This was was originally preached as a message to “Adrian United” on 2.14.10.
Have you ever watched kids in a mall get stuck in a revolving door? It’s funny at first then after a few minutes they start to get frustrated and one of the children begins to cry. If we are not careful we can get stuck in the revolving door of life with our relationships and miss the full potential of what God is attempting to do in our lives. It’s easy over time to get stuck in the same patterns that create friction between loved ones. You have several choices. You can quit. You can stay stuck. The most powerful choice you have available is to CHANGE! Today we are going to look at strategies to help your relationship get U.N.S.T.U.C.K.
- QUESTION: What does it mean to be STUCK in relationship?
- VIDEO: Stuck on the escalator
Matthew 19:5 instructs us, “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife.” This is the partnership of marriage – “cleave” – the glue, as a gift consecrated to God, so the husband gives himself completely to his wife, and the wife to her husband. They consecrate completely to each other. My Father used to always tell my mother, “Linda if you ever leave me pack my suitcase because I am going with you.” My wife and I made an early commitment in our marriage to Never use the “D” word. Using the word “divorce” as a manipulation tool will destroy a marriage. Even by using the word as a threat it begins to open the door to the possibility. In marriage, your approach must be, “No Plan B.”
N.EVER STOP GROWING
2 Peter 3:18 admonished us to, “Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” This admonition can apply to our relationships as well. As we grow in grace and knowledge of Christ, we should also grow in grace and knowledge with our spouse. No marriage ever “arrives.” My wife and I have attended several marriage seminars and retreats to help us grow even deeper. Periodically, we will read a book together that will help stretch us in specific areas of our relationship. It doesn’t matter your approach, but every couple must continue to enrich their relationship.
S.TIR IT UP
We have been told over and over that one of the definition’s of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you’ve always got. 2 Timothy 1:6 tells us, “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee.” I understand this verse in not in reference to your marriage, but if you do want a rekindled marriage you need to do some things differently and stir of the gift of love that God has placed in your relationship.
WAYS TO STIR IT UP
- 1) Make a homemade card with a picture of the two of you on the cover.
- 2) Write a poem. It doesn’t have to rhyme.
- 3) Send a love letter listing the reasons “Why I love you so much.”
- 4) Make a coupon book and include coupons for a back rub, a compromise when about to lose an argument, a listening ear when needed, and doing the dishes.
- 5) Endeavor to change a habit that would improve your relationship.
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Dr. Kevin Leman author of “Way of the Wise” states, “There are two sides to trust—giving it and receiving it.” People will trust each other if, time after time, they see you responding in a consistent and reasonable manner.
THE LOVE DARE STORY
In 2008 an inconspicuous little book took the world by storm. The Love Dare was a book based on the movie Fireproof, about a struggling husband trying to save his dying marriage. His dad gives him a little handwritten book that is a forty-day challenge to become a better husband. No one predicted that the book based on the movie would become a movement. Millions and millions of copies have sold. More importantly, millions of marriages have been saved and strengthened. The premise of the book is simple. Every day for forty days a husband or wife is to do something selflessly for his or her spouse. The book is a powerful and biblical reminder that, in the relationship of marriage, each party is to seek to look after the interests of his or her spouse. It’s a book about selflessness. Other-centeredness.” Excerpt From: Thom S. Rainer. “Autopsy of a Deceased Church.” iBooks.
Proverbs 4:5-7 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
One thing that I am desperately trying to implement into my leadership is to, “Seek to Understand.” Admittedly, I am one to confront first and ask questions later. However, I want to ask questions when I am unclear on something and honestly listen. My friend Josh Carson stated, “If we liked to listen as much as we liked to talk, our relationships would be much stronger.” Leo Buscaglia, author of Living Loving and Learning states, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a LISTENING EAR, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
The Story has been told of an elderly couple sitting on the porch in rocking chairs and the woman says, “Paw, how come you never tell me you love me?” He responded by saying, Maw, I told you I loved you at the altar when we were married 50 years ago and if anything changes I’ll tell you!” I’m not sure if this is a true story or fokelore, but the humorous point remains the same – you can’t expect your spouse to know what you are thinking. Yes, you said it on that wonderful marriage day, but you must reinforce your love and your values day by day.
K.EEP THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The most important thing in every relationship is that you must make a conscience unshakable decision that your family will serve the Lord and that you are going to keep HIM first and foremost. If you keep Christ the main thing, no demotion, promotion, misunderstanding, family member, mother-in-law, father-in-law, bill, child, or financial understanding shall be able to keep you from the love of God.