Todd and I are spending Valentine's weekend going to a marriage conference on Friday and Saturday at Prestonwood Baptist in Plano, TX (a.k.a. "Preston-world" because of its immense size.) It even has a Starbucks in the church! I have to say I've been a bit skeptical of these types of conferences where several hundred married couples get together to hear someone pontificate about the perils and joys of marriage.
This one is different. It's called "What did you expect?" by Paul Tripp, and it is all searing truth; my mind is spinning. Thank you, blog, for being an outlet for me to process the information tonight so that I can fill my mind again tomorrow for Day 2. I have listed below the many statements tonight that struck me. I don't go through and explain each of these concepts- you'll have to attend a conference to get the finer details! I hope that perhaps just one of these nuggets of truth will spark something in your heart and mind too.
(Quotes from Paul Tripp)
1. The character of a marriage is set in the thousands of little moments- in the kitchen, in the living room, in the car. Those little moments of your marriage are profoundly important, and it's the character developed in those moments that help you make it through the big moments, not the other way around.
2. The man/woman I dated was a fake. The man/woman I married is the real person.
3. Romance is not a sturdy enough foundation to go through the struggles in life. Romance is not a cause, it's a result.
4. All marriage problems are heart problems.
5. The heart is the causal core of my personhood, the control system. Whatever rules my heart will shape my words and behavior. My words and behavior reflect what's inside of me rather than what's outside of me.
6. Luke 6:43-45 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."
7. We are always giving our hearts to something. We attach meaning, purpose, and significance to something. That thing we focus on will become the central focus of our heart.
8. A marriage of unity, understanding, and love is not rooted in romance, but in worship.
9. Marriage is one flawed person plus another flawed person in a fallen world, but with God, it can work.
10. Worship is first your identity before it's ever your activity. Worship is one of the most formative functions of the human being. It's only when God is in the rightful place in my heart that my spouse will be in the rightful place in my love.
11. Sin causes us to shrink our lives to the size of our lives.
12. Sin causes me to be in the claustrophobic confines of my needs, my wants, my feelings. "It's all about me."
13. I wasn't meant to shrink my life into something so small that no one can move in my world except myself.
14. Sin, in its fundamental form, is anti-social. I was meant to live outwardly toward God and others, but sin turns me towards myself.
15. Sin will cause me to dehumanize the people in my life. No longer are they the objects of my affection; they are either vehicles towards what I want or obstacles from getting what I want.
16. I carry something in me naturally that is destructive in my marriage. I have an inertia toward selfishness.
17. Selfishness: It's not so much that I want you to love me, it's that I want you to indulge me in all of my wants, and when you do, then I will love you too. If you don't, then I threaten, manipulate, and bring guilt.
18. Why do we all argue over the little things? It's because we are so full of ourselves, so focused on my rights, my wants, my pleasures.
19. When we are full of self-love, we have very little time to love another.
20. Jesus came to rescue me from me. I am the greatest danger to my marriage.
21. My weakness never gets in the way of God's work, but my delusions of strength do.
22. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 "For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." The purpose of Christ's death was to save me from myself.
23. How much of my anger towards my spouse has anything do with God's law? How much of it has to do with my own law that I've composed about marriage?
24. God will never call us to a task without enabling us to do it.
25. This life is not my big party. It's not about me, and it will never be about me. It's about Him, and it always has been about Him.
26. If you want lasting change in your heart, in your spouses heart, and in your marriage, you have to be needy. You have to know that you need to change.
Is your mind spinning now too? I am so humbled by these statements. Wow. I will post more tomorrow at the conclusion of the seminar. . .