Friday, January 13, 2012

Relationships Take Work! (FAITH)

Okay! I was working on a post for my blog and have felt directed to change (or more clearly, attach) another topic to this post. As you read in the title, I was writing how relationships, specifically marriage relationships, take work! What does it take to make relationships work? Right in the middle of writing, I came across Barbie’s blog over at My Freshly Brewed Life. Interestingly, Barbie is just starting a weekly link-up with what is called the Made to Crave Journey.  
Made to Crave” is a book about losing weight through a healthy lifestyle, but as the book relates, this journey starts with our relationship with God. To top this off, my hubby and I just started a weight loss challenge(along with 700 other area residents) through our local Chamber of Commerce and YMCA. I had purchased the book when it first came out, but never got past the first chapter. After reading Barbie’s post, I am encouraged to follow along with her in reading each chapter and writing each week about this journey we are taking together. We can use all the encouragement we can get when it comes to a healthy change in our lives! Not only is any positive change going to take work, but so do relationships, including our relationship with God. Ahaaaaaa…..segway! 
After reading the Introduction and Chapter 1 of the book, I think the most influential statement for me was-
“Getting healthy isn’t about losing weight. 
It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change- 
spiritually, physically, and mentally.”(pg.16)

Our relationship with God is like any relationship, including marriage. It takes effort! We can’t expect God to do all the work, just like we can’t expect our spouse to do all the work and have the relationship succeed! 

O.k., back to my original post - 
In a few weeks, my hubby and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Being married for that amount of time to one person has definitely taught me a lot about relationships. So, I want to do a little mini-series on marriage and relationships over the next several months. Most of the information I am posting about will be from the website “Biblical Foundations For Freedom” – Building a Great Marriage” Series.
There are  3 important steps that  need to be a part of any successful marriage: faith, forgiveness and friendship. Today, I’m covering the “faith” aspect.
1.      Faith: Keep God's design clearly in focus, which include:
a)      Hope does not solve problems, but it does put us on the right track so we can work out the many big and small difficulties that we face in our marriages.
  • Many couples do not know how to peaceably resolve things. They have no clue as to how to work through differences and misunderstandings. The spouses only know how to preserve their privileges and rights via arguments and fights. Hope will help you become the kind of spouse who will learn how to work with God in your marriage
b)    Unconditional Love. The design of marriage is modeled after God’s own redemptive plan that is reflected in His own person. The scriptures call the parallel between Christ and the church and the husband and wife. Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it"
  • Husbands are to love their wives with agape love: unfailing and persistent love.(as Christ loves the church)

c)   Submission In response to their unconditional love, wives need to subject themselves to their husbands in order to develop a great marriage.
 (As I realize that this can be a controversial subject for many women, I decided to provide a link for those interested in reading more, if you choose to do so)
The world feeds its lies to women so that they will not subject themselves to their husbands.
                  Subtle Arguments, not from God:
                  Argument #1: Husband and wife should keep their independence
                  Argument #2: Protection for Self and Family
                  Argument #3: Submissiveness means they are unimportant or unvaluable
                  Argument #4: Submission is equal to suffering
d) Oneness "... And the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:3-32)
  • Marriage was meant to last.
  • To the degree a couple builds upon this truth, the marriage will grow and mature. To the degree a couple live out their own independent wills, their marriage will suffer. The oneness is created by a perfect blend of their two lives.
Linking over at: My Freshly Brewed Life, A Journey of Love, Best Posts of the Week,

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