This blog, "Unity in Relationships" seeks to introduce you to thought patterns that will promote a heart that desires to be an influence for God-given unity in your relationships. If this is something you desire than this blog and course is for you. (From the ministry of Lowcountry Biblical Counseling Center)
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MARRIAGE CHECKUP - Avoid Five Common Steps to the Destruction of Marriage
***All relationships need a biblical check up from time to time no matter how “healthy”. this is especially true for the marriage relationship. Who has not felt the pull of distractions, demands and desires on marital time, energy, companionship and unity. We live in a world in which the gravitational pull and our default settings are not upward and edifying but downward and destructive. This why Ephesians 5:16 tells us to make the most of our time warning us that the “days are evil”. One of the ways to reverse any destructive pattern in the relationship is to examine yourself in light of the following common downward steps . Pray for God’s leading as you do. Look up verses listed. For each step below write out 2-3 truths that you will memorize and 2 concrete actions you will take to avoid current neglect that is promoting destruction Answer the questions in light of the past 6 months. ***
Step 1: Neglect Growth in Your WALK with the Lord – Eph 5:21, Ps 111:10; 1 Jn 4:8
This will have a deteriorating effect on everything else; all spouses bring to the marriage certain personal traits, ambitions and habits that stand in the way of harmony in marriage – changes are much easier to make when we are in right relationship with God is motivating a strong faith, reverence, and love for Him. How did you do in this? What routines and activities did you need to add to your schedule that would have strengthened your relationship and heart for the Lord? What spiritual activities did you need to invite and encourage your spouse to join you in? How did you do in these things?
Step 2: Neglect Growing in Active LOVE toward Your Spouse – Eph 5:1-2/ 1 Thes 4:10
Each spouse has specific ways they enjoy most being pleased by the other (i.e. “love languages”) As long as these ways are not sinful, they should be done – to neglect doing these things is to invite destruction. How did you do in these things?
Step 3: Use Disagreements as OPPORTUNITIES to Pull Away or Blow Up, Instead of Spiritually Influence - Eph 4:3; Phil 2:1-5; James 4:1-10; 2 Cor 2:14-16
God’s purposes in challenges are to grow us in humility, communication and ministry to one another. What are three main topics or disagreements have you had with your spouse that led to disunity? Did you respond in any way (attitude, word, or action) that did not please God? How? At those times can you identify what personal desires/goals became more important than loving God and spouse? Do you know any practical solutions God wanted you to seek to apply in helping bring about a resolution to those disagreements? If not, you needed to seek wisdom from another godly pastor or person who knows God’s Word. How did you do in these things?
Step 4: Neglect to Identify, Confess & Forgive SIN Sincerely & Regularly – Eph 4:15; Matt 7:5 / James 5:16 / Col 3:13
Each person sins in a marriage, the only difference is the degree to which it effects the other. Marriages that are on the brink of destruction are full of vicious cycles of sinful reactions – the sin of one spouse provokes sin in the other – Gal 5:15, but loving responses will also have the same cycle effect, but in reverse – they will tend to provoke loving responses –Prov 15:1,2; Heb 10:24 . Thus dealing with your own sins against the person, will help you deal with the sin in your spouse in a loving, God-honoring way. Make a list of at least five ways you had sinned against your spouse. Write a prayer of confession to God, thank Him for the forgiveness provided through Christ. Share this appropriately with that person and ask them for their forgiveness, express sorrow over any negative affected your sin possibly had on him./her, and give them a few specific ways you are pursuing change with Christ’s help and godly accountability now.
Step 5: REPLACE Your Spouse with Other People or Things – Eph 5:31; Eph 5:15-16; Mat 6:21; Eph 5:28-30; Tit 2:4-5; Deut 24:5; 1 Cor 7:33-34
This is often a sign of a marriage that is in the latter stages of destruction. It is so critical at this point that radical work begin immediately on rebuilding the marriage biblically. Was there any people or activities you needed to remove or reduce in your life to have the necessary time and energy to devote to rebuilding your marriage? How did you do in this?
Forgiving sins against us can be very difficult. Below are three truths to "hear" daily and four commitments to exercise in order to find the power to forgive. For each section look up the verses cited and write a prayer to the Father confessing where you have struggled to believe His perspective or apply His instructions toward the person to whom has sinned against you. Ask him for help in believing His Word and doing His will in the pain you are suffering. Ask him for his forgiveness as you commit to moving forward in forgiveness. Hide in your heart daily for the next month key verses from this study. Choose verses that best remind you to affirm and put into action what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you about biblical forgiveness. Move away from bitter thoughts by rehearsing specific verses below and taking specific steps of obedience by faith.
A. REHEARSE THE TRUTH - Renew Your Faith Daily In Three Biblical, Faith-Affirmations
by Tim Bryant, Director of Lowcountry Biblical Counseling 1. Do I have the facts right?
(Prov 18:13) Sometimes what we think is sin against us is just “possible” sin. We must be sure we are dealing with the facts, not our own interpretation. If you are in doubt, BE CAREFUL! You may not need to share your concern at all; in fact, your view may be so inaccurate that to go forward would be exercising presumption (Prov 13:10) and contention (Prov 26:21). If this is the case, you must learn to humbly examine your interpretations in light of other reasonable interpretations (Prov 18:2). If after honest evaluation you still think you need to go and share your concern, go, but ask the offender appropriate, clarifying (not accusatory) questions. Then listen very objectively to the explanation, knowing that you may not have had all the information. Let them know that if your understanding of the situation is not accurate, you want to understand it better from their perspective (Prov 18:17). Lis…
“Feasting on the Seven Hopes of the Heaven-Bound
Saint” One of our greatest needs is hope, or we do not live well (1 Tim 4:10). In my counseling experience, I have found that the following seven biblical hopes are key to promoting biblical change. God has given us hope of forgiveness (1 Jn 1:9), hope of transformation (2 Cor 3:18), hope of strength and provision (Heb 4:16), hope of spiritual influence in the lives of others (2 Cor 2:12-14), hope of eternal rewards (Matt 25:21), heavenly dwelling (1 Cor 2:7), and glorious perfection (1 Jn 3:2). God has promised these things to us, his children. Stir your faith and desire for these things by listening to the following audio, memorizing and studying the promises in the passages listed. Cross reference them to other verses that repeat the promises. Find songs that echo the amazing hope of these. Speak to others about what you are learning. Pray for a heart to believe and a heart to desire these promises. Anchor your hope in these prom…