Ephesians 5:33

 

Video clip – Session #1 – He Said / She Said

 

Caleb

She shows me no respect

Our marriage has been fine for the most part until she went off the deep end this year

(Friend – do you really think this happened overnight?)

I do not understand her

She is emotional about everything

Easily offended and way to sensitive

Always nagging me and says I don’t listen to her,

Going insane

Incompatible

Whines to her friends and makes me out to be a criminal

Friend – Do you think it is past the point of no return?

There is no reason to return

 

Catharine

He is the problem

He does not have a clue – he thinks our marriage has been fine

He is so insensitive

He doesn’t care how I feel

He doesn’t listen to me

Going insane

Totally incompatible

 

Caleb and Catharine at least agreed on one thing- they both feel like they are going insane and totally incompatible

 

Do these comments sound familiar? It sounds like they have lost that loving feeling.  Why?

Were they in love when they got married?  Did they marry the wrong person?  Are they incompatible? No, No, and No

They have just stopped doing what they did when they were dating.  They quit studying each other, they quite putting the other person first, they quite sharing their feelings with each other.

Think back to when you were dating, what did you do?  What drew you to each other?

Their beauty and GQ look – Vicki fell in love with my full head of hair – Ha

During college we would fall asleep while we were on the phone together. We talked and talked and spent every possible minute together.  Now life has happened – kids, work, volunteer commitments, house work, family commitments, etc., etc., etc.

I have always said marriage is hard work – but we rarely give it all the effort it deserves.

What is the most important relationship in your life? Jesus – That is foundational for all other relationships and for your eternal happiness.  2nd Your spouse – that is foundational for all other earthly relationships.  3rd Your Kids.  When you are married, and make your kids more important than your spouse you are in for trouble.  When your marriage is in trouble, your kids will get hurt, ask a kid who has gone through a divorce or lived in a house with unhappy parents.

Get right with God, that will focus you on getting right with your spouse and as a result your kids will be blessed.

What is the next step you need to take to get right with God – Do you believe in Him, Do you need to repent of your sins and find forgiveness for your past?  Do you need to be baptized into Him so you will receive the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit?  Do you need to grow more in the fruit of the Spirit?

Determine your next step and do it. Get prepared for today, for eternity, and it is the beginning point of a better marriage.

 

Second, get right with your spouse – Do not wait on the other one, if you can hear my voice it is your responsibility to make your marriage better – don’t give up, your marriage is to important, to important for you, your spouse, and your kids.   Start by looking at photo albums of your dating days and first year of marriage work to rekindle that flame.  Read books, get help, do the 40 day Love Dare (bulletin insert)

 

Understand what God says about marriage.

22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.  Eph 5:22-33

 

I want to focus on v.33 – Marriage counselors and modern authors did not have to do research to learn what God told us 2,000 years ago about marriage.

 

Paul wrote – Husbands love your wife / Wives respect your husband.  Men and women are different and have different needs.  Generally speaking – Women need love and Men need respect.

One survey asked men, given the choice, how they would prefer to feel: alone and unloved or inadequate and disrespected – 76% of men said they would rather feel alone and unloved than feel inadequate and disrespected – Women did you hear that?  How do you think women would have answered that survey?

Just the opposite and maybe even in higher numbers – Women would rather feel inadequate and disrespected than alone and unloved.

Has your wife ever said, I don’t feel loved or something like that?  Has you husband ever said, I can’t ever do anything right, or something like that?   She is not feeling loved and he is not feeling respected.  Then the marriage begins to spiral down – the question is how far down have you spiraled?  Another way we can see this spiral is the crazy cycle.

One of you have to break this cycle – Husband when you make her feel loved she will react with respect. Wife when you give him respect then he will react with love and the crazy cycle turns into the love cycle that your wedding rings represent.

My marriage isn’t that bad – ask your spouse before you finish that sentence.  The better question is can your marriage be better and more fulfilling for both of you?  Yes, it can if you will both work together.  Start where you are and move slowly in the right direction.

 

Husbands what did you give or do for your wife yesterday?

She said not to do anything?  Haven’t you learned by now?  You are only an old married couple if you let the flame die out in your marriage.  One of the highest compliments Vicki and I received several years ago was this question.  While at a youth ministry conference the women behind us asked if we were newly weds.  We were not – I am ashamed to say that no one has asked us that question since.  Even in the midst of the business of life it is time for me to work harder and make people ask that question.

Start making every day Valentines day.  You do not have to spend money, or much money.  Follow the insert and you will get plenty of ideas over the next 40 days.

 

Wives what did you give or do for your husband yesterday?

Yeah, men do not need that love stuff – but you can train him by treating him how you want to be treated.  What about everyday showing him respect?

 

We have a problem – Men don’t know how to show love to their wives and Women don’t know how to show respect to their husbands – you have some ideas and you try but does your spouse understand what you are saying and doing. (Pick up handouts – men or women only 100 ways to…)

 

Two different perspectives on the marriage – Why? Pink and Blue / Different needs being met

She has pink sunglasses, hearing aids, and megaphone

He has blue sunglasses, hearing aids, and megaphone

She says I have nothing to wear – she means I have nothing new or nothing fits right

He says I have nothing to wear – he means my favorite clothes are not clean

Different but not wrong, just different

 

It is your job to really understand what your spouse is saying and meaning. Don’t guess, you will get it wrong.

 

‘If you are in a conflict with your husband, do you think that it is legitimate to break down and cry? Most of us would probably answer yes. Let me ask another question: In the same conflict, do you think it is legitimate for your husband to get angry? Many of us have a problem with that – we think he’s not controlling himself or that he’s behaving improperly.’             “The question needs to be asked: why do women tend to respond with hurt, and men tend to respond with anger? It all has to do with the male need for respect. ‘In a relationship conflict, crying is often a woman’s response to feeling unloved, and anger is often a man’s response to feeling disrespected.’”

“Men get most frustrated – and angriest – when they feel disrespected. If your conversation takes on a demeaning tone, you have as much chance of resolving something as you would baking a cake by throwing the ingredients down the garbage disposal. You can’t control your husband’s anger – but you can provoke it by being disrespectful. That doesn’t excuse any inappropriate actions on his part, but if you truly want to be part of the solution, then learn how to disagree with your husband without showing a lack of respect…”

 

Wives study your husbands and Husbands study your wives – you did before you were dating to catch each others eye and you did while you where dating or you would have never ended up getting married. Why did you stop studying each other and stop putting the other person’s needs and feelings above your own?

WHY?  You got selfish because you were hurt or started focusing on the kids.  The kids are going to move out one day and you will be stuck with you know who.  But if you are building your marriage flame you will say it is about time the kids moved out so we can spend even more time together.

 

Let me show you how this relates back to your relationship with Jesus.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Phil 2:3-5

 

You can not have a Jesus attitude if you do not have a relationship with Jesus.

Start working on your marriage by committing your life to Jesus today.