Marriage: 6 Commitments-Lesson 16 "Eyes Wide Open" and "On Your Knees"
-We’re gonna be moving classrooms next Sunday the 23rd. The Marriage/Family Class will be in Room 207 upstairs. It’s in the original building, just turn left at the top of the CrossCourt stairs. We are doing this to accommodate the ladies Bible Study who now meets up there and some of the ladies it is hard to make the trek all the way up there. After the move of classrooms, they will be able to park in the North parking lot and come right into class.
-As soon as we finish this book, thinking by the 30th at the latest, we will begin the new study in Luke, “For Everyone.” We will take time over the course of 10 weeks to examine a number of unique passages in the book of Luke to help us better understand Jesus’ work and ministry. The entire goal is for each of us to get to know Jesus better and to grow in our relationship with Him. So the textbook will be our Bibles…nothing more.
We will be focussing on the 6th and final Commitment this morning.
“We will work to protect our marriage.”
“We will work to protect our marriage.”
We will be in both chapter 15 and 16: Eyes Wide Open and On Your Knees
Let’s begin by reading the first 2 passages from the email. Exodus 14:1-4 and 1 John 4:11-13.
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Tell the Israelites to turn back and camp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you must camp in front of Baal-zephon, facing it by the sea. 3 Pharaoh will say of the Israelites: They are wandering around the land in confusion; the wilderness has boxed them in. 4 I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.” So the Israelites did this.
11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.
So let’s talk about “Coasting” in our marriages.
Tripp writes on the bottom of page 266 thru 267, “But there is one thing that you need to accept: your marriage may be great, but it is not safe. No marriage this side of eternity is totally problem protected. No marriage is all that it could be. This side of heaven daily temptations are constant threats to you and your marriage. This side of heaven the spiritual war goes on. This side of heaven good marriages are good marriages because the people in those marriages are committed to doing daily the things that keep their marriages good. Things go wrong when couples think they have reached the point when they can retire from their marital work and chill out, lie back, and slide. Perhaps the greatest danger to a good marriage is a good marriage, because when things are good, we are tempted to give way to feelings of arrival and forsake the attitudes and disciplines that have, by God’s grace, made our marriage what it has become.”
What are your thoughts about “Coasting?”
Let’s take time to look at the six characteristics of a coasting couple.
Visual Lethargy “Lazy Eyes”
We need to ask ourselves where is there evidence in each of our marriages that we have or are living with “lazy eyes.”
Habit Inconsistency “New Car Analogy”
We need to ask ourselves what happened to the good habits that were once a regular part of your life together that you have now forsaken?
We need to ask ourselves where is laziness damaging the health and beauty of your marriage?
Impatience “Instant Marriage”
We need to ask ourselves where are the places that you are demanding in an instant that will only be formed in a process.
Responding in Discouragement “Out of hurt instead of love”
We need to ask ourselves what is it that tempts us to respond in discouragement and fear.
Dining with the Enemy “When the first 5 become 1”
We need to ask ourselves if there are any places right here, right now, in your marriage where you are giving the devil an opportunity.
I like how Tripp ends the chapter on page 277.
They learned the importance of being committed to watch and pray no matter how good things were and to respond in hope no matter how bad things seemed, and they learned that they were never alone.
Now let’s move onto Chapter 16, “On Your Knees.”
Let’s take time to read the following verse.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
How is your prayer life? No need to answer out loud. Just need to wrestle with that question. Especially as it is in regards towards your marriage.
I mean, how often do you pray for your spouse?
Let’s read together the 24 “Every Day” challenge starting on the bottom of page 279.
Every day we face things that we had not anticipated we would face.
Every day, temptations, sometimes subtle and sometimes powerful, greet us.
Every day we sin against our spouses and are sinned against by them in some way.
Every day the fallen world, in all its brokenness, presses in on us and makes life more difficult and complicated than it was originally designed to be.
Every day we are greeted with the seductive voice of the kingdom of self, wooing us to live for nothing bigger than our wants, our needs, and our feelings.
Every day we are called to fight what is wrong and give ourselves to what is right.
Every day we are called to humbly examine ourselves and to commit ourselves to change.
Every day there are things in our marriage that need to be uprooted, and every day there are new and better things that need to be planted.
Every day there is some issue for which we need the insight of biblical wisdom.
Every day we must surrender what we want to the better agenda of what God has commanded.
Every day we must fight to be good stewards of the blessings we have been given.
Every day we must identify the places where we must say no and the places where we must say yes.
Every day we are called to love each other in ways that are practical and specific.
Every day we must live with open eyes and an open heart.
Every day we must fight the things that distract us from loving, serving, and nurturing one another.
Every day we need to act in sacrificial love toward one another, even though we are busy or tired.
Every day we must work to protect the unity, understanding, and love of our marriage.
Every day in some way we are called to love when the other person doesn’t deserve it.
Every day we are called to give to our husband or wife the same grace that God has given us.
Every day we must be motivated not only by our own interests but also by the interests of our spouse.
Every day we are called to have a myriad of conversations in a way that gives grace and builds up the other person.
Every day we must resist keeping a record of wrongs and instead genuinely forgive.
Every day we need to look for ways to communicate encouragement, appreciation, and respect.
Every day we are called to lay something down in order to capture an opportunity to love.
Ask ourselves this question… “Can you honestly look yourself in the mirror of God’s Word and say, ‘I do all these things well.’”
Let’s read Matthew 6:9-13 together.
9 “Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Let’s now take each verse separately and describe how praying using the Lord’s Prayer as a model could and will help your marriage.
(Discuss and break down each verse as a class and refer back to the book as a guide for direction.)
Let me close with this.
Begin this week asking the question to your spouse, “How can I be praying for you today?”
Ask and then listen to their heart. Don’t adjust or correct their prayer request, instead, lift it up to God and then in turn, share with them how they can be praying for you. Be specific and work on being transparent.
In fact, right now, let’s take time to ask just that question and pray right now. Husbands, you start and ask and then pray over your wife. Then wives, you do the same. If you’re a single this morning, still stop and pray for your spouse.
Once you’re both done, quietly leave and prepare for Family Worship.