Thoughts from the Art of Marriage Conference
by Jenn V.
On the weekend of February 24th my husband and I helped our church to host The Art of Marriage Conference. Our church was one of the many churches hosting this event all across the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I was so glad that it came with a workbook because there were so many words of wisdom that enlightened me this past weekend that I did not want to forget. There were also lots of inspirational testimonies and instruction along with a few short writing exercises to do with your spouse. For more information go to www.familylife.com and check out their amazing website with lots of readily available resources.
Here are some of my favorite “Ah Ha” moments:
It is important to receive your spouse as God’s perfect gift for you.
It is just as important to BECOME the right person as it is to FIND the right person.
The myth of “The One” is not biblical. The one you married is the one with whom you are to make a life. (Yes, there is a PERIOD at the end of that sentence. J)
“But what if I was previously married?” The important thing to remember is to focus on your commitment in the marriage you are in TODAY. You cannot change the past, but you can give and accept forgiveness for mistakes and transform your present marriage to honor Christ.
Receiving God’s gift of your spouse means more than being “accepting” of him or her. It means a daily choice of you EMBRACING the God-given differences he’s built into each of you.
Spend time together praying and reading the Word not just individually, but also as a couple. Start with the book of Psalms or a couple’s devotional.
Try to spend at least one weekend a year away from routine, together and alone without children.
A study in the Journal of Family Psychology says that couples who undergo premarital counseling have a 31 percent lower divorce rate that those who do not.
God designed marriage to be a covenant NOT a contract. The difference is:
o Contracts are based on legalism and leverage and they last as long as we both shall love. They call for the signing of names.
o Covenants are based on love and loyalty and they last as long as we both shall live.
They call for the binding of hearts.
Couples naturally and selfishly drift toward isolation because they fail to make their spouse the #2 priority in their lives right under God. We are culturally conditioned to believe to “look out for #1.”
We don’t HAVE issues, we ARE the issues. Our feelings and wants become the forefront of our priorities instead of keeping our promise of loving, honoring and cherishing our spouse. We turn it into a “let’s make a deal” marriage. We mistakenly look to our spouse to meet all of our needs but God did not equip them for that. Only God is equipped to meet our needs.
Conflict in marriage is common; we have to learn to be uncommon in the way we handle it. We have to be willing to seek and grant forgiveness every day of our marriage. That is the picture of Christ that God wanted for our lives when he designed marriage. Forgiven sinners are to forgive sinners.
The ultimate purpose of sex is to bring glory to God by celebrating oneness with each other. A satisfying sex life is the RESULT of a satisfying marriage relationship. In other words, sex is like a thermometer in marriage, NOT a thermostat in that it measures the health of your intimacy rather than sets it.
Think about what you hope your family, friends and co-workers would say at your funeral. Live like that!
To leave a godly legacy, we must think about the impact of our lives on our future generations. We are ancestors to someone yet to come. If you live your life knowing you are an ancestor, that will change the way you make your decisions, the way you live your life, and the way you love your wife. - Albert Mohler
Our children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see - Neil Postman