“So you want to be married”
Synopsis of bible study 2.17.10
A lot of people are syndical about marriage. Most single people will tell you that they have anxiety about marriage, because most of the married people that they talk to are trying to get out of their marriage. This creates an unusual paradox, because you have one group of folk trying to get out of something and another group of folk trying to get into it. Bishop explains that in his study for this subject he stumbled across something. Columnist Mike Royko from the Chicago Tribune had proposed the following warning to be placed on every marriage license issued in the United States. He suggested that at the bottom of your marriage license there would something that said “Warning, use this at your own peril. The Census Bureau statistics say using this license could be real dangerous to your future mental, physical, and financial health. It can make you miserable for the rest of your natural life if you live that long. It could lead to arguing, yelling, screaming, boozing, sulking, receiving the silent treatment, a bunch of kids that are goofed up, and making you feel guilty (paraphrasing)”. This is a very interesting way to look at marriage.
It is amazing though, because a lot of people have a very dim view of marriage. You must know that marriage is a wonderful institution with the right person. This is why if you are single, you need to be very sure that when you come to the altar; you need to be sure that you are with the right person. If you are already married, it is important that you really work on yourself and that you believe that God is able to do in your marriage the kind of miracle work that needs to be done to bring about a healthy relationship. 1 Corinthians 7:5 says 5Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. Her Paul is talking to this church and he is dealing with doctrinal relationships. Verse 5 is talking about spiritual relationships.
I. Spiritual Relationships
When Paul says defraud ye not one another except it be with consent (in verse 5), he is talking about how marriage is under attack and because of it, you have to guard yourself. Those of you that are in healthy relationships and those relationships that have direction, it is important to know the following facts. The devil attacks marriages and he does so in a manner that assures us that we must always be on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 says 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: – This scripture says you ought to be vibrant and vigilant. Your adversary the devil is as a roaring lion. He is a stalker. He stalks walking about seeking whom he may devour. The devil is like a lion that looks out upon the prey and picks out those who are weak.
What is important in the marriage is having.
a. The right attitude. We have to make certain that in the relationship, we are not critical of our spouse in every area. We have to be sure that we are not a hateful person or not a smart mouth person. This kind of attitude gives Satan a foothold in the relationship and can produce resentment in a person’s heart and that person’s heart can turn from flesh to stone. Many of you now know that you have a problem restraining your tongue. When you get angry you just speak what is on your mind, not realizing how that impacts your relationship. Some people think “Whatever comes up comes out!” Well this is a problem. This creates stress and strain within your relationship. Colossians 4:6 says Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. – In other words, there is a way to say something. You can do it with grace, yet be stern. You have to be able to say it in a way that is graceful. Ex- Many years ago, Bishop fired somebody and the Spirit of the Lord led him to do it so graceful that they left Bishop’s office thinking they were going back to work. They went back telling everyone that it was a great meeting. They didn’t even realize that they were fired, because it was done so gracefully. When you spread salt, people ought not to realize they have been cut until they get home. You have to know how to gracefully share things with people. Do it in a way where you are stern but you are not disrespectful. It is about attitude. It is about how you speak to one another. It is about the thing that you say. Your attitude leads to your actions.
b. Actions- What happens often times is resentment sets in, because our actions say we can’t talk to you or that you are unreasonable so consequently we lose our self in our work and in our hobbies. This creates tension and as a result distance starts coming in and we start taking each other for granted. This opens up wounds that are very hard to heal. Many of us reading this today walk in situations where people are literally giving each the cold shoulder. They are just together to be together, but there is nothing positive taking place.
We are going to discuss 6 myths in marriage and as you go through them, try to find out where you are.
6 myths in marriage
1. You should read my mind-It is impossible for your mate to be able to read your mind. You change your mind to much for somebody to be able to read your mind. Communicate about what you are thinking. You can’t live in a presumptuous relationship. If you go through your relationship trying to allow your mate to read your mind, before long you will be into it because they read your mind wrong. Nobody on this planet can read your mind
2. Intimacy and sex are the same. Men will use sex to fulfill their needs. If he hurts he wants sex and if he is not hurt, he wants it too. You have to be careful with sex, because the more the husband focuses on the frequency of the sex, the more he feels like you are a sex object. The need for sex in the marriage should be a response to the closeness in the relationship, not the need for closeness. When we use sex to try and bring us closer it makes us end up in dysfunction. For some reason, we think we can get somebody to get into us through sex. This is what happened to Leah in Genesis 29. Our sex and intimacy should be a response to how much we love each other.
3. I can treat you any way I want. Just because you love somebody don’t mean you can abuse them and talk to them any kind of way. We have these parental relationships in our relationships. In other words we try to parent the other person in the relationship. We try and talk to our mate like they are a minor when they are already grown up. This is unhealthy.
4. I have a right to fix you. Unrequested criticism even if this seems warranted, is not appropriate! You come into a dating relationship and there can be fundamental things that are wrong with you, but they may be things that make up who you are. You bring these things to your marriage. Your spouse should know these things about you in the very beginning. They should know the “you” that they are getting. There are some things about you that you ought to be able to own. In other words “This is just who I am” Ex- . We might not be a morning person or we are not a neat person or we don’t like clubbing. When you marry a person, you should know this instead of having to change it after you are married. If you knew this about a person, then you shouldn’t try to change it, because you had a choice before you married them and you chose to marry them anyway.
5. Love is a feeling. – This is what we say about love. “Girl I am feelin her”. Then when you fall in love you say, “I never felt that way before”. Feel me? The truth is you told everyone you dated that you felt that way. Love is not just based on a feeling. There will be days you will wake up and say “God why has though forsaken me”: That day is going to come. It has to be more than just love. Some days you won’t feel like loving, but you have to be lovable.
6. You have to tell it all. Some women say they want to tell their husband all of the past issues that they have ever had, because they want to get everything out in the open. There is a small problem with this. Trust me; your husband is not thinking of this as being a good idea. We believe in transparency in marriage, but in some cases your spouse might not be able to handle everything that you might tell them. A word of advice. Only share the things that will build and edify the relationship. If it is not going to build or edify the relationship, then keep it to yourself. Women, the things that you tell your husband can change the way that they view you forever. Some of you may have contributed to your husband’s exit strategy.
II. A word concerning their sexual relationship
In marriage there should be sex. There is a word to the waiting. -1 Corinthians 7:1-2 says 1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
a. A word to the waiting. Paul is dealing with celibacy. Touch in the previous scripture doesn’t refer to casual contact. This word (touch) refers to that which stimulates. When you are single, you should be fully devoted to God. 1 Corinthians 7:32 says 32But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: – In otherwords, if you are single, focus on pleasing God and that will be enough to keep you busy.
1 Corinthians 7:33 says 33But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. – If you are married you should be focused on pleasing your wife or your husband.
1. Know that sensual desires are not evil.-Every male or female possess sexual desires. There is nothing wrong with having a sexual desire, but we must keep it in its proper context.
2. Sensual Expression outside the marriage relationship is evil- When you are touched; you bring different spirits into the marriage. This action causes you to bring an expectation of marriage that is based on previous relationships. What you are doing is you begin measuring the effectiveness of your sexual relationship in the marriage based on what you had with the people you cheated with. You can’t expect your mate to be like those you cheated with. You have to develop a healthy sexual relationship within your marriage yourself.
b. A word to the wedded. 1 Corinthians 7:3-4 says 3Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
1. There is a debt- That debt suggest that there is a sexual fulfillment within marriage. The way which we render benevolence is a command, not an option. The word render is a verb. As a verb, it is in the present tense. This implies that there is a continual action, suggesting the debt is never paid. One problem many have is that they have fully paid their debt off so to speak. This debt of benevolence is supposed to be a continual debt. Render also suggests that both partners are responsible to make sure this comes to past.
2. There’s is devotion. 1 Corinthians 7:4 says 4The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. – The wife doesn’t’ have power over her body, nor does the husband. You lose control over your body when you get married. This doesn’t mean one has the right to make the other into a slave, but it does mean that you do not have the option to hold back or withhold from your mate.
3. There is a demand. 1 Corinthians 7:5 says 5Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. – Don’t deprive each other of what is rightly your spouses’. You can consent for a time like for fasting. Don’t deprive your spouse of what is theirs using it as a bargaining chip. When you deprive your mate, you open the door for satanic attack.
III. A word concerning the special relationship
a. There must be closeness. Benevolence deals with affections and good will. In marriage you have to feel that a person has your best interest at heart. When you marry somebody, you become vulnerable. When you sleep next to person that doesn’t have your best interest at heart, you might wake up without something. On the other hand, you could also wake up with something if you know what I mean. Our relationship should be about the following statement, “I enjoy being with you”.
b. There must be communication. How many of you reading this is an “A type” personality? This simply means that you are a strong headed person. If you are in relationship with another “A type” then you can have heated and confrontational conversations. In those relationships, you feel like if you listen, you surrender your opinion.
c. Concentrate on this word. The word is “Listen”. Now look at the word “Silent”. Try and match each letter that you find in the word silent with letters found in the word listen and see how many you can find. If you haven’t noticed by now, the same letters found in silent our found in listen. They are the same letters in a different order. It doesn’t mean you are not empowered just because you listen. In order for relationship to have proper communication, somebody has to say they will listen.
d. The true idea of marriage is to give and give. Your relationship should add value to you. If you are married, you need to pray in this area. Marriage should be two ways and not just unilateral. There has to be teamwork involved in marriage.
“8 keys to a great marriage
1. Pray together daily if your spouse is willing. You can’t pray with somebody that is not willing to pray. For example after an argument. Ask yourself do you pray together daily. Psalm 127:1 says 1Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2. Focus on changing yourself. The vast majority of us think the problem is with the other person. You see a lot of this when Pastors are counseling their members. If you have been in 8 relationships this year, it is a good possibility that you have some fault too. Matthew 7:3 says 3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? How willing are we to do self asessment.
3. Throw yourself into your marriage. Are you all the way in? Are you all the way committed? Do something every day that will bless your spouse. Colossians 3:23 says 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
4. Forgive your spouse. Colossians 3:13 says 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. – Don’t let bitterness and resentment grow. Women and men view forgiveness different. Ex – Men say, “What did I do? I am sorry. Are we straight? Cool.” and then we leave and go watch TV. Women’s forgiveness is not like that at all. It can be 3 months up the road and they will just stop talking. Men, we will say, “What’s wrong?” and they will say “Nothing is wrong” and really something is wrong. When a woman is being transgressed by us (men), it reminds them of all the other men that transgressed them, so when we say we are sorry, it sounds like they excuses that those other men gave them. Most of men’s pain is from jobs, money etc… Most all women’s pain came from some man.
5. Serve your spouse. Ask what is important to them. Galatians 5:13 says 13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.- Discuss her fears, hopes, and dreams. Give her the reassurance she needs. Be romantic throughout the day in non sexual ways. Women, express admiration for your husband. Let him make mistakes without saying, “I told you so”. Let him get lost on the trip without you saying anything and let him find his own way. Voice appreciation for what he does. Show some interest in sex when you are married (Both men and women).
6. Speak lovingly and respectfully. There is power in words. Proverbs 25:11 says 11A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.-Words can build up and they can tear down. Learn how to speak in a loving way. Ephesians 4:29 says 29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.- Stop all that cursing.
7. Talk together regularly. You should be able to talk about things without it costing them. Proverbs 27:6 says 6Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. – You ought to want your mate to tell you their likes and dislikes, but you should want them to do so in a tasteful way.
8. Fan the flames of your romance. When you get married, you have to get creative or you will fall into a rut with the same old routine. Song of Solomon 7:11-12 says 11Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. 12Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.- Have a picnic in the middle of the day. Don’t get caught up in the same routine. The element of surprise should always be there.
In this series we have been trying to help you with your relationships. Know that you are extraordinary and God joined you with another extraordinary person. They will have flaws and so will you. You have to be willing to work on those things. There are things that you will have to accept, but keep your standards high. Know that what you are looking for is looking for you. Don’t live in the unrealistic state of thinking you are perfect. Bishop explains that he had a friend that he hadn’t heard from in years. She thought she was Miss Perfect back in the day. One day she called Bishop he asked her how she had been and he asked her was she dating anybody that he knew? She told him no. She said she wanted to send him a recent picture of her. Bishop told her to go ahead, because he would love to see her. Bishop received the picture of his friend and it was of her looking like a skeleton sitting on the bench all alone. There was a caption under the picture that said, “Waiting on the perfect man”. Just like this, many of you will be waiting on the perfect person that doesn’t exist. You won’t meet the perfect person, because you are not perfect. Focus on your relationship with God, your relationship with yourself, and ask the Lord to prepare you for whoever he has for your life. If we are already with that person, then ask the Lord to help you be the best husband or wife you can be. Ask him to mold you so you can be with them, because you know he had to mold them in order for them to be with you.