Monday, May 27, 2019

Personal Baggage in Marriage

During counseling sessions, often must distinguish between:
1)  marital problems
2)  personal problems.

(1)  Marital Problems = problems caused by the union/  issues that did not exist prior to the marriage.
Examples:  money management by 2, child discipline, blended family, sexual incompatibility, in-laws

May be gender differences, personal preferences, issues of cooperation.
BUT = common, predictable

(2)  Personal Problems are not problems caused by the union.
Rather = un-resolved issues brought into the union.
Examples:  chauvinism, frigidity, lying & deceitfulness, extreme selfishness, verbal & physical abuse

These cause problems within marriage, but are not caused by the marriage.

Example: what a Combat Vet or POW might bring into marriage.
ie:  anger, violence, stubbornness, fear, suspicion, timidity, withdrawal, fear of intimacy, fear of bonding

These often are hidden, masked, controlled, BUT tend to surface in intimacy of marriage

Some descriptive terms  (to help define this!)

Baggage - because bring in and unpack in marriage.

Personal - because = yours!  Belongs to YOU!!
(will cause problems for spouse, BUT are not spouse's problem!!!)

Emotional - because deep seated feeling, logic resistant, may even be UNTRUE!!  Examples:  anorexia, inferiority complex

Problem - because = Problem!!!!
hinders personal development, damages the relationship.

Origin??  - may be
(1)  inherited - stubbornness, depression, anxiety - fallen people born to fallen people

(2)  learned - example:  kids in foster care system

or (3)  combo of these

Whatever the cause, the outcome = unhealthy FEELINGS which leads to improper ACTIONS which leads to relational TURMOIL

(again) these may be masked during courtship, but will surface in intimacy of marriage!!!

#1.  We ALL have personal baggage  
because = sinners, raised by sinners, in a sinful world.  Rom. 3:23

#2.  emotional baggage comes in all sizes. 
Examples:  handbag to steamer trunk,  termites and tornadoes

#3.  The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals in the marriage.    "a __________ marriage is made of __________ people"

#4.  the emotional health of 1 partner cannot (fully) compensate for the emotional baggage of the other.  example:  marital math - a 7 + a 3 does not equal 10  (=5!)

#5.  emotional issues in 1 partner tend to create emotional issues in the other.
Example:  an abusive alcoholic brings down wife.

#6.  emotional issues in the parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.  
Extreme example:  who is most likely to be physically or sexually abusive??  Answer:  the one who was raised in that kind of environment.  Hence:  chains of Baggage!!

Question:  How important is all of this???  (for Christians???)
Matt. 22:36-40

Your emotional health affects
(1) your Personal development
(2) your relationships with others
(3)  your influence, impact on others  (especially your kids!!)

Objection!!  too much psychology!!  Not enough Bible!!
So....... use a Biblical word, term, concept!!

SIN:  any attitude, behavior, response outside of or contrary tto God's will for you.

Distinction!!  having baggage is not necessarily SIN!!  It = the response to the baggage that determines  SIN!! 
Example:  tortured POW,  sex slave - horrible conditions.  How respond in current situations determines.

Unbiblical Responses??
denial, indifference, downplaying, stonewalling, blame transfer, defeatism

Biblical Response?
A)  Examine - James 1:21-25  Heb. 4:12
B)  Admit - 1 John 1:8-9
C)  Repent
D)  Repeat - over and over again, til head and heart are in agreement

May require additional help!! - friend, pastor, counselor, etc.

BUT - 1st. and biggest issue = DECISION - John 5:6

So... who's Boss of your marriage??
        who should it be???
Prov. 14:1

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Family Series: Marital Problems

Example:  Song by the Dixie Cups - 1964 - "Going to the Chapel".
Song = feelings, dreams, hopes, Expectations!!

One one hand the head KNOWS better!
However, the heart won't believe it!!

What happens:  to feelings?  dreams?  Romance?? (ie: within marriage)

#1.  Life - jobs, bills, house to clean, yard to mow, kids, in laws activities, interruptions, illness, aging.....

#2.  Marriage .... the blending of 2 people, lives, souls... with different backgrounds, personalities, ideas, ideals, goals, methods, preferences...

In a Perfect World - would be NO PROBLEM!!!  But, this is NOT a Perfect World!  - fallen world, fallen people.

Hence, the "Buffaloes & Butterflies" series (started in 1989 - 30 years)
Which leads to "Why your hubby is such a clod" and "why your wife is such a witch".

Illustration:  couple at marriage conference several years ago - came up and said "Bro. Ed, my husband is not a clod."  Ed:  "how long have you been married?"  Answer:  "6 months".   3 years later - couple went through painful, horrible divorce with verbal & physical abuse leading up to it.

On one hand, this couple WAS headed into problems (Storms)

However, the outcome was Not pre-determined!!  It could have worked IF Both had learned a few things
and both had applied a few things.

Typically, a couple faces 2 types of problems within marriage:

#1.  Marital Problems - ie:  problems caused by the marriage, by blending 2 people, lives, souls

#2.  Personal Problems  (baggage) problems brought to the marriage.

Today will deal with (typical) marital problems - experienced by all couples!!
Will use the "Buffaloes & Butterflies" as illustration, outline.

Why your hubby is such a clod.....
1)  he's human - Rom. 3:23   Therefore (a) morally flawed and also b physically flawed!!
Example:  spouse that snores.

2)  he is male (female)  decidedly different!!!  - Gen. 1:27

3)  He is ignorant - ie:  unlearned, untrained, un-educated... IN  (a)  opposite sex  (b) marriage

4)  He's forgetful - what comes natural?  without thought?

5)  He's confused - because Buffalo/Butterfly language, logic, etiquette doesn't make sense!!

6)  He's hurt - hurts accumulate, lead to wounds to callouses and scars, and  behavior often = Response, result of that.

REPEAT all of the above with "Why wife is such a witch"!!!

Question:  Is there an Answer?  Remedy?  IF is spiraling downward, can we reverse?

(1)  Human-ness?    (a)  accept the physical flaws.  (b)  address the moral failures!!!  Rom. 6:11-14 (non-responsive to sin, dead to sin)
(Note:  this = SELF Adjustment NOT Spousal adjustment)

(2)  Differences?  Learn to:
(a)  accept the differences  (they are by design!)  Gen. 1:27
(b)  Appreciate the differences!!!
Can you do that!!  - (seems to work when making love!)

(3)  Ignorance?  Offset with education!!!  (books, CDs, DVDs, videos, etc. and communication!!!
ie:  Learn  (a) what spouse needs and craves
     Learn  (b)  to meet those needs!!  - 1 Pet. 3:7

(4)  forgetfulness?  Review to Remember!!
Re-visit, Re assess, Re learn, Re commit.....

(5)  Confusion?  Learn to live with it!!!

(6)  hurts?  (wounds?  scars?)
        (1)  establish good will
        (2)  adjust your behavior - determine NOT to hurt,  determine to Build up!!
        (3)  apologize
        (4)  Forgive
        (5)  Repeat

Relational Advice from Christ --- Rev. 2:5  (to the church at Ephesus)

Touchstone verse:  Prob. 14:1

Monday, May 13, 2019

Building Your Personal Life on a Proper Foundation

House = building.  Home takes people.

Matt. 7:24-27
TEXT= Building your Personal life on Proper foundation  (ie:  the words of Christ and the Person of Christ)

Today: we use it to illustrate building your Family on a proper foundation.
(that is not the text, BUT the principles parallel and = excellent illustration)

The 4 Primary points for today:

#1.  You build your house (home)
on one hand, it is not all your doing, all in your control.  However, you are a builder!!

#2.  Storms will come because that's the world we live in -- fallen world

#3.  Your house will shake - regardless of how well you build!!

#4.  the foundation is critical because without a solid foundation NO building will stand!!!

I.)  IF the house = a home .. THEN You build your house.
  as a youngster.... you inherit a home - can be good, bad, in between
  as an adult --- you must build it!!!!   (can buy a house, must build a home slowly)

(1) nothing of consequence is build without the Lord's assistance --- Psm. 127:1, But we must do our part.
(2)  we don't all have access to the same building material ... (parents, background & raising, education, opportunities, talents, skills & ability, IQ, etc.)

Nevertheless, we are called to:
(1) WORK with what we have
(2)  cooperate with God's grace - 1 Cor. 15:10, Col. 1:28-29, Phil. 2:12-13
God is at work.  We are called to work WITH Him!!  Is no room for passivity, indifference, laziness, etc.

II.)  Storms will come  (regardless of your faith)
      (A)  Natural Storms (sickness, disease, accident, etc) - we live in a fallen world, Christians are not exempt.
     (B)  Man Made Storms  (created by ... spouse, kids, parents, in-laws, etc.)  - We're fallen people
     (C)  Self-made Storms - OFTEN = own worst enemy!!
     (D)  Super natural storms - Eph. 6:12, 1 Pet. 5:8 - Satanic, demonic.  They have a vendetta against Christ and God's kingdom, not you.    95% of the reality of the universe is invisible to us.

III.)  Your house will shake - AND experience damage!!  No matter how well build!!  - 1 Cor. 10:13,
1 Pet. 4:12 - because this is the world we live in.

IV.)  The Foundation is Critical  
The foundation = (A) the teachings of Christ - Matt. 7:24 - it is not something your build, but something your choose 
                      = (B)  The Practice of those teachings - Matt. 7:24, 26, John 13:17 - Church going just gives the knowledge.
                     = (C)  The Person of Christ - Matt. 7:21-23 - Can practice His teachings, but not have Christ.  If you don't have Christ, have missed the essential element.

(1)  You BUILD your house ... with the Lord's assistance
(2) You choose the foundation - you Decide .. (initially and continually)
(3)  Your choice determines your status!!
WISE man???  or FOOLISH man??   Prov. 14:1 - both are builders
Every individual must choose - no guarantee everyone will follow.

Closing Text:  Matt. 7:28-29
"NOT because He was loud, brash, dogmatic, but because He left the impression that He knew what He was talking about!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The "40 Days" continued

Last week = "the 40 days" - Acts 1:3 - for 40 days between the Resurrection and Pentecost, Christ appeared to various people at various times.
Disciples were to be (1) faithful followers
                                (2)  bold witnesses (in Greek = martyr)
The 40 days helped equip them for that!!!

These appearances:
I)  Increased Confidence in the resurrection.
What if... there had ONLY been the Easter morning appearances?
Important because the Resurrection = the Proof!!  Rom. 1:4  that Jesus is who He said He was.

II.)  Additional Information about the Christian Faith
What questions were asked during this time?  What teachings during the 40 days?
Questions of history and doctrine and practice.
So --- Eph. 4:1

Jesus took this time to prepare these men to change the world.  The doctrine of the New Testament was built on the history of the Old Testament with new teachings and the result was practice (lifestyle)

Continuation from last week:
III.  Insights into our future state
Question?  After death - what??  (question is ancient and universal - everyone inherently knows there is life after death)
Problem:  Reliable witnesses?  (information)  - have those who supposedly died and came back - but
returnees = rare, questionable, fallible!

Contrast Jesus:  He Returned ... (1) As He Predicted
                                                 (2)  In a glorified state - totally different state but still the same
                                                 (3)  having overcome death (contrast Lazarus - released, escaped)

Example:  Luke 24:36-43  - (post-resurrection appearances:)

  • appeared, suddenly..... in closed, locked room
  • also, disappear!  vanish!  (example:  Emmaus Road disciples)
  • Sometimes recognized immediately!!  Other times NOT recognized  (at least not immediately)
  • Cooked breakfast & served it!  & ate with them!! - Acts 1:4 - "on 1 occasion while eating with His disciples"
  • All with (1) real, physical body
  •             (2) His own body
  •             (3) yet a glorified body!! - Luke 24:36-43  more than restored.  = Renewed!!  improved, better!  The same yet very different!!!
1 John 3:2 - We will be like Him in His resurrected state.

IF His Resurrection is true,
IF John is correct,
Then it necessitates a GENERAL RESURRECTION!! - Not just historical, but coming event.

1 Cor. 15:20-23
Rom. 8:18-23
1 Thess. 4:13-18
These mean:  (1)  a physical body
                     (2)  your body  (identity!)
                     (3)  absolute (complete) redemption

How???  1 Cor. 15:35-38, 42-44, 51-52
Impossible!!! Try creation!! - verbal/ ex nihilo!!  (out of nothing!!)

Which leads to:
IV.  Confidence in the Face of Death
ie:  He defeated death --- for us!
on one hand, we will still die.  however, death does not have the last word, final state - is a defeated foe
1 Cor. 15:24-26, Rev. 20:14, Rev. 1:18

Must distinguish between  (1) process of dying and (2) the state of death - example:  martyrs can have FEAR and still have courage!!
Note:  your greatest battle, struggle, issue with DEATH may Not be your own!!!
So " the Christian Hope" based on "THE Resurrection" - ! Cor. 15:19-20

Like the disciples, we are called to be:
(1) faithful in our walk (lifestyle)
(2) bold in our witness
in spite of ... (1)  the delay of 2000+ years
                    (2) world's view  (skepticism, mockery, hostility)
                    (3)  life's difficulty

Christ gave the "40 days" to help equip us for this!!!!

Closing Scripture:  Rom. 8:31-32, 38-39