husband you know our spouses have been through so much if you know your spouse really well and I'm assuming that you do you know what they've been through in their childhood you know the struggles that they have within you know the problems that they have with family whatever the issues maybe you are the 1 the closest 1 who knows everything that that person has been through and maybe they're they've hurt themselves and they can't get up maybe they're just wallowing there in that little puddle that pothole and they just they need somebody to help them and so I was work for the conference involved in church work I was gone all the time doing things for friends and and family and strangers and realized that you know I had kind of left my husband back there and that that did so the Lord was telling me that that's what I needed to do he may be telling you something completely different maybe you've been while going in that pot hole with him or her and maybe it's time to get up and move both of you or if one's not willing to get up maybe it's time for you to kind of move on and let Lord the Lord handle that situation and I'm not saying divorce please don't get me wrong what I'm saying is spiritually to get moving so your situation please take what I am telling you and apply it as you see fit and as the Lord is moving you. But that's what he told me is I needed to help so what I was experiencing though at that time was a lot of loneliness when your spouse is not in church and you sit there in the pew by yourself and you get in you see all the other people with their spouses and their families and it's just such a beautiful thing it's very lonely and people don't know what to say and they don't know how to approach you or your spouse sometimes if they do come I will talk a little bit about this later they feel some some things that is that are difficult so I was lonely bitter because I wanted my husband to be the spiritual leader of the family that's what what my expectation for my marriage was. I had a lot of respect and love for him because he wasn't what I expected him to be I had the burden of being the spiritual leader in our home and raising our children I had disagreements we had disagreements about our older son Jake played football and he played football on Friday nights and so we had a lot of disagreements about that that left me discouraged or home rules sometimes you can feel criticized or ostracized by your husband in the church you can feel envy or jealousy over other marriage or relationships you can feel unloved or unappreciated or misunderstood. You can distrust your husband's decisions because they're you feel like they don't make the right ones so there's a lot of distrust that comes in feelings of an adequacy or frustration a feeling of never being able to convert your spouse or make him respect your beliefs that's a difficult 1 because we're always our efforts are always. Good we're trying to convert them trying to get them to love Jesus as much as we do but it can be very frustrating you fear his influence on your children and their choices and you can even come to the place where you blame your unsaved spouse for the mistakes of your children and that's a dangerous place to be and a very hard place to be because the 2 of you and will talk a little bit more about this need to be a team and it's hard to do that if you're blaming him for every mistake that your children make or her you need somebody to talk to nobody understands or cares or really if they're not in that situation they don't really get the frustration of it and the daily. The daily difficulties that you have to endure or talk about are. That come your way you fear your spouse will be lost and ultimately this is what drives I think the heart is that you want your spouse to be saved if you want them to go to heaven you want them to you want to be a family and so all of these fears and all of these things that we do are driven because we want our spouses to be in heaven with us so sometimes if we feel that way we can become manipulative there's a lot of different ways to manipulate situations and we can figure those out pretty quick I think from childhood we can figure out how to make things happen and get our own way so we will do that in our marriages and we can also set our husband or wife up to fail we can say well all right go ahead and do that and then it doesn't turn out right you're like well I told you a cell so that's manipulative as well so we don't want to do that but that's what you may experience in these situations well now. And I talk a little bit about what God's will is because if we are in this situation with this god want what does he expect us to do what does he want that is best for us that will give us the best result so if you're married remaining married is God's best will for you and it is it is the best possible option for God to work for the redemption of your spouse and there's a scripture that was so powerful to me 1st Corinthians 71 through 16 it says if anyone has a spouse who is not a believer is that anyone here maybe they're a believer but they're a little baby believe or they're not really a grown up 1 yet so if you have that in your life and you're willing to live together do not divorce again let me just put a cabinet out there if you're in abusive addictive or adulterous situations please get counseling OK for the unbelieving spouse that is your spouse is sanctified by the believing spouse for now your children are holy do you know that your children are holy do you think this is saying that 1 spouse is a believer but your children are holy your house is set apart and sanctified it says for now your children are holy but if an unbeliever leaves let them do so a believer is not bound in such circumstances God has called us to live in peace how do you know wife or husband whether you will save your spouse how do you know this is the best will of God for your life right now is to stay married and to figure out what God wants you to do to try and help your spouse to be saved so the Scriptures say this instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity each of us should in humility be moved to treat 1 another as a more important than yourself are our spouses excluded from this counsel. Do we treat our unbelieving spouse as better or more important than ourselves not very often at least in my experience for a long time I didn't Romans 1210 says be devoted to each other with mutual affection Xcel it showing respect for each other what does it mean to excel at showing respect how do you excel at something strive diligently Yeah if you're an athlete How do you excel at your sport practise continuously till it hurts pretty much that's what the Bible's telling us to do excel is showing respect for each other think about it be intentional about it practice it do your best mark $109.00 says therefore what God has joined together let no 1 separate and I want to say that oftentimes in spiritually mismatch marriages it's not necessarily an outside force that causes the separation it's usually 1 of us because in my situation I remember probably I mean Bill has been through probably everything that you can go through me pushing him away trying to dissolve our marriage because I just didn't want to be in it anymore and it was me that was doing that I was the 1 that was trying to separate that marriage by causing him such distress and anger so that he would leave then it would be his fault instead of my full so we can do that to our marriages as well and we need to take counsel there for what God has joined together let no 1 that's including us separate that So fast forward 15 years this is our family in 2000 was about the year. $9798.00 Bill and I got back together we were going to divorce we got back together and. Our family has been growing ever since we've kind of decided you know divorce is not an option and the Lord has been working on me ever since then and so it's been a long haul to come to this point to actually be able to share with you because Bill still not in church he comes occasionally and he respects my job and my church and my friends and all of that but he still doesn't attend he's not committed so it's not a victory as someone would see you know the Lord has completely changed that but he has completely changed it he's completely changed me and our relationship to each other and we are happy I mean you can love somebody who's not in church you can love somebody who doesn't love God the way you do and you can respect that person. It's not an easy thing to do but you can do it so as I was preparing this a did this 2 years ago for a women's retreat for 1 of our seminars. I went home and I asked my husband I said well you know I've been asked to present something like this and I said What do you think about it and he said well yeah that's fine he said but let me tell you my side of the story so you're going to hear his side of the story there's always 2 sides to every story so this is his side of the story and I know that's really small I hope you can read it OK he had a lot to say apparently. So he's not a D.I.Y. project or a jewel in our crown when we would go to church he would hear that you know everyone that you save or you how are you you know you're working with or whatever is a nice little jewel in your crown and that would irritate him because he's not a jewel in my crown he's my husband so he wants acceptance for who he is as a human being as someone that I loved enough to marry we're not his savior it's not up to us to convert him. It's the Holy Spirit and God's job to do that it's just simply our job to love them and I want to put a caveat in this because I listened to Pastor Wes's sermon yesterday morning and he was talking about loving someone without correcting someone. Or accepting a sin in someone's life and that's not what this is talking about there are many times when Bill and I are talking about a situation or he wants to do something or we disagree where I have to say I don't agree with that but you can do that in love and with respect and we'll talk a little bit about that too but without accepting it but still loving that person and saying you know what you're you're an individual you have your own decisions and you are accountable to God for that and so if that's what you want to do then I except that that's I can't stop you but this is my counsel and that's all you can do so I want to just make that caviar I'm not saying to go home and love your spouse and let them just do whatever they want I mean they will anyway but I'm just saying you need to put in a little bit of counsel tactfully and lovingly and just let them know you know that's not the best thing for you you're a better person than that I don't see that that's going to help you however you have to say it to make them know that you love them but that you're trying to encourage a better behavior. Sometimes we feel his conversion is for our own ease to make our lives easier and not out of our love for him he loves his family or wife or husband no matter how often he or she does or doesn't attend church they love you they would have married you if they didn't love you feel his responsibility for his family as head of the house his burden can be lightened or made heavier by the spouse or the family and Bill said it hurts him and I didn't realize this I always thought as a mother and as the wife you just make the decisions that need to be made and pretty much you know he didn't have a problem with that but he didn't like it when I didn't talk to him about it so that he knew it was going on in the family so he said is is advice or decisions are disregarded he's not consulted but would often defer decisions with home and children to me if he trusts trust me or you and knows that you will not hurt him he just wants to know what's going on in his home to be informed he wants to know you know why are the children doing this or why are you going there or what's happening or you know what is there anything that I need to know to be informed about it's very important for a husband to know they don't always have to make all of the decisions oftentimes like he said they'll do for him to you if you think that's best for the kids and go for it but they just want to know what's happening he feels judged criticize or disrespected and that's why he had a hard time going to church he feels his faults have been discussed among the members by the wife or husband seeking support from the church family there is no privacy between the 2 of you it's 1 thing to go to your church and tell your friend you know I'm having difficulties or trouble privately to a special friend that you trust and that you know will keep your confidence it's another thing to go to prayer meeting and spill your whole family problems and everything that's happening and what your spouse did to you yesterday and what he said to you this morning and that's not helpful so he's he was concerned about there is no privacy between the 2 of you. He's hurt by sarcasm I have a very sarcastic humor and. Comeback and so I've really had to work on that over the years to temper that down because sarcasm is very hurtful it can cut people to the quick so be careful with sarcasm don't play the martyr like you're sacrificing or suffering for God instead of enjoying your marriage bill would always say you're just doing it for you don't really care you know that's not helpful in your marriage as well so you don't sacrifice or suffer play the martyr like I'm just going to do this and this is my burden and this is the cross I need to bear it doesn't help your spouse feel like you love him don't focus on what he's doing wrong instead praise him for what he does right speak well of him especially in front of others very important I remember 1 time. I was at we were at a friend's house and we were they invited us over for a meal and it was the meal was over and it was time for dessert and I had had a lot of sugar that day I'm not going to lie and so when they brought dessert out my friend Kimberly said Would you like a piece of pie and I said you know I'm going to pass this time and Bill said what you never pass up by. And I was like oh that kind of hurt you know and so instead of coming back and being upset with him I said you know what is everything OK you know you don't normally talk to me that way whether or not they talk to you that way if you say that in public and make them feel like they're a better person than that and then people see that no I don't normally talk to you that way it helps to build that respect and that love and that trust because you're saying you're normally a nice person something must be wrong right now for you to say that even though you're hurting you're letting them know how that really hurt but you know you're a better person than that so there's tactful ways to say things and that was 1 experience and it was just as I was learning all of this stuff and it works so it just works so he can feel loneliness to all our energy is given to others in the church how many times have you made this wonderful meal to take to potluck and and then you go to church in your husband's home with no food. Instead of making the cookies for the church and giving a few to your husband make the cookies for your husband and give a few to the church they're important they need to feel like they're important it's not that you can't help out the church it's not that you should stop your church work it's that within that work put your husband or your wife 1st the spouse 1st and let them know that that's what you're doing I've been thinking about you and I've wanted to make you some cookies and while I was making you some cookies I thought it would make some for a potluck or whatever so they know that they're your priority he fears or he or she fears divorce or isolation being alone God didn't make us to be alone he made us to be together with a spouse and to have that unity and that cohesiveness and so if you don't have that if feels like you're alone and you get isolated and you just it's very hard and lonely he feels unappreciated or unsupported and unloved many times feels like he's not a priority in the time your time attention affection or finances he feels jealousy or M.B. over our relationship with Christ my husband put it in a way that says it's almost like you have another man. For a husband it might be you know the wife might feel like she has he has another wife somebody that's more important to him or her so be careful with that Christ is another man you can you can make it so that he understands that. He is God to you and that there's a big important difference between them. He is our spouse. And he should yeah but the difference is he's God he's not another man he is not the he doesn't have to feel jealousy over that it's a responsibility that you have to God 1st. You want to make sure that that is a good question you want to make sure that God is God is our spouse if we're not married he's our spouse if we're married He's our he's our God He's our leader he's the 1 that is telling us what we need to do and taking us to his word and showing us absolutely and we can't do all this without him we can't we can't there's no way in our humanity that we can do these things without Jesus in our hearts so you have to have that very important good point thank you. He needs us to help him find constructive ways to cope with his emotions my husband has a lot of coping mechanisms from everything that's happened to him in the past that our I feel are destructive and unhelpful but on the other hand he needs me to help him find constructive ways to cope so what we've come up with is laughing he's a big jokester so we make jokes and we have just certain things that we say about things and it lightens the situation we talk we walk we go in nature and he likes a recreational partner he likes to golf I don't I'm still not very good but you know drive the cart or do whatever you know carry the clubs or whatever so you know they need us to find good ways to cope with things ways that would please Jesus in ways that help us get back into that that mode of OK I can deal with whatever is happening and I don't need to go back to those destructive ways to do it so he wants help with that he loves you he just doesn't know all how to show it all the time it would crush him and make him feel like a failure if you left him you are 1 flesh supernaturally part of him or her and your absence causes them pain being away from your spouse causes pain and I think that you know we could just be reading the newspaper in the same room and it makes them feel better we don't really have to even talk we don't have to discuss any you know. Political or anything any whatever is going on in the world we could just be in the same room and I think that's super important you bring joy bring goodness happiness joy and light to his world this world and he told me this crushes men. It substitutes a false manhood for the biblical model the biblical model of a man is someone who leaves his family who is strong who is dependable hardworking the kinds of things that we don't see much of any anymore and it substitutes a picture of a man in a sexual manner that is unacceptable to God That's what the world is substituting for what a real man really is or woman a woman is pure a woman is loving kind caring gentle those types of things and that's not what the biblical or the worldly model of a woman is these days so it's a subs there's a substitution going on and we need to help them. Understand what their role is we can bring out the boy or the king hero in our spouse and it's all in how we treat them he depends on you in the gym more than he would like for you to know and it's hard to admit even to himself that you are his helper and he can't do life without you we need each other that's how God made it you know I keep thinking of Adam and Eve when they were in the garden and the tempter came to even and said you know look at this beautiful fruit and I think you know you'll be wise and you'll know good from evil and if she would have just said you know I think I'm going to go back to Adam and talk to him about. What he things. This world would be in a completely different situation I hope maybe Adam would've still gone the same way I don't know but sometimes we like to make these decisions on our own without going you know the Lord gave me someone to bounce this off of to talk to about to just see what his opinion is or if his connection that moment was stronger with the Lord than hers to help her with that so we need we need each other they need you you need them so those were my husband's thoughts on the matter this is what the church how the church pressures these types of marriages spiritual mismatch marriages so there is a pressure on the spouse to be baptized to attend regularly to take a position or be there every time the doors are open or to respond to an altar call I can't tell you how many times my husband sat during an altar call and felt so uncomfortable and that's OK because the Holy Spirit should make you uncomfortable but I think sometimes in small churches when when the pastor sees that your spouse is there they just are going to hammer that you know make a decision make a decision make a decision make a decision instead of just letting that person hear the sermon let the Holy Spirit do the work and then personally go to that person and say you know are you ready would you like to study what's going on can I help you whatever bill is more of an individual private very private individual and altar calls he will not respond to so they could be absolutely they could be and that happens to I mean how many times I've sat and I thought oh I just wish someone would come and knock on our door and talk with my husband you know and just see what he's feeling today or how they could help or you know even just take them out for a round of golf or something so you're right they can feel a little isolated so they feel pressure in the church a lot of times the members can blame guilt or shame 1 spouse or the other or give advice like if I were in your situation I had do. X. Y. Z. or you should do X. Y. Z. They love people we love to give advice to people and sometimes we have to be really careful that. It doesn't affect negatively the situation that people find themselves in always pray always encourage always uplift people that are struggling in these situations but unless they ask you for it advice probably isn't the best thing to be giving lack of inclusiveness the exclusive classes for married people have classes for singles there's not really a class for the mismatch marriage people so there's exclusiveness separation from regular married members a lot of times if you have a spouse or wife that is in church all the time might have this happen people can think that you're on the prowl or you're unhappy and so you're looking for someone else and so people won't talk to you or invite you over to their home for lunch or whatever the case may be because they feel unsafe with you and so it's very important for people to understand that you're not unhappy in your marriage and looking for a way out that you love your spouse and that you're committed to your spouse but that you still want to be part of the church membership so you may feel that some see you as a threat when I just talked about unfaithful easily tempted whatever the case may be acts like there's something wrong with your spouse if they're not in church I can't tell you how many times people come up to me and said You're what your spouse doing working today. Like there's something wrong with them or they're committing some sort of sin that they're not in church no he just didn't want to come. He just in 1 column I mean you know what I don't do I have to make an excuse for him every time I walk through the church doors no we don't we can just say you know what I would really appreciate your prayers appreciate your prayers of my husband reach out to him send him a card whatever that would be wonderful so they act like something's wrong with your spouse asking where they are what they're doing and then the next 1 is acts like there's nothing wrong there is something wrong if you appear happy and joyful when I very 1st started working here I'm not blaming anyone in this conference I love this conference I love my job and everyone I have met and interacted with in this conference has a heart for God and I know that but 1 person I was laughing and joking at Camp Meeting 9 years ago. And someone said you don't even act like you're married you're too happy. Like you're like your husband's not here you know and I'm like I'm OK so I'm supposed to walk around with a sad face because my husband doesn't come to church OK Well I'm not going to do that 1st of all the. I think happiness is wonderful and I you know I ran around so many years unhappy with so much pain and so much weight and so much guilt and so much shame that when Jesus set you free you can't help but be happy he can't help it so be happy I don't care what anybody says Be happy you're not sad enough though you must not love or care about your spouses what they're saying to you but you do and you can be happy so airing of private situations and prayer services or meetings but we talked about before be careful about that. The people of the church don't need to know every into kit intimate detail of your marriage they just need to know that you love your spouse and you're praying for them and you would appreciate their prayers as well find 1 good confidant somebody that you can talk to that can help you but that will keep your situation private or someone trained in that so that they can help you we often gossip in the form of prayer requests Oh please pray for John Smith and his wife you know his his wife isn't coming to church anymore and she's doing X.Y.Z. and that's not helpful that's gossip so we need to be careful about that and gods I had the ideal plan I better switch my notes I'm way be so way behind here we go God's ideal plan is a marriage ground it's a marriage is a training ground on what real love really is and how to love somebody we can't truly express love if there's nobody to love can you really love somebody if there's nobody there I used to dance around my house and clean and cook and put the spiritual music on and I was happy and joyful as soon as my husband walked in the door. Right we can be great when there's nobody around love. Just the best and then soon as somebody comes in that's hard to love you like. That's what we have to be careful of we can't truly express love if there's nobody to love or if it's easy to love because real love is sacrificial look at Jesus His love was sacrificial he gave all to us he gave everything to us and he did it with people that didn't want it that didn't appreciate it that didn't know what he was doing that didn't accept it so real love is sacrificial the Father Son and the spirit are unity there are family they're all 1 and they sacrifice for each other and to me this is the biggest point on the Godhead because real love can't exist without something to love so the Godhead is 3 persons so that they can show what real love really is and without that. It just doesn't make sense that sacrificial love doesn't make sense so an example of God's relationship with us is intimate it's personal it's committed in its redemptive that's what God wants with us our relationship with him is intimate it's personal it's committed and it's redemptive it's an example of an organization or authority heaven has a system the Father Son and the spirit and Earth has a system husband wife and children it's an order it's a it's completely organized it requires death to self death to the flesh and life in the spirit choosing the will of God over our own in our relationship is binding it's a covenant and that's God's ideal plan for marriage that makes sense to everybody all right so now that we've looked at that let's go to characteristics of a healthy relationship these are some things that that our relationships should have in them if they're going to be healthy Some areas may be better than others some mate may need more work than others but these are the things that make a healthy relationship love respect and honor submission which is a dirty word in today's society we're going to talk about that or simply trust that's what submission really is is trust fruit in action honesty forgiveness and influence so love is 1st love has many meanings these days and many nuances and mostly it means in today's society that you just give everybody a license to do whatever they want that's not true love love is a state of perfect caring it's an active noun like struggle how many of you struggle to love I do to love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is right here and now. Not to accept their wrong behaviors but to try to get them to a better place that's what real love is and it sacrificial 1st Corinthians talks about love it says in 1st Corinthians 13 if I speak in the tongue of Angel men or angels and I want to just add my spouse in here as we read it but do not have love for my spouse I am only a resoundingly gong or claiming symbol if I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains but do not have love for my spouse I am nothing if I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love for my spouse I gain nothing love for my spouse is patient love for my spouse is kind it does not envy it does not boast it is not proud love for my spouse does not dishonor others is not self-seeking is not easily angered it keeps no record of wrongs love for my spouse does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth it always protects it always trusts it always hopes it always perseveres love for my spouse never fails lesson that powerful so powerful God's love can do all things it can change the situation that can make it better. Titus 24 urges says urge the younger women to love their husbands and children sounds to me like there is a problem with that in Bible times and I think there's a problem with that today so we need to urge women and men to love their husbands and their wives and their children 1st John 478 says Beloved let us love 1 another for love is of God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love so if we need more of that we know where we can go to get there. We can go to God and get that So how are we doing comparing ourselves to this verse how are we doing loving our spouses can be kind of challenging can't it not do and so go when I think about it so we have some work to do is our love selfish or is it sacrificial these are just questions to ask yourself how you do and does it meet this standard if we need more love we need more God. The only way we can hope to have this love is to be so connected to Christ that his love flows through us we can't manufacture it it's a gift but it is a gift that God is freely willing to give us. A We're going to move on to respect and honor so the Lord has you have asked God to give you that love that we need in our hearts and once we have that then we can move onto that respect and honor the definition of respect is to esteemed. Or deferred to so there's 2 different parts and I didn't really realize that respect means esteem sometimes when your spouse is in church or they're actively acting against the gospel that is steam can suffer that respect but there's another part to it it's to defer to and that's the part that's hard for some women to do especially. Men seem to have a better a better grasp on differing to their wives and I've heard the saying in a kind of annoys me a little bit is that when mama ain't happy nobody happy yeah it's to me that I don't know I have a tough time with that when I hear that kind of stuff I'm just like you know we should both be happy everyone should be happy so I have a hard time with that so be careful when you say things like that because what you're really saying is it's my way I don't have respect for you and what you'd what you think and what you have decided I'm not even going to consider that so be careful when you say things like that because it can put a negative connotation to your husband or your spouse so respect means to defer to Ephesians 533 says the wife must respect her husband is there any wiggle room in that. Doesn't sound like it does it there's not a lot of wiggle room in there the wife must respect her husband 1st Corinthians 113 says but I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ and the head of every woman is a man and the head of Christ is God What it's saying here is that there's a system of authority Jesus or God the Father Jesus is then the man then the woman now I work for Jane Harris she is my boss I respect her I esteem her 1st of all because she's a wonderful person but I also defer to her because she's an authority over me she has authority over her she answers to people above her and those people answer to people above her and etc and so on right so there's a system of authority and the word respect means that you submit yourself that you trust in that authority you may not always agree with the way that people are doing things or your spouse is making decisions but because of the system of authority that God has created and placed that is what we need to do is to submit ourselves to it it's a hard thing to do but the way that you get it back in this is Biblical and we're going to talk about this in the next slide is to do it anyway and when you do it and you give it somehow it creates something in that person and then it'll come back to you it'll come back to you and I don't know that's a God thing I don't know how that works. All I know is that when you do what the Bible says and you actively participate and cooperate with God that he creates new situations he makes new life out of things that you thought were dead maybe you don't you can't esteem respect your husband but I think that when you look back at the person that you married and everything they've been through and all of the challenges that they've had that you can come to the point where you're like you know I kind of understand why you're acting the way you are I kind of understand and can empathize with your pain and when you get to that point don't you want to feel like that like someone has. That to you that yeah OK I get it it may not always be right and it may not always be helpful it may actually hurt me but I understand what you're going through that's what we all want isn't it I think so so when you give it it actually creates it and it come back comes back to you in love and that's kind of the way that that God made it but he's saying the wife must respect her husband you don't have to agree all the time but you have to defer to them because of the position that they hold obedience Yeah I was going to talk about that but I took the slight out so I'm glad you asked because I feel like the Lord wants me to say something about that in Numbers 30 there is a passage in it's kind of a big passage and that's why I took it out takes up a lot of time the Lord talks about if a wife makes a vow and the husband honors that vow or the husband doesn't stop her from making it say it's a bad choice or something and the husband doesn't stop her from doing that that he's responsible that he's responsible who did God come looking for in the garden when Eve made that he didn't ask for even. He said Where's your What's going on over here where's your wife what's what happened. So when we when we understand that principle and then we can trust and respect our husband we can give him the details of a situation say hey you know this guy came to me in the tree and he said you know this Apple is going to be great whatever but I want to know what you think you give that your husband an opportunity to make the right decision right but if he doesn't. Who is held to account Adam is and if Adam is going to be if your husband is going to be held to account before the Lord don't you want to try to influence him to do the right thing don't you want to try to talk to him and say you know hey I really don't think this is going to be the best decision this isn't good for us this isn't what the Bible says but if they make that decision who's responsible he is but what if you say what if he says no I'm going to go to the bar Friday night an hour whatever I'm going to let my kid go whatever the situation may be and you don't say anything and you don't try to help him he's still responsible but so are you so you need to weigh those things like you know if there's something that should be said and you can set it say in a kind gentle loving way. But you need to be responsible and that's what Pastor Wess was saying we can't just let people just do whatever they want without trying to say something and we're going to talk about influence how to influence those decisions a little bit in a just a little bit that you have a question. Yeah if someone's not in the Lord you really can't stop someone from doing what they want to do I mean even if they are we don't control other people the only thing that we can control is ourselves so but but sometimes we do have to say things you know if if your wife is out spending you know every dime of your paycheck every week and your mortgage isn't paid and you're going to get kicked out of your house do you accept that choice or do you say hey you know this isn't working we need to make some changes here and then have some boundaries and have some plan set in place or whatever the case maybe it's not oh it's not unloving to have. To voice your opinion in your situations in your marriage you know you don't have to argue over it you don't have to fight over it you can just say from now on I am I don't know I'm not going to be my check home I'm going to do it myself or whatever and if it causes friction then that's you know the Lord can help you with that but some I remember 1 time and this is just a quick example Bill and I were in the midst of getting a divorce and I was in the bathroom and I was getting ready to go I was doing a whole bunch of stuff so I was getting ready to go out of the house and he we were arguing and and I ended up kicking something in the bathroom and cut my leg and I said I just want to be happy I just want to be happy that's what we all want is to just be happy and he got in he said to me if you want to be happy and you think that you want to go you go because I want you to be happy too and when he said that it changed my heart he wanted me to be happy to his detriment he was ready to give that up and if your spouse loves you if you love somebody sometimes letting them go and just saying you know I love you but if that's what's going to make you happy then that's fine you know and a lot of times they'll come back and they'll say thank you for loving me that way. Now I don't know how that applies and it doesn't apply to all situations doesn't apply to everyone but the Holy Spirit will guide you and I know that he will teach you and help you so anyway back to this respect submission and obedience and that's what you were talking about is the obedience factor true meaning of submission is this action or fact of accepting or yielding the will or authority to another person can we have a relationship with Jesus if we don't submit to Him That's the 1st step in our relationship with Christ as in it is saying OK I give up control of my life and I'm going to let you take over oil it's the 1st step in marriage to submitting acting out of accepting and yielding your will to the authority of another person your husband because of the way that God created us is the authority over us over you that's the way he created it you can ask him when you get to heaven why I did that I don't know but I'm just saying that's the way he made it and so that's what we have to do a fusions 521 says submit to 1 another out of reverence for Christ why are we submitting correct reverence for Christ to submit means to follow Do we follow Jesus to allow another to take initiative does Jesus lead us we don't often I hear him prayers Lord Go With Me No I'm following him he's not coming along wherever I want to go so we're following Jesus to defer final decision making I remember 1 time I wanted to buy this my brother and his wife got to the Army and I wanted to buy this Kirby vacuum and they're like $2000.00 I mean they're super expensive vacuums and they were selling and I wanted to help them or whatever so they come home and do the presentation and I said I really want this vacuum and talk to Bill and he's like no. And at the time they were living with us and they had just gotten out of the service they had a dog and we were buying their food and everything and I was really upset I wanted this vacuum and I thought it was really rude of him not to support my brother and his wife so anyway a little later few days later after I didn't talk to him for a while. I said why didn't you want to get that vacuum and he goes they're living with us we're supporting them we're buying their food we're taking care of them their dog chewed up our chairs now we need to get new chairs he said that's enough it didn't even register with me that that he would be feeling that way that that's what he was seeing you know so submission is oftentimes beneficial to us we don't really realize that in the moment in the situation but sometimes another perspective is important and that's how God wants it to be to together you know if we would have taken the time if I would have taken the time and just said why do you feel that way and he would explain it to me I would have had a problem and we wouldn't have been not talking for 5 days so it's important submission submission is hopeful submit to 1 another out of reverence for Christ Oh yeah back down to defer final decision making to place oneself under the care of another that's what I was doing bill was caring for me I didn't realize it now I do to give headship or authority to another and it's not so much of an action as an attitude submission really bottom line it is trust is just saying you know what I believe that you will consider all of the options and that you'll make the right decision. And you can give your input and you can talk and sometimes he'll say you know what why don't you make that decision and you do as a life you just make the decision but you've talked about it and so if submission isn't a dirty word I think people have completely misunderstood what it really is so our example in the Bible is Philippians 25 through 8 your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped oftentimes I hear you know we're equal we've we were made side by side yeah we are we're equal we're part of God took Eve out of Adam and made her his equal but he also made a system of authority and so Jesus was in subjection to that he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man He humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him that is the name above every name. So our example of Jesus in all things is submission his example his attitude his humility it's an example for us and it's difficult when you're in a situation where it's hard to be humble or you feel like you're the 1 that's always doing it but this is what God asked us to do and I'm telling you it will make a difference in your marriage again 1st Peter 31 through 6 says wives in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands who or wives or whatever the case maybe but we don't submission we kind of think is is. A humility or a grovelling or something to all people all men or all can say women because it really doesn't apply in the situation because of the way that God made the hierarchy of authority but we think that it means that you need to grovel or be less than but the Bible is telling us here that it's to our own husbands right and submission and trust is is wonderful in its proper authority and it's proper realm but it is it's a 2 way street Absolutely so we submit to our own husband so that if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without words by the the behavior of their wives some people asked me Does this really work the submission respect to BT and Sting does this really work well ask the Bible what it just say. So that any of us if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives when they see the purity and reverence of your lives your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes rather it should be that of your inner self the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight for this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands like Sarah who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord you are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear submission is fearful in today's society people want to. Negate that because they think it means that you don't have an individual person or personality or spirit that's not what the Bible is saying do you guys kind of my click making that clear OK so I don't want you to go out of here and say oh that Casey McParland she just you know she should be back on. Land or something that's not what I'm saying So please understand submission is a wonderful thing and it actually is a loving thing to do and we cannot have a relationship with Christ if we don't have that 1st and we can't have a relationship with our spouse either so the next thing list of what makes a good relationship is fruit and action we can talk about the stuff all day long but if we don't actually do it it's not really going to help us so Galatians $52223.00 says the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control and again such there is no law James 217 says So you see faith by itself isn't enough unless it produces good deeds it is dead and useless so what you're hearing today and what you're learning today if you don't take it home put it into action it's basically dead and useless we don't want that do it. In the judgment men will not be condemned because they believed the lie but because they did not believe the truth because they neglected the opportunity of learning what is truth kudos to you guys you're here learning and so you will be commended not withstanding the Sophos tree of Satan to the contrary it is always does that disastrous to disobey God we must set our heart to know what is truth all the lessons which God has caused to be placed on record in His Word are for our warning and instruction they are given to save us from deception their neglect will result in ruin to ourselves whatever contradicts God's word we may be sure proceeds from Satan so be careful but go home and put these things into practice and you will see results now honesty honesty is a very interesting concept some people concept of honesty or definition of honesty is very different than other persons so honesty is says in this verse is the 1st chapter in the book of wisdom. So being honest with your spouse and I think this is going to be the hardest thing for you to do when you go home is to is to go home and say you know what I've learned some new things this week at camp meeting and I want to try to put those things into practice in our marriage and to be very honest with your spouse and say you know I think I'm very sorry for the way that things have progressed and gotten to this point but I want to make a change and I'm telling you that's the hardest thing to do because basically what you're doing is saying I've done this all wrong up to this point and I need to do something different but honesty is so important and scripture talks about honesty I remember 1 time I was going through some my stepfather was abusive and. I remember going through something and I was at my uncle's house and he became a Christian he was. He was in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and stuff but he moved away from all that came up to where we lived and became a Christian and he was teaching my mom Bible studies in this was I was about 17 so it was late in life and I was at their house and I was he was talking about something and I wasn't really paying a lot of attention to what he was talking about and I was writing on the table he had a WOULD table but it had a plastic tablecloth over it and it was 1 of those old fashioned table clouds with a little bumpy flowers on it and so I was just drawing around these little flower petals with a pen and I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and then all of a sudden he said stop and I was like oh I'm so sorry he wasn't mad at me but he just said stop and then I look down he goes look down at what you wrote and I said I didn't write anything I was just drawing on your flowers you know and he goes No look at what you wrote in the tablecloth the word help I had outlined the flowers and it spelled out the word help and so he said you know you could tell God how you feel I was so angry as a kid still angry and I said well I don't know God 1st of all and I don't even know how to talk to him or anything you know and. Said in I don't want him to know that and he said you can tell him because he already knows so honesty was and that was really very powerful and I remember it to the stay because honesty is so important just to tell how you feel you can tell God how you feel if you're angry if you're upset if you feel betrayed if you feel whatever you need to sometimes we like to squash that down and just pretend like everything's OK but God can handle it he can he can know if you're upset with him or the nose like my uncle said so honesty is so important and he can handle your anger or whatever so I hope that the 1st thing you do when you leave here is to go home and tell your husband your spouse I want to make some changes I want to be honest I want to try to work through this I want to respect you. I want to I want you to be the head of our family and I want to talk about decisions but I would I would defer to your decision making and then we're going to talk about influence which I think is the most important part of this whole thing so honesty is important in John 144 through 50 there's a little story about Philip and Andrew and Peter in Jesus and it says Philip like Andrew and Peter was from the town of the theta Philip found a Faneuil and told him we have found the 1 Moses a wrote about in the law in about whom the prophets also wrote Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph Nazareth Can anything good come from there Nathaniel asked come and see said Philip when Jesus son of Daniel approaching he said of him here truly is an Israel light in whom there is no deceit How do you know me Nathanial asked Jesus answered I saw you while you were under the fig tree before Philip called you and within you declared Rabbi you are the son of bad you are the king of Israel what was Jesus commending him for. Being honest right people are going around town and saying you know here's this this messiah or whatever you know come from Nazareth and and the whole town was saying. Is that I think good come out and as you know that but they wouldn't say it to Jesus they would say it out loud it was just something that was in their mind but Nathaniel said it out loud it was like his anything good come out of there and Jesus commended him was it complimentary to Jesus not really but Jesus said thank you for being honest Thank you for being honest honesty is important to God Our next step is forgiveness forgiveness is so important in marriage if you can't forgive if you can't just let things go no matter how hard it is or how much is hurt you. You really don't have a chance because this is going to build and build and build and build and your marriage is going to get worse and worse and worse and worse so if Eason's for 3132 says Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice and be kind 1 to another tender hearted forgiving 1 another even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you and I love this Bible by a Mahatma Gandhi as the weak and never forgive forgiveness is an attribute of the strong it takes a lot to forgive doesn't it yeah but we're strong for Christ and we can forgive. So sometimes we do need to ask for forgiveness even when we don't realize we've done something wrong yeah that's that's very powerful if if someone feels like we've hurt them whether we think we have or not if that doesn't matter what matters is that that person feels hurt and so forgiveness we should be offering that very good point and this is my favorite part influence because this is how. I have learned and put into practice how Jesus has worked with me and worked with my husband and move things along if you look at that little picture up there it says it's not the towering sail that moves the end but the invisible when that moves the ship sometimes we think that we only move the ship by you know grabbing a hold of that wheel and turn in the ship ourselves and making things happen it's influence that makes things happen the Bible describes the Holy Spirit like a wind it comes it goes it moves things we don't know where it comes from we don't know where it goes but wives can have a powerful influence with their husbands. In this is the sailboat example the husband is the captain right according to what we just learned the wife of the wind does the lives influence the sales is that he's listening sometimes if we are critical or we've hurt them in any way their sales can be put down the storms are arguing or wrestling the wheel sometimes our influence is very strong the wind is very strong and we want to make things happen but really all we are doing is causing a storm which will ship wreck you are make a mistake or a problem and then sometimes wives have been shipwrecked their marriages have been bad decisions and so they're afraid to get back on there and make some repairs and keep going that's very important if your husband steers your ship into the the beach or the shore or something happens a lot of times we want to jump ship but what we should be doing is making those repairs getting back on the boat and continuing on toward our destination so biblical wives What influence did they have what it was the example of Eve's influence on Adam was a good or bad bad about as a bell. Pilot's wife. She tried to stop him didn't she say I give that woman a lot of credit she said don't have anything to do with that just man she tried to do it was right he made the wrong decision we don't hear anything about her having a problem with the Lord you know but he did. So you know influence is very important pilot's wife tried to do the right thing what about her. Bad What about Sarah she did some good she did some bad she had some you know told him to go take a slave girl and have children and that didn't work out so well and then later on she had a good influence on him and she saw that she I think she learned her lesson and I hope so anyway influence is super powerful when you're talking about relationships and husbands and wives. And it's very gentle so I think if you think back to your grandma or somebody in your family that had powerful influence on you it was usually very gentle it wasn't super strong it just seemed to come out of nowhere and you don't know where it came from so influences great practical help we're almost done. Practical help is to begin again so when you go home have that conversation with your spouse. Commit to it spend time with God because again the only place you're going to get the courage and the strength to do it is is through the Lord pray for your marriage ask God to help you love your spouse with a Christ like love commit to improving your marriage spend quality time with God and study as counsel read research take advantage of marriage resources and this is what I did if your marriage is important to you you'll spend time figuring out how to make it better and this is your 1st step so I'm super proud of you for being here and I'm going to pray for every 1 of you when you go home that you continue to commit to it educate yourself cooperate with God do what he says Be content be patient I'm on go on and we've been married 24 years and about 15 of those have been I've been committed to it so it takes time a lot of time but it's time you're going to spend anyway we doing something constructive So tell your husband that you want to work on improving your marriage and be open about it when you make a mistake you fall into old patterns or whatever tell me you know I just fell back into an old pattern I'm going to try again be honest about it and he's going to respect you for that seek your husband's counsel talk to him and start over show and speak love always speak love assure him you love him no matter what happens the 2 of you can get through it apologize Whatever your situation tell him you appreciate his good qualities he's a good provider he may be a hard worker he may be a good father he may be funny he may be happy you might like a smile whatever it is that you have to find to compliment you may like his toes I don't know whatever it is that you like about your husband you tell them and do things for them for him when you do things for others. Tell the truth always have integrity if your husband asks you a question did you spend X Y Z today tell the truth I have a big problem with that because I love to shop and so I would keep things in my trunk and then when he was gone I would take them in the house and I put him in the closet like they were there forever and so when he would say you know did you go shopping today I would I would have to say did you know but I'm trying to work on that because it puts a burden on him an unfair burden on him so I'm trying to cooperate in those things and do better so tell the truth always have integrity forgive strive to become more and more influential to him I love the husbands that come home to their wives and they have to talk to them about you know whatever situation or the wives come to the husband and say I can't make that decision till I talk to my wife or husband that is so beautiful to me and so impressive that you have that relationship where you you know that they have something important a perspective that you need and so that's really special. Let's see where are we. Give the give him the wheel of your family a lot of times we like to give it over to him but then we like to take it back OK you make those decisions soon as they make a decision I want that back you can't have that anymore but we need to consistently make sure that they know that you know their decisions are respected set boundaries personal and spiritual You don't have to you know accept certain behaviors that's not what I'm saying what I'm saying is that you need to talk to your husband be honest and respect his decisions if his decisions disagree with what you think he should be doing and they interfere I was talking to 1 lady and her husband was cheating on their taxes. And so that was a very difficult situation for her and she was concerned and I said you know it's OK to have a boundary and to say if that's what you choose to do then we'll file separately because I'm not going to be responsible for that there's decisions and things that go on in marriages that you need to say you know I'm just not comfortable with that and that's OK God wants you to do that God is expecting you to do the right thing so don't be complicit in someone's someone's choices if you know it's going to affect you could end up in prison for that so be careful set boundaries personal and spiritual love unconditionally like Christ and the scriptures tell us and this is my final slide trust in the Lord with all your heart do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your path Proverbs 35 through 6 Be strong and courageous and this is my prayer for you do not be frightened or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. We know all things work together for good to those who love God and to those who are called according to his purpose Romans 828 and then finally the Lord says to you I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a hope and a future God is with you he is in the situation with you he is helping you and he will encourage you and strengthen you and when you feel like you just can't do it anymore I remember 1 time. Bill was home for a long period of time we were home together and we were getting along and I went to my closet and I actually was his closet and I had a little stool and I sat on the closet and I just prayed Lord you have to make him leave for 5 minutes I just need 5 minutes alone you know I said because I was trying to be nice and I just didn't want to be you know mean to him and I knew that if he stayed around 5 more minutes I was going to be mean so I sat in that closet and I prayed and he found me there 5 minutes later and he said you know I have to go up to the gas station and get some gas for the lot more whatever it was and I was like oh thank you Jesus so just I just needed a minute sometimes you just need a minute to pray and just say and I remember saying to myself or saying to the Lord if he doesn't leave please help me to be nice. Even though I don't want to please help me and I will do what you want me to do and when you pray that prayer you're submitted to the will of God God will help you give you a miraculous blessing I just couldn't believe it you know so when you feel like you can't do it you can just go to God later Burnett is fee and he will help you OK our spouses need it because like we likely read the The best way for your spouse to be saved is for you to stay with him or her your family's sanctified it's set apart and your children are holy to you want your children to be holy to be special to get to be watching over them when they're not in the home that is such a beautiful promise let's bow our heads and have a closing word of prayer if you'd like to talk to me afterwards I'll be here for a few minutes of love to speak with you dear Heavenly Father thank you so much for your words thank you for the promises that you've given to us thank you for Jesus who gave us the example of how we need to treat each other and when we do those things Lord we know that you will make a way you'll make something new out of something that was dead and Lord I pray that you will be with each person that's here today as they go home and they start a new beginning with their spouse as they try to put all those old hurts and pains behind them. And they realize that this is not a life sentence that they can be happy that you can help us to have joy in our hearts and that you can guide and direct our decision making Lord I just pray that you will be with them in a special way that your heavenly angels would go to their homes that they would abide there with them as they work on this together Lord I pray for their families for if they have children at home or whatever the situation may be I pray that you would just draw near to them and that they will realize that no situation is too difficult with you yes it's trying yes it's it's challenging but Lord we know that we can be victorious and that we can love. Like you did so we thank you so much for the stime pray that as we go to lunch that you would be with us and that our hearts would be lifted up and encouragement in joy and happiness today in Jesus Name we name in. 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