The 2nd day of the marriage conference was even more challenging than I expected. Ideally I would sit down with you to explain in more detail each of these thoughts, but since that's not possible, I can at least give you a taste through this new list of quotes from Paul Tripp's marriage conference entitled, "What did you expect?" I've divided them into a few sections. I know it's a lot of information; trust me, we were completely exhausted after the conference was over and my hand was cramped from writing so much! So if you can't get through it all today, just read the first section on "Needs" and the last section on "Rooted in Worship." They were the 2 most important concepts with the most impact for me during the entire weekend.
1. The word "need" is one of the sloppiest words in human culture. The vast majority of what we say we need we actually don't. As soon as I name something as a need, I think I'm entitled to it. Then I think it's my right to demand it because it's a need, and then I'm anxious until I get it. Lastly, I will define the love of my spouse by their willingness to deliver my need.
2. What are the things in my life that I think are my rights that define for me the love of my man/woman? What am I anxious about not having?
3. A need is defined as something that is essential for life. Are your needs really needs, or are they wants?
4. We don't define our needs well. We should defer to the Creator of life to know what's essential for life. Some of us judge God because we think He hasn't delivered on our needs, when it's never something He promised to give.
5. Wives, you do not need a husband who loves you. It is not something God promises you. Is it something you want? Yes, but it is not a need.
6. Husbands, you do not need a wife who respects you. It is not something God promises you. Is it something you want? Yes, but it is not a need.
7. My definition of need causes me to be unloving. I turn a blessing into a demand, and try to recreate the person God has created, which is a marital disaster.
8. Some of us are convinced that "I can't do what I'm supposed to do because the man/woman I think I need I haven't been given."
9. It's not ok for your spouse to be irritable, insensitive, or unloving. But the minute I name something as a need that God has not promised me, I turn a blessing into a demand and bad things happen.
10. If all my hope is wrapped up in that someday this person will be everything I think I need, I will be paralyzed in the marriage. The combination of convincing myself that I can't live without these needs causes me to be stuck.
11. You CAN be the wife/husband that God calls you to be without the love or respect of your spouse. We're not as poor as we are acting; we've been made rich in Christ, but we believe we're poor and we don't change.
12. The turnaround is not for me to re-create the man/woman I want, but it's to seek God's kingdom first for my marriage.
13. "And which if you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?. . . Therefore, do not be anxious saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6: 27-33)
MARRIAGE IS WAR
1. Marriage is war: the kingdom of self against the kingdom of God. It is a daily battle between indulging myself or serving in love.
2. Kingdom of self = driven by my selfish desires. I try to coerce you into serving me in my kingdom. I reward you when you do what I like, and punish you if you don't do what I want.
3. Indulge = going wherever your appetite leads you
4. Kingdom of God = motivated by a desire to minister, encourage, help the other. Serving in love and moving toward your spouse when he/she hurts you.
5. Galatians 5:13-15 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summarized by a single command; 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."
6. It's amazing that Paul the apostle writes that the entire law is summarized not by loving God the most, but by loving your neighbor as yourself. Who is your closest neighbor? Your spouse!
5. It's only people who love God above all else who can love their neighbor as themselves. If God is in his proper place in your life, your spouse will have the rightful place in your life.
1. Do you know your definition of love? Where did you get your definition? I get my definition of love from the event of the cross of Jesus.
2. Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not demand reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.
3. There is no such thing as love that doesn't require sacrifice.
4. 1 John 4:7-11 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. . . this is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us this way, we also ought to love one another."
5. In God's love of me, I receive the power to love. I don't have to hope that I'm able to love. Christ has made it possible for me to love.
6. Gratitude is the best soil in which love grows.
7. To the degree that you are forgetful or ungrateful for the love you have been give in God, the easier not to love your spouse.
A BETTER WAY
1. You don't fix your marriage horizontally first- (between you and the spouse), you fix it vertically (between you and God.)
2. You must surrender your throne if you're ever going to love your spouse as you should.
3. The fabric of marriages can change with a deep conviction to be kind. Hurtful comments build up.
4. Be patient. You never yell at you. You never have trouble waiting for you. Waiting always reminds us that you are not in charge.
5. Become a student of your spouse; look for specific opportunities to concretely bless him/her.
6. Beautiful relationships always overlook minor offenses. Commit to peace and enjoy unity.
7. Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
ROOTED IN WORSHIP
1. If I'm going to be thankful for you and love you, I must first worship the One the created you.
2. Do you celebrate the Creator in the hardwiring of your spouse? Or do you fall into thinking that you would have been a better creator? If so, you will disrespect your spouse and harm your marriage.
3. Do you worship God as sovereign in weaving your story and your spouses story? If so, you will see that the mess of your marriage is not in the way of God's plan, it IS the plan.
4. Do you think you are a better Savior to your spouse than the Savior himself? If so, you think it's your job to change your spouse.
5. You are not the 4th person of the Trinity. Don't try to be God; be His instrument of grace to your spouse.
6. No one is more committed to change than the Redeemer who defined change and made transformation possible.
7. Celebrate God's work in each other and seek to participate in His ongoing plan.
What timely words for me in my marriage. God knew exactly what I needed to hear, and I am so grateful for His guidance through this conference.