Week 1 - What Qualities Should Be Attractive?
What Qualities Should Be Attractive?
Week 1 Relationship Building Blocks – Ps Tony Cameneti
We are going to look at some qualities that should be looked for in a potential spouse. These qualities can also be improved if you are married. Have you ever looked at dating sites and noticed some of the qualities they mention? I found some comical interpretations from another minister:
- She says she’s 40-ish — that means she is 49½.
- He says he’s 40-ish — that means he’s 52 and seeking a 25 year old. (Run ladies run!)
- He says he’s huggable — that means he’s carrying a few extra pounds and has more body hair than Big Foot.
- She says she’s romantic — that means she looks better by candlelight.
- He says, “I’m laid back and very close to my family” — that means he still lives at home, is unemployed and hopes you have a good job.
- She says she’s bubbly and fun — that means she never shuts up.
- She says she is an independent woman — that means she has control issues and will dominate you.
- He says he’s average looking — that means he fell from an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
It’s funny how people will represent themselves in an attempt to attract somebody. What we want to talk about is attractive qualities that matter.
Four Qualities that Can Attract the Right Kind of Person
One – New Creation Behaviour
You could actually call it character but I like new creation behavior because we are new creatures in Christ. But it’s up to us to act like who we really are. Song of Solomon 1:2 Young Woman – “Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine.” Why did this lady desire kissing this man, saying, “Your love is sweeter than wine”? The next verse answers this question: Song of Solomon 1:3 “How fragrant your cologne; your name is like its spreading fragrance. No wonder all the young women love you!” (NLT). Notice that it wasn’t his six-pack, his money, his car or his popularity. This cologne was an expensive and rare cologne. His name was like spreading its fragrance. She is saying, “You have Godly character. Your behaviour is why all the young women love you.
- Acting like a new creature in Christ is the most attractive trait.
If we want a Godly marriage for the future, it’s important that we start living Godly now. A lady might say, “I want a Christian boyfriend but I always attract guys with one thing on their minds and it’s the wrong thing.” If you are catching the wrong fish it means that you are using the wrong bait or going to the wrong waters. The key is putting Jesus first in every way. You will think, act and carry yourself differently. When we act Godly, ungodly people normally don’t want us. Like attracts like.
- Is marriage about attracting the right person or being the right person?
1 Pet. 3:3-4 “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (NLT) Do you choose to work on yourself or pursue a spouse?
Two – Ability to Confide in One Another
To be able to confide in one another would of course require trust. Singles and marrieds can build trust. Song of Solomon 1:5-6 I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem— dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents. Don’t stare at me because I am dark— the sun has darkened my skin. My brothers were angry with me; they forced me to care for their vineyards, so I couldn’t care for myself—my own vineyard. In today’s culture being tanned is attractive but in the time of Solomon being tanned was an indication that you did physical labour. That meant that a lady who was light skinned was looked upon as someone who didn’t have to do hard labour, meaning that she had family and money. She calls her body her ‘own vineyard.’ She is revealing an insecurity to him. When she opens up and does this he will love this insecurity away. As trust grows a person will bring up emotional securities, such as:
- “I wish I wasn’t so heavy.”
- “I wish I didn’t have bird legs.”
- “I wish my ears weren’t so big.”
Strong relationships normally include a person opening up and sharing insecurities. The response to that can either erode or build trust. The more trust the more we feel secure and loved.
Three – Yield to Godly Standards
Yielding to Godly standards versus yielding to the way of the world. Notice what this lady says: Song of Solomon 1:7 “Tell me, my love, where are you leading your flock today? Where will you rest your sheep at noon? For why should I wander like a prostitute among your friends and their flocks?” This lady declares she won’t be like the others. There are things she won’t do to get a man’s attention. She chooses to yield to Godly standards. Question: Is the Bible truth for every generation? 1 Timothy 2:9 “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” (NLT) This may seem to be out-of-date to say, that is, if the Bible would go out of date. But modesty will always be in style. We can choose not to be like the world and honour God in our relationships.
Four – Edifying Words
Song of Solomon 1:9 “To me, my darling, you are like my mare among the chariots of Pharaoh.” (NASB) He calls her an adult female horse. This means he was referring to one of the white horses that pulled Pharaoh’s chariot, one of the most esteemed animals in the kingdom. Some believed it was god-like. Remember how she was concerned about her sunburnt skin? He is saying, “I see you like the most prized and cherished white horse,” or, “I love you exactly the way you are,” or, “I love everything about you.” Song of Solomon 1:15-16 Young Man “How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful! Your eyes are like doves. You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words! The soft grass is our bed.”
The Results These Qualities Produce
- One – ladies will feel special.
Song of Solomon 2:1-2 “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.” (NIV) In verse 1, she feels like the most special lady on the earth. In verse 2, he says, “You’re right about that. They’re a bunch of thorns but you are the special one.” In chapter 1 of Song of Solomon she felt insecure. In chapter 2 she feels secure. Why? Because he loves her through her insecurities. He adores her, cherishes her and values her.
- Two – ladies will feel secure
Song of Solomon 2:3 “Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.” (NIV) She was previously concerned about her skin. She says, “I delight to sit in your shade.” The thing she was concerned about is no longer a concern. She says, “I am protected from what once harmed me.” She feels safe and secure. As men here are two things we can do:
- Lead – we set the spiritual tone of our homes. We can pray and seek God. We say we’re going to church. We can be a tither.
- Protect – protect her heart. She will feel safe and secure.
Some Closing Thoughts
- Give place to these four qualities in yourself and also look for these four qualities in others:
- New creation behaviour;
- Ability to confide in one another;
- Yielding to Godly standards; and
- Edifying words
- Putting Jesus first impacts the places you go, the way you dress, and who you hang out with.
- Guys marry ladies thinking they’ll never lose they’re school girl figures. Ladies marry men thinking they will be able to change them. Normally they are both wrong.
- Marriage isn’t so much about finding the right person – it’s about being the right person. Remember that like tends to attract like.
- Yielding to Godly standards before marriage is building the right foundation for marriage. The choice is sinning together or honouring God.
But what if you made mistakes and haven’t done well up until now? Lamentations 3:23 “Great is His faithfulness; is mercies begin afresh each morning.” (NLT)
Week 2 - Pursuit of Intimacy
Pursuit of Intimacy
Week 2 Relationship Building Blocks – Ps Patsy Cameneti
Pursuit is relevant for all relationships: marriage, dating, steps to dating, friendship and family relationships. We are looking purposely at marriage because of how marriage is elevated by God and how that Christ and the church is a picture of marriage. But also this applies to relationships with children, in families and with friends. These principles are important for meaningful relationships.
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]. (AMP)
By the time Paul wrote this letter to the Philippians, he was near the end of his life. You never come to the end of knowing God. Every layer is greater and bigger and more amazing and sweeter. In your relationship with God, if you are bored, then you’re not in contact with Him because when you are in vital contact with God you are living the most vibrant, alive life.
What Is Intimacy?
Intimacy is not just romance or sexuality. It is much broader than that. It carries the idea of togetherness, no gaps, nothing as a barrier in between, transparency, togetherness. People can be living in the same house and have no intimacy in their relationship except maybe the physical part.
When we fell through sin, it wasn’t enough for our Father to just send a law for how we were to act on the earth. He sent His Son who brought us back together and reconciled us to Him so that we could be close and intimate with Him.
That is the standard for relationships that God has ordained. Jesus’ blood removed the barrier so we could have intimacy.
This is the kind of ongoing relationship that we are to have with Jesus, an intimate no-gap relationship with Him with no feeling of shame or distance in between. He wants us together where we are conscious of Him and conscious of His presence.
Our relationships with people are to be the same way. Marriages are to be the same way where there is no gap or distance in between.
Closing Gaps and Filling Barriers
There are three parts to our person:
- One – We are a spirit. It’s the part we got from God; it didn’t come from our parents. It’s the part that will always be and will live forever. It is the core of who we are.
- Two – We have a soul. That’s our mind, will and emotions. The soul is influenced and can be damaged by the world around us.
- Three – We live in a physical body.
The body is what we end up being known for. That’s where our DNA is. If they want to find out anything about you they can find it in a fingernail clipping or a piece of hair.
Your body then can be an identity robber. It claims everything of who you are but it isn’t everything of who you are. You are not just a body. You live in a body. You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body. After we shed these bodies we are going to live on for all eternity. But we hang so much on the body.
When it comes to marriage, if your relationship is just with a body, it is skin deep. And that’s the way it is for some people.
If you look at a flower you can see there are three separate parts:
- Root – The root is to represent the spirit. There is an anchor root and also feeder roots.
- Stem – The stem and leaves represent the soul. The soul brings in things from the atmosphere.
- Flower – On the top of the stem is the flower itself. It represents the body.
If you were to go to the store to purchase a flower for somebody, you don’t go and purchase a root. Roots are not so exciting. In fact, they are kind of ugly. But without them, the stem and the flower are not going to live. The flower part is the most visible part and it represents the body.
What you want or what you go to the store to get is a flower. And they just happen to be attached to the stem. They don’t usually come with roots by the time they make it to the store.
With a relationship, the flower (body) is the most visible part. It’s what is seen. It’s what, in this society, is talked about the most.
The thing about a flower is that if it looks good then it is alive, it’s planted or it has been freshly cut. So it’s just a matter of time until it dies. Or, it might be a fake flower. We have learnt how to be great at fake. Because anything that is apart from the original intention from God is without those roots.
A bunch of cut flowers are dead and cut off from the root. They are not drawing any nourishment. Some relationships can look like that.
Things that are not alive if they are not rooted and fresh can start to stink. Some people have been around their ‘stink’ so long that they don’t even know they stink.
Relationships in God are to be Alive
We are talking about a relationship that is beautiful and the way that God intended for it to be. God has an original design for marriage, for family, for friendships, for romantic relationships for people that are going toward a covenant in marriage. And it is good.
If it has roots in the spirit and it’s not all about what shows and it’s not even just about the feelings, then the longer the relationship is in existence, it doesn’t stink but it gets sweeter as the years go by. It gets more precious.
Just like we don’t ever come to the end of knowing God, we don’t ever come to the end of knowing a human being. There is always something to know about a person if you have roots that are drawing up from the Holy Spirit.
A Tool That We Can Use – Communication
- Edifying Words
- Confiding in one another
Communication includes talking and listening and responding: spirit, soul and body.
General Edifying Words
Edify – the word originally meant to ‘construct a building’ or ‘strengthen’ … hence to ‘build up morally.’
If we want a healthy relationship then general conversation is to be edifying. The pursuit of intimacy must be with edifying words.
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (NKJV).
Otherwise, we are actually injecting and infusing toxin into relationships. If we are critical and always talking down, you might as well be squirting bleach or Draino into a relationship. It is corrosive conversation. It is negative talk and it is so destructive.
People who live like that they have no intimacy, except maybe a little flower on the top to just hang things together. But there is no life.
If you want to have a healthy relationship then talk clean. Have a clean mouth. That means edifying and building up rather than tearing down in your conversation.
Specific Edifying words
Song of Solomon 5:10-15 Young Woman
My lover is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! His head is finest gold, his wavy hair is black as a raven. His eyes sparkle like doves beside springs of water; they are set like jewels washed in milk. His cheeks are like gardens of spices giving off fragrance. His lips are like lilies, perfumed with myrrh. His arms are like rounded bars of gold, set with beryl. His body is like bright ivory, glowing with lapis lazuli. His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold. His posture is stately, like the noble cedars of Lebanon. (NLT)
In a meaningful relationship, it’s important to speak general edifying words that are uplifting, kind, considerate, warm, loving, forgiving and good words. But it’s also important to be specific, finding things about that person, spirit (root), soul (stem) and body (flower) that are attractive. Identify those things.
Those words of edification work towards closeness and when you identify what’s good, then what’s good starts to become more prominent.
Song of Solomon 6:4-10 Young Man
You are beautiful, my darling, like the lovely city of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem, as majestic as an army with billowing banners. Turn your eyes away, for they overpower me. Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats winding down the slopes of Gilead. Your teeth are as white as sheep that are freshly washed. Your smile is flawless, each tooth matched with its twin. Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil. Even among sixty queens and eighty concubines and countless young women, I would still choose my dove, my perfect one—the favourite of her mother, dearly loved by the one who bore her. The young women see her and praise her; even queens and royal concubines sing her praises: “Who is this, arising like the dawn, as fair as the moon, as bright as the sun, as majestic as an army with billowing banners? (NLT)
Isn’t it amazing how we can name people’s faults one by one, categorizing them and even putting a date on them. How about identifying in your wife, your husband, a child or a friend, their value, not just their physical traits but also the stem of the flower? What’s precious about their personality? What’s precious about their spirit: the gifts and the talents that God has given them?
“Guys are Headlines – Girls are Details”
It just depends on what you are talking about. It just depends on the subject. Guys like details about things like trucks and sports and fishing. Girls plunge into the details, “I said this and she said this and then this happened…”
If we can remember, about details, to not develop a turn-off switch when the other person is talking where we go into automatic pilot of “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” or just roll the eyes.
Give place to people and tolerate the details. Admire that that is something that the person I love really, really likes. Identify and treasure what they treasure.
Jesus Shows us Relationship Etiquette
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” ( NKJV).
He doesn’t bust into a relationship and so we don’t either. He’s actually talking to the church. He actually knocks on the door. He that opens the door, He will come in and dine with him. In other words, we will have an intimate relationship.
What does ‘knock on the door’ mean to us? An example could be, “Is this a good time to talk to you?” For some people no time is ever going to be good. You can say, “Let me know when would be a good time to talk to you. Can I talk to you later on today?”
Confiding in One Another – Conflict Tips
- Don’t be distracted. Turn off the TV if need be. The act of doing that says, “You are more important.” If you don’t turn it off, it says that the show you’re watching and the people inside the box are more important than the person you are talking to.
- Turn the phone off or put it in another room.
- Resist the urge to interrupt. If you’re always interjecting they will give up. And you’ll go away thinking it’s been a wonderful conversation because you’ve done all the talking and you still won’t know what’s in their heart.
- Don’t make it all about you or compete with their story.
- Expose things that are in your heart. You can say, “I just have to let you know it hurts when you do this and answer like that and it makes me feel stupid. I know you don’t think I’m stupid but it makes me feel stupid.”
- Be careful you’re not accusing. It’s not accusing but it’s exposing so it gives that person an opportunity to understand.
- Talk in such a way that brings the two of you together so that you’re looking at the problem together.
- Be honest about your dreams, your hopes and your desires. It’s an amazing thing when someone honours you about the ‘root.’ That’s not casual. Most people are all about the ‘flower’ and the ‘leaves.’ But if you get somebody’s root, it’s all about their heart.
Week 3 - God, the Bible, and Sex
God, the Bible and Sex
Week 3 Relationship Building Blocks – Ps Tony Cameneti
Today We’ll Be Talking About:
- God’s Purpose And Idea For Sex
- Who With And When Should I?
- Four Elements of Godly Sex
1. God’s Purpose and Idea For Sex
- God is all for sex
- He created and designed it to be enjoyable
Three Reasons God Created Sex in Marriage:
One: To consummate or complete the marriage
Two: To multiply or populate the earth
Three: For pleasure and enjoyment within the marital union
2. Who With And When Should I?
Who Do We Have Sex With?
Rom. 1:25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.
Rom. 1:26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.
Rom. 1:27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. (NLT)
The Bible makes is clear that sex is designed for it to be between a man and a woman. God loves all people, but He does hate sin. He loves us enough to lead us to change.
When Do We Have Sex?
Should we have sex before marriage or after marriage?
1 Cor. 7:9 But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust. (NLT)
This verse strongly implies that sex was made for marriage.
How Often Should Sex Happen?
The wife has needs and the husband has needs and both of those needs should be met.
1 Cor. 7:3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.
There are times where you can abstain from sex and give yourself to prayer. Then come together again so you won’t be tempted.
1 Cor. 7:5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NLT)
What Is God’s Idea Of Self-Control?
1 Th. 4:3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.
1 Th. 4:4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—
1 Th. 4:5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. (NLT)
To be holy in the world these days is uncommon. God calls us to be uncommon. It is good to develop self control so we learn to live in holiness and honour. We are not like the world. We rely on the grace of God.
3. Four Elements of Godly Sex
Godly Sex Begins Before the Bedroom
Solomon honors his bride:
- By complimenting her and building her up
Song 4:1 How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. Your hair is like a flock of goats descending from Mount Gilead.
Song 4:2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn, coming up from the washing. Each has its twin; not one of them is alone. (NIV)
Jewish ladies normally had their hair up:
- The main thing to notice is he is paying attention to detail and honoring and complimenting her
- It is God’s idea to build each other up with words and even looks
Ladies like to hear their men say ‘I love you’.
Building emotional intimacy before physical intimacy makes MUCH sex better
Ladies are moved differently than men:
It may help your lady to help:
- Get the kids ready for bed
- Help with the dishes
- Clean the house
Ladies need kind and reassuring words, touches, and deeds:
- God-honoring sex starts before the bedroom
2. Godly Sex is Passionate
Song 4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns, like twin fawns of a gazelle that browse among the lilies. (NIV)
Approaching fawns needs to be done:
- Gently, caring, tender, and careful
- Abrupt approaches can will cause the fawns to no longer be browsing among the lilies
Gentlemen will work on their approach:
- Approach matters lovingly
- Care about her – build her up
Song 4:6 Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of incense. (NIV)
What’s he saying here?
- Sex in the bible is for the reasons we mentioned earlier
- The third point being pleasure and enjoyment
- He is saying: “I want you all night long”
- This is the Word of God – Thanks be to God for His Word!
So.. Godly love making starts before the bedroom and is passionate
Next… and most importantly
3. Godly Sex Requires Trust
Sex God’s way is built on trust
Song 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (ESV)
Any woman would love that statement:
- To me, you are absolutely perfect in every single way
- Ladies and men both learn t respect each other’s bodies
- It’s good to never make negative statements about our spouse’s body under any circumstances
When we get married that is as good as it gets:
- Because gravity takes over
- The shape of things can change
We all can feel insecure about something:
- When we only show respect to our spouse it builds trust
- There is no flaw in you
Genesis: “they were naked and not ashamed”
- At the most intimate moments their need to be trust
- It is also important that: “we are naked and not afraid of criticism”
Ladies’ emotional needs are just as important as men’s physical needs
The man should honour and compliment the lady:
- The lady being available for the man
There is absolute trust in lovemaking:
- Sex God’s way starts way before the bedroom
- It is very, very passionate
- And there is absolute trust
4. Godly Sex is Holy
I didn’t see sex as being holy growing up:
- It was just for a feeling. It felt good
- I wasn’t a virgin when I was married
- Many ladies and men are in that category
- Hollywood laughs at the concept of waiting until we are married
If it is too late for you, please know God is merciful:
- He wants our future days to be in holiness even if our previous days were not
Song 4:12 You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.
Song 4:13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits… (NIV)
Notice “locked up and sealed”
- Fruits need to be harvested
Notice how she tells him:
Song 4:15 You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.
Song 4:16 Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. (NIV)
He has what she wants: (garden fountain)
- But she says let my lover come and taste
- They are awaken in the right season and she invites him and says “it’s your garden”
- Sex is holy and after marriage her body becomes his and it’s his garden and her fountain
- begins before the bedroom
- Is passionate
- Requires trust
- Is holy
Week 4 - Conflict
Week 4 Relationship Building Blocks – Ps Patsy Cameneti
There are 5 destructive actions we can take that will explode to tear apart or erode the relationships in our lives.
God has an antidote for each one. If we maintain His attitude, we will receive His strength and our relationships will not be fractured.
1. Lies / Truth
Lies are ABSOLUTELY destructive. There is NO good in a lie – NEVER – for ANY reason.
John 8:44 “For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (NLT)
The devil is the father of lies. Lies come FROM him. Telling lies opens the door to allow the devil access to our lives. And all he does is steal, kill and destroy. Lying is embedded in the flesh. We don’t need to be taught, as small children, to lie – it just comes naturally (from the un-born again nature).
Prov 6:16-17 “There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent …” (NLT)
God absolutely abhors lying. It is as detestable to Him as murdering someone.
Lies break trust between people.
Trust is essential for building intimacy. For there to be trust – there must be TRUTH.
John 14:6 “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life …” (NLT)
Heb 6:18 “… because it is impossible for God to lie“ (NLT)
God CANNOT lie.
Titus 1:2 “This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God – who does not lie – promised them before the world began.” (NLT)
The Holy Spirit is also called the ‘Spirit of Truth’; therefore, He can only back up or encourage truth. He cannot back our lies.
Eph 4:25 “So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbours the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” (NLT)
Col 3:9 “Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.” (NLT)
Lying comes from our old sinful nature. But, we have put on Christ and are now seated with Him. We are seated with truth.
Ps 119:163 “I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your instructions” (NLT)
Declare this about yourself – I abhor falsehood and love His instructions. Because your heart (your new heart) REALLY does hate lies and love His words.
For marriages to be strong, they must be based on truth.
2. Anger / Kindness
Explosive, violent anger causes many serious health issues and problems. Some affect your body; others affect other people (eg depression, anxiety).
James 1:20 “Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires” (NLT)
Anger never brings about change in us or other people. Instead, it is a bomb with lots of shrapnel. It makes other people afraid – of us and what we might do. It also has collateral damage – it sets up those around us to lie – to try to avoid any consequences.
Eph 4:26 “And don’t sin by letting anger control you.” (NLT)
Anger, itself, is not sin. Having anger shows that you are alive. If nothing ever ruffles you – you may be comatose, or dead. God gets angry. He made anger. It is not the initial agitation that is the problem; it is what you do with it. Go to the throne of grace. Run to God with your anger. He will give you grace and the wisdom to know how to deal with the problem and say what He wants. He will give you grace and mercy for those who have made you angry.
Eph 4:27 “… for anger gives a foothold to the devil” (NLT)
Sizzling and soaking in the anger opens the door for the devil.
Eph 4:31-32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behaviour. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (NLT)
By going to the throne of God for grace you diffuse the anger; it allows you to respond in kindness. It breaks bone-like resistance.
3. Selfishness / Giving
The Hebrew word for love, ahava (based on the word hav), means ‘give’ – which makes love ‘giving’. The numerical value of ahava is 13, which is the same as the numerical value ofechad (meaning oneness). By giving, in love, a couple becomes unified as one. Furthermore, mutual giving is double ahava or 26, which is the numerical value of God’s name – denoting a state in which their relationship is infused with His Divine Presence.
When 2 people each give in a relationship, then that relationship is infused with the presence of God.
Phil 2:6 “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to” (NLT)
Jesus did not demand things while here on earth just because He was the son of God.
Phil 2:3-5 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (NLT)
Demanding selfishness puts a strain on relationships:
you give but they don’t give back then
you give (again) but they don’t give back (again) then
you give (again) but they don’t give back (again)
you get angry because you and your needs are not being addressed.
This is conditional love. But, God’s love is un-conditional.
1 Cor 13:5 “(love) does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged” (NLT)
Eph 5:25 “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her”
In a marriage, husbands are to give up their lives for their wives – just like Christ did for the church.
4. Disrespect / Honour & Respect
Disrespect is like Agent Orange – it insipidly works in to a relationship to make living unpleasant before you die. If you don’t show respect, then any message of love is not received.
James 3:17-18 “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honour.” (MSG)
Rom 13:7 “… give respect and honour to those who are in authority” (NLT)
A culture of respect for authority within a family builds healthy relationships. This respect must be for both those outside the home as well as those within the family. If there is an attitude of disrespect for those in authority outside the family, this attitude will infiltrate and infect those relationships within the family as well.
1 Thess 5:12 “Dear brothers and sisters, honour those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance” (NLT)
Eph 6:2 “Honour your father and mother.” (NLT)
Eph 5:33 “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (NLT)
A wife’s disrespect for her husband brings in a toxin to the relationship. Respect unlocks a man’s heart and opens him up to faithfulness.
5. Unfaithfulness / Faithfulness
Prov 10:18 “Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.” (NLT)
Prov 6:16, 19 “There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests: … a person who sows discord in a family.” (NLT)
Slandering is an act of unfaithfulness; you are being disloyal to that person by devaluing their character.
Prov 6:32 “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself” (NLT)
STAY AWAY from ANYTHING that breaks down the intimacy with a marriage.
1 Thess 4:3-5 “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honour – not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.” (NLT)
Heb 13:4 “Give honour to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” (NLT)
Giving honour in marriage does not just mean sexually; but, includes friendship and emotional openness and sharing.
GOD IS FAITHFUL. Breaking a pattern of unfaithfulness is done by feeding on His faithfulness.
Week 5 - Marriage & Finances
Marriage and Finances
Week 5 Relationship Building Blocks – Ps Tony Cameneti
Statistics tell us the top two conflicts within a marriage are:
- 39% Finances
- 35% Communication
It is this simple
- Money troubles can ruin your marriage
- They are the number one problem in marriages
- And the number one cause for divorce
Underestimating the commitment in merging two lives together
- Statistics reveal marital arguments are mostly about money
- Maybe because it is the most measurable area of a relationship
- Compromises also need to be made when it comes to issues of time, space and affection
- With money, the give and take is noticeable or measurable
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (NKJV)
We normally apply this Scripture to doctrine
- Having agreement about Scripture is important
- But this Scripture can apply to every area of life
- In a relationship there must be agreement about money
Four areas that can cause dis-harmony
- Where or how to earn money
- Christians – believe for it
- Say the same thing
- How to prioritize money
- Christians – tithe
- Say the same thing about the tithe
- How to spend or manage money
- Develop a budget
- How to save money
- Develop a savings plan
Improving Financial Harmony In Marriage
- Marriage is a joint relationship between husband, wife and God
- God will guide us as to how He wants us to earn, believe for, give, spend/manage, and save our finances
Prov. 16:3 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (NIV)
2. See Each Other As Partners
a. Marriage is a merger of all the pieces of life
- The husband and the wife lose their individual identity and become one
- The ‘I’ is dropped from the vocabulary and replaced with ‘we’
- The married couple no longer uses ‘my’ but ‘our’
b. This includes finances
- Every dollar brought into the home is a dollar that belongs to the home
- Every dollar that goes out the door is a dollar that the household spent
- From now on we are in this financial situation together
- We have an equal responsibility and an equal opportunity
Gen. 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (NIV)
3. Define Goals
a. Goal setting is a form of practical dreaming
- We all like to dream about what the future could be
- Goal setting is not just about finances, but it is about all things in life
- Where do you want to be?
- Goal setting is where a husband and wife look at each other and say, ‘Where do we want to be in 5 years? In 10 years? In 15 years?’
- Husband and wife then look at the financial implications of those goals they have jointly set
Matt. 12:25 “Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.’” (NIV)
b. Having common financial goals produces a common focus, planning and faith to achieve
4. To Combine or Not To Combine
a. Does having the same goals mean we have to combine the money?
- The answer is ‘no’
- It isn’t necessary to combine
- It is necessary to agree on and then set the parameters for all things concerning money
b. Combine or not?
- We both combine and keep separate
- I set the budget – communicated to Patsy that I need this much from her to meet our budget – that goes into my account because I do our finances as a household
- Anything she is blessed with above what she puts into my account goes into hers and she manages her own account and has that independence
- Financial independence is important, but it is to be balanced with accountability
- We need not hide our spending habits from our spouses
5. Practical Thoughts Towards Harmony
a. Agree on goals
- Biblical goals
- Beliefs and speaking goals
- Practical goals
- Earning, giving, spending, saving
- Work at removing financial pressure
- Are we overextending or over spending
- Consult our spouse before purchasing big-ticket items
- Emotional problems can’t be solved with money
- Take a good look at what’s really behind bad spending habits
- When a financial issue comes up
- Ask ourselves: Is it really a money problem or is it a relationship problem?
- Money should not be used as a weapon against your partner
b. Realistically discuss strengths
- The old traditional way was the man should manage the family finances
- The wise way is which one is more gifted in that area
- If it’s the wife than do the opposite of what I described about my family situation
- The man can have his own account and anything he is blessed with above the family budget is his and he has independence
c. Adjust thinking and attitudes
- No secrets
- Both partners should be fully aware of the family’s financial status
- All income is made known to each other
d. No master-slave attitude
- ‘I made this money. I’ll decide how it’s to be spent!’
- The wife working in the home has a right to the income like the husband
e. No cheating
- Whatever plan has been established, both partners agree to it and do it
- If at all possible, stick to it
- When that’s not possible, re-discuss and agree to shift gears
- Educate ourselves
- Problems – especially when it comes to money – stem from lack of knowledge