September 21, 2018

“Marriage as a transformational agent”, Marriage and Parenting Class 3, Thames Valley churches of Christ

Passage: Romans 12.1-2
Service Type:
Transformation in marriage
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1–2 NIV11)
  • Marriage has the potential to transform us
  • Our marriages must also transform as we go if we are going to grow
  • The renewal of the mind is the key issue
  • Can get harder as we age and get stuck in our ways
  • Since there are different phases in marriage we need to change as we enter a new phase, such as becoming empty-nesters.
  • Change can require grieving, which creates disturbing feelings.
Building a family
  • A key verse in building a family is Psalm 127.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labour in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” (Psalms 127:1–5 NIV11)
  • The foundation must be God.
  • Don’t lose sight of the blessing it is to be married and have children
  • Beware thinking that just because we are involved, doing things for God, that all will be well.
  • Need to have a spiritual approach to raising children rather than a mechanistic one.
Keeping the relationship healthy
  • Honesty needed in marriage
  • Desire to understand one another
  • Enjoy forgiving one another
  • Determine that we will come through tough times better than before
  • Look for opportunities to practice mutual submission (Eph 5.21)
  • Not competing, but seeking to complement one another
  • Seek to understand one another
  • Look after your heart, spiritually, for that’s where all other good things come from. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV11)
  • Work as a team with children, in-laws and outreach.
  • Intimacy comes when working as a team in life
  • Intimacy thrives when we open ourselves up to one another emotionally
  • “Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9 NIV11)
  • God designed us to enjoy one another
  • “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22 NIV11)
  • Take responsibility for helping one another feel special
  • C.S.Lewis, ‘Mere Christianity’, “Imagine [your marriage] as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

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