Make Her Glad She Married You!

The third session at the Ironwood couples’ retreat this year was a split session.  Our speakers were Dennis and Marilyn St. Lawrence.  Dennis is the pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Chariton, Iowa.  This message is for the men only (but you ladies feel free to keep us accountable).  I like this:  “Don’t depend on your wife to be your cheerleader.”  Ha!  Ironwood provides access to the messages as well.  Go to  User name:  CRC2017 and the PW: Transformed.

1. I need to be the spiritual leader in the home.

1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV)

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

-It’s not so much where you are at, but where you are going.  Why are we resisting?  Why are you doing what you’re doing?  Don’t depend upon your wife to be your cheerleader.

-If I am not the spiritual leader, my wife will be insecure, lack confidence, and look for leadership elsewhere.

2. Make my wife first place in my life and show it.

-It fosters insecurity in my wife when she is not first place.

-If I want my wife to love me, I must love her first …and keep on loving her.  Leave her notes and text her.  Make time for her.  Date.  Helping with the house.  Practice good manners.

3.  Value my wife’s opinion.

-What do you think of this?  If you don’t, she won’t respect or admire you.

4.  Show self-control and personal inner discipline.

-Anger destroys the spirit of oneness.  There is a connection between anger and moral impurity.

-You are married to meet your wife’s needs.  She’s not a prostitute to meet your needs.

5.  Speak to her in a gentle spirit.

-Be a gentleman.  No harsh words or tones.  Be a kind, loving leaders.  Look at Jesus as your example.

-Demonstrate a servant’s heart and a learner’s spirit.  Your wife is God’s daughter.

6.  Praise her and recognize her attempts to please you.

-Wives must feel needed and appreciated.  Praise her in front of others.  Life isn’t the same without her.

-Develop a premature nostalgia.  Think of what you will miss when she is gone.

-If you don’t, her heart will look for praise from others.

7.  Build and protect her.

-Remove fear and anxiety from her life.  Address them with the word of God.  Pray.  Ask what Sue fears.  Tell her to circle two of these items for you to work on.

-Value honest even if it hurts.

-Be a one-woman man.

8.  Provide time for intimate and personal conversation.

-Women talk by bonding and connecting.  Give her your undivided attention.

-Be all there.  She must know you are listening.

9.  Spend quality and creative time with children.

-Give them quality time.  Wives love to see husbands loving their children in practical ways.

-Organized sports ruin families.  Spend time with your kids.

10.  Acknowledge failures and seek forgiveness.

-Admit when you are wrong.  Don’t ever think that you’re never wrong.

-When has she heard, “I was wrong.”  God resists the proud; so does your wife.  Embrace humility – an ongoing process.

Finding the Foundation of a Fulfilled Marriage

The following notes are from the second session at the Ironwood couples’ retreat this year.  Our speakers were Dennis and Marilyn St. Lawrence.  Dennis is the pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Chariton, Iowa.  I liked how this message was geared to responding to God and then people.  Ironwood provides access to the messages as well.  Go to  User name:  CRC2017 and the PW: Transformed.

Everything rises or falls on our relationship to God!

Psalm 11:3 (NKJV)

3 If the foundations are destroyed,

What can the righteous do?

1 Corinthians 3:11 (NKJV)

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Christ is not a means to an end (a better marriage); He is our life.  He is the goal.  The marriage is the means to an end:  Christ.

Marriage doesn’t create problems; it exposes them.

1 Timothy 1:19 (NKJV)

19 …having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.

Our foundation must be cleared of:

1. Sins of our youth.

-Response to God:

Psalm 25:7 (NKJV)

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;

According to Your mercy remember me,

For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.

-Response to spouse:  God is allowing me to see how my failure in my youth has damaged my ability to make our marriage what God intended.

2. Premarital relations

-Response to God:

Psalm 51:10 (NKJV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

-Response to spouse:  I realize I have focused on getting rather than giving in our relationship.  I ask your forgiveness for the hardship my sin has caused.

3. Marriage against parents’ wishes

-Response to God:

Proverbs 1:8 (NKJV)

8 My son, hear the instruction of your father,

And do not forsake the law of your mother

Proverbs 5:12–13 (NKJV)

12 And say:

“How I have hated instruction,

And my heart despised correction!

13 I have not obeyed the voice of my teachers,

Nor inclined my ear to those who instructed me!

-Response to disapproving parents:  I was wrong for marrying against your wishes.  Would you forgive me for the grief my disrespect has brought?

4. Inadequate preparation for marriage.

-Response to God:  O God, please forgive me for treating lightly what is sacred to You.

-Response to spouse:  I realize my lack of preparation has placed great pressure upon you.  As I now begin concentrating on my personal responsibilities, I ask for your forgiveness and prayers.

5. Wrong attitudes in marriage

Wrong attitudes are more deleterious to a marriage than wrong actions.

-Response to God:

Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

-Response to spouse:  Would you forgive me for failing to demonstrate godly character and for not giving you the love I owe you?

Great marriages are not chemistry and capability; they flow from great character.  Great character is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

6. Words that damage and defile

-Response to God:

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,

O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

-Response to spouse:  I realize the words I said to you were unkind and unloving, would you forgive me?

Why Marriage?

Had a great weekend with my wife at the Ironwood couples’ retreat this year.  Our speakers were Dennis and Marilyn St. Lawrence.  Dennis is the pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Chariton, Iowa.  I took notes because it’s how I listen best.  Ironwood provides access to the messages as well.  Go to  User name:  CRC2017 and the PW: Transformed.

What is the purpose of your marriage?

Having a God-centered home

1. Sets a standard:

-Will this glorify God?

Our marriage is to serve and glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:23–24 (NKJV)

23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Romans 15:6 (NKJV)

6 …that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

2. Gives us a pattern.

-God designed marriage for:

-Companionship – “Leave and Cleave”

-Help – Not only she helping him; he is helping

-Protection – sacrificial love of a man

-Fruitfulness – children; righteous works

-Enjoyment – God designed as a source of joy

-Illustration – picture Christ’s love for the church

3. Brings oneness.  It conquers self.  God-centered.

4. Changes menial tasks into God-given missions.

5. Provides stability.  When can you quit doing what is right?  Keep doing what God wants you to do.  As to the Lord by His power.

6. Has God’s blessing.  God blesses marriages that serve and glorify Him.

7. Gives hope to future generations.  If your marriage turns out exactly like your parents, would you be happy with it.  Only happens when the marriage is built on Christ to honor Christ.

We are to be marriage missionaries.  As we do this, God gives grace to empower us.